When I first started into anything involving non-monogamy and polyamory, I was overwhelmed. I took the tactic of treating it like anything else I was interested in. Studying. Took my time to find blogs, books, and other resources. The first thing I dove into was the language, what words changed and what things stayed the same. Unicorn, Solo-Polyam, and relationship anarchy? I was rather overwhelmed when I first started. Always worried about not using the right words.
Until I started to work on creating my own language, my own words to explain how things worked in my small bubble of Polyamory. These are of course in no way unique, others in the community might use them. Also, if these mesh with you, feel free to take them up as well! If you are looking for a more extensive glossary I suggest this one from More Than Two.
Picking my own Language
The choice of what to use came from a lot of trial and error. A lot of times I switched up using one word to another. The language is ever evolving meant that I too could evolve in what I used. The ones I have here are the ones that have stuck. The plans are to make this a living document of sorts as my own language grows and evolves. 1
Short for Polyamorous, I use this in place of Poly. Poly itself is a word that has been used as a cultural identifier for the people of the Pacific. Also, I just like the way that Polyam tends to find in the way that I talk and write much better. I have included a few links below for more reading on this subject that I highly recommend.
- Poly means Polynesian, not Polyamorous by Lily Stone
- Stop saying “poly” when you mean “polyamorous” by Aida Manduley
How I describe my various relationships/dynamics with my partners. This is of course because how it looks when charting them out. Each one has a separate name much like actually constellations. For me it flows just a little easier for me than polycule or polyamcule would.
For example, my main relationships. I am the connection point of two different triads and so it looks like like a bow.
My family, the housemates, and partners who are all choosing to live together. Those are choosing to cohabitate together. It contains many different constellations that sometimes connect to the larger group.
Used when describing the people who are outside of the ones of whom I live with. This includes comet partners while not a new word makes me smile to know.
This is one that I did not come up with on my own. It was actually my partner Chance who used it to describe my relationship to him. It stuck and I am kind of super in love with it. Until they had used the word that I realized that sometimes girlfriend doesn’t always feel right. The word made me feel super valid in how I choose to identify as Demigendered.
What language do you like to use? Is language important to you when you describe your relationships?