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A quad is a type of relationship structure involving four people. Only some or all of the members of a quad may be romantically or sexually involved with one another.
People involved in quads believe in polyamory, or loving more than one person at the same time, rather than monogamy. The people in a quad may be of any gender and sexuality. For example, a quad may be made up of two straight couples or three females and one male.
There are closed or fidelitous quads and quads where the members are free to date other people outside the group relationship. A quad is the four-person equivalent of a triad, which contains three people.
People in quads often conduct themselves in much the same way that couples do, albeit with more people. They typically live together and may raise children together, divide household chores among one another, and pool finances. They may draw up schedules for sleeping and dating to make sure all members of the quad feel valued and loved.
While communication is the key to all successful relationships, it’s especially important for quads. More people increases the potential for more misunderstandings and hurt feelings, which must be managed by all members of a quad.
Being part of a quad is very different from swinging, where couples may become intimate with one another. While sex is a component in both types of lifestyles, the members of a quad have a romantic bond that isn’t a part of swinging. However, sometimes swinging can lead to being part of a quad.
Quads typically form when two couples engaged in polyamory meet and become romantically interested in people in the other couple. They may then develop a cross-couple relationship which evolves into a quad. However, a quad can form when any four people that practice polyamory come together in a symbiotic relationship.
People in quads say their arrangement offers them greater companionship, emotional support, and financial security.
Quads do not enjoy the same legal protection that married couples do as group marriages are not legal. This means any problems arising from break-ups, including property and custody disputes, must be handled out of court.