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Metamour

Updated: AUGUST 9, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on August 8, 2022

A metamour is a word used within the polyamory community to describe one's partner's other partners, such as a husband's boyfriend, a girlfriend's lover, etc. The prefix "meta" comes from Greek, and means "after" or "beyond." "Amour" is the French for "love," or "lover" from the Latin "amor." The term is often abbreviated to "meta."

Metamours may meet and have a relationship, or they may not. In some cases, metamours want to know each other and get along; they may even become close friends or exist as a kind of family, as in kitchen table polyamory. In other relationships, people may choose not to mingle, as in parallel polyamory, or even adopt a don't-ask-don't-tell type of relationship when it comes to metamours.

In typical polyamorous relationships, metamours are part of the polycule, but not necessarily close to those with whom they are not having a more intimate romantic or sexual relationship. When a person starts dating their metamour, that person then becomes a partner or lover, and ceases to be a metamour.

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More About Metamour

In polyamorous communities, metamours are considered part of an important social and emotional network. Rather than having to rely on a single partner for support, affection and attention, as may be the case in monogamous relationships, polyamorous people choose a group of people to meet their physical and emotional needs. Instead of jealously, polyamorous people may describe feeling compersion in regards to their partner's relationships with other people (although jealousy happens in polyamorous relationships too).

As with all relationships, metamour relationships can be difficult. While people get to choose their partners, they do not get to choose their metamours. Although it's not unusual for a person to dislike a metamour, self-reflection and communication can help many couples deal with these issues.

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