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They usually live together in a single home and share their lives and resources such as married couples do.
There may be any combination of males, females and sexual orientations.
Men and women are rotated to meet each other over a series of short "dates" usually lasting from three to eight minutes depending on the organization running the event.
At the end of each interval, the organizer rings a bell, clinks a glass, or blows a whistle to signal the participants to move on to the next date.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.
Speed dating, as two separate words, is often used as a generic term for similar events.
Polyfidelity is a combination of two words: poly, meaning many, and fidelity, meaning faithfulness to an obligation.
Often, the term "fidelity" is used strictly in terms of spouses in a single marriage.
The word "Polyfidelity" itself was invented by the Kerista Commune, sometime in the 1960's to the 1970's.
[*1] Kerista was an experiment in polyfidelity and "intentional living," or a decentralized, communal setup of society.
Polyfidelity means the combination of those two meanings, something like a group marriage.