What does Constellation mean in polyamorous relationships?

A group of people in love relationships with each other

In polyamorous relationships, those involved often use the term ‘Constellation’ to describe their group. This term is typically used when the group consists of more than four people. When the group is smaller, say three people, other terms like triads or throuples are used, and for a group of four, the term quads is used.

The term ‘Constellation’ is borrowed from the way we see stars in the sky. Just as we link stars to form a single image, in a polyamorous constellation, we trace the links between one person and their multiple romantic partners. When polyamorous individuals need to explain their relationships, they may even draw out their constellation to make it easier to understand.

Some people also refer to constellations as ‘polycules’. This term is a fun twist on the word molecule, referring to a group of atoms bonded together, much like a group of people in a polyamorous relationship.

Example for using ‘Constellation’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard of the term ‘Constellation’?

Yeah, I have! It’s when someone has multiple romantic partners, kind of like a network of relationships.

Exactly! They refer to themselves and their partners as a constellation, just like the stars in the sky forming a pattern.

That’s cool! So, it’s like a way to describe their polyamorous relationships.