Polyamory is a term under the ENM umbrella to describe the capability or desire to be in a relationship with more than one individual at once. Polyamorous can be used both as a description of a relationship with more than two individuals and as description of individuals who desire such relationships. Polyamorous relationships can be romantic, sexual, or both; they may also be based on tertiary attraction such as queerplatonic relationships. Polyamory is not considered cheating, because all parties are aware of all other parties involved and consent to their involvement. Polyamory can be as simple as an open relationship or it can be three or more individuals who are all in a relationship with each other. Polyamorous is not a sexual/romantic orientation on its own, but more of a description of how one can experience attraction. As it is a microlabel and not an orientation on its own polyamorous individuals can have any sexual/romantic orientation.
Polyamory can involve marriage but should not be confused with polygamy, the act of marrying multiple individuals, which is illegal in the U.S. and many other western countries.
Types of Polyamorous Relationships
- Open relationship: A relationship or marriage in which two partners are dedicated, but allow each other to have partners outside of their partnership. This would also include DADT polyamory and Geographical Non-Monogamy.
- Pluriad: Also known as plurad. A polyamorous relationship where each individual is in a relationship with all the other individuals.
- Triad: Also known as triangle or delta. A relationship involving three individuals where each individual is in a relationship with all the other individuals.
- V Polyamory: A relationship involving three individuals in which one individual is in a relationship with two partners who are not in a relationship with each other. Example: A is dating B and C, but B and C are not dating each other.)
- T Polyamory: A relationship involving three individuals where the third individual's involvement causes the other two to be involved with each other. Example: B and C are both dating A. A's involvement requires B and C to also date each other. Without A's involvement, B and C would no longer date.
- Quad Polyamory: Any polyamorous relationship involving four individuals.
- N Polyamory: A relationship involving four individuals, generally two couples, where one member of one couple is also involved with one member of the other couple. Example: A and B are dating. C and D are dating. B and C are also dating, but A and D are not dating.
- Full Quad: A relationship with four individuals, all of whom are involved with all of the other members.
- Polycule: A very complex polyamorous relationship, usually with five or more individuals involved. The term is a portmanteau of poly- and molecule, referencing the complex shapes of some molecules.
Approaches to Polyamory
- Solo Polyamory: An approach to polyamory that emphasizes agency and does not seek to engage in relationships that are tightly couple-centric.
- Polyfidelity: A form of polyamory in which all members are considered equal partners and agree to be sexually, romantically, or sensually involved only with other members of the group.
- Hierarchical Polyamory: A polyamorous relationship structure in which a individual has multiple partners who are not equal in terms of interconnection, emotional intensity, or power within the relationship.
- Egalitarian Polyamory: A polyamorous relationship structure in which all partners are considered equal to one another in regards to an emotional commitment.
- Multiamorous: A polyamorous relationship where all partners within it have different types of relationships with one another. (example: A and B are in a queerplatonic relationship, B and C are in a sexual relationship, and C and A are in a romantic relationship.)
- Line polyamory: A polyamorous relationship where as the partners get older, they add new younger partners to the group, as for the relationship to last a long time. Older partners may avoid having a romantic relationship with these new younger members. All partners are the age of consent.
The original polyamorous flag was designed by Jim Evans in 1995. The blue stripe stands for openness and honesty among all partners. The red stripe stands for love and passion. The black stripe represents solidarity with those who must hide their polyamorous relationships from the outside world. In the center is the Greek letter π (pi), which was originally chosen because the mathematical constant π is an irrational number with infinitely many decimal places, a play on polyamorous individuals "having infinite love". Another use of π was as a furtive shibboleth, a symbol whose meaning would not be understood by non-polyamorous individuals, to allow polyamorous individuals to recognize one other without the risk of being outed or exposed about their non-traditional lifestyle.
Over time, and coming to a head in summer 2020, the original flag came to be seen as undesirable by many in the polyamorous community. Their reasons included discordant colors and the pi symbol and black stripe's symbolism.
Due to this dissatisfaction with the original flag, several alternatives were proposed. In many of these alternatives, the infinity heart has been a recurring symbol, much preferred over pi.
Some flags closely follow the original, making alterations such as reducing the brightness or saturation of the colours to reduce eyestrain. A 2020 design by an artist known as Y.M. took requests from the polyamorous community to keep the well-known nature of the 1995 flag whilst making it more accessible and emblematic of the community. The flag maintains the original layout with altered colours, featuring three stripes in royal blue, deep red, and black. In the central stripe is the infinity heart symbol rendered in gold. Y.M. stated that they had been discussing with many polyamorous individuals about the issues of the original flag and rendered their concept digitally. They also stated that they felt strongly about the use of the infinity heart, making the flag's iconography unique to and representative of the community. Other elements of the flag include retaining the trust, passion, and solidarity with closeted polyamorous individuals of the original flag while distancing from the problematic nature of it. 
Other flags significantly deviate from the 1995 design. One example of such a flag is the pride flag made by Molly W. on August 11, 2020. The flag is comprised of four stripes, all of equal height. The colors of this flag include lime green for growth, kelly green for balance, sky blue for freedom, and royal blue for trust. The infinity heart represents the concept of infinite love. This flag is intended to be inclusive of all polyamorous individuals, including those who may have identities that intersect with polyamory. It includes those who are aro-spec, ace-spec, or allosexual. It also includes relationship anarchists, single polyamorous individuals, polyamorous individuals who are situationally monogamous, and those who practice solo polyamory.
Another significantly variant polyamorous flag was coined by several polyamorous users on November 19th, 2020. The pink stands for dedication, the light red stands for romance and love, the dark red stands for passion, the orange stands for trust, the gold-ish yellow stands for loyalty, the bright yellow stands for inclusiveness, the shades of blue from darkest to lightest stand for freedom, compassion, anarchy of roles, dedication, self expression, and finally open-mindedness. The symbol is a knight, which is a symbol of passionate loyalty to your partners.
Another polyamorous flag was created by FANDOM user Unfunny person420 in, 2020.Pink represents love, sex, or any other kind of relationship, such as queerplatonic. Yellow represents honesty, gray represents unity/harmony, aqua represents commitment, purple represents solidarity/trust. The infinity symbol represents infinite partners, and can also represent eternal love as well. Unfunny person420 believes that the infinity symbol was a better representation of polyamory than the pi symbol.
A smaller flag was made by tumblr user whimsy-flags on September 15, 2019. Pink stands for love and passion, light pink stands for unity and trust, purple stands for relationships. The infintity heart was used due to popularity but there is another version of the flag made with out it (by the same individual).
Another Variation of the flag was made by the Fandom user CaramelCreamery on June 3rd, 2021. Dark red stands for the burning essence of romance, Light red stands for the essence of sex, Light blue stands for the essence of both romantic and sexual relations (It varies), Dark blue stands for relationships. There is no known reason why the user used the infinity heart but most likely it was used due to its popularity.
In May 2021, an Instagram account under the handle @polyamproud announced an organized effort to create and institute a replacement polyamorous pride flag. The coalition of volunteers behind the project say their mission is to host a community-wide vote on new designs with as much global spread as possible. Designs will be presented to a committee of leading international polyamorous activists, who will in turn put 2-4 designs for the polyamorous and non-monogamous community to choose from via an online voting platform still under development.
Polyamorous is made up of the Greek prefix poly-, meaning "many", and the Latin word amor, meaning "love".