Too Complicated to Explain

Updated: MARCH 9, 2020

Too complicated to explain is a common term used to describe complex intimate relationships between people. This term is often used within the polyamorous community to describe relationships which operate outside the community’s most common relationship structures.

Too complicated to explain is often shortened to the acronym TOCOTOX, especially during online conversations.

More About Too Complicated to Explain (TOCOTOX)

There are several common relationship structures within the polyamorous community, including triads, quads, and Vs. When individuals within this community have relationships which do not fall into these categories, the term too complicated to explain, or TOCOTOX, is often used. This saves people the time and energy of explaining exactly who is in a relationship with who and any hierarchies that exist within these relationships.

People who consider their relationships to be too complicated to explain are typically not in committed, long-term relationships. They may be casually dating or hooking up.

When communicating online, it’s common for people in these relationships to refer to the other person or people in the relationship as “The TOCOTOX,” much as someone might refer to their significant other using the term SO.


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