What is your first thought when you think of love? Generally, you follow the same line of thinking: a couple in love, a one-to-one match. The usual TV shows and series you watch and the books you read might shed some light on different aspects of relationships.
Sometimes, there are even ‘dramatic’ triangles, but then, it is usually focused on a choice and preference of a single person. But nowadays, many shows are shedding light on throuple dating or three way relationships, be it the show ‘House Hunter’ or rooting for the ‘Alice, Nat and Gigi’ in ‘The L word: Generation Q”.
Whatever the reason might be, there’s always a curiosity surrounding it, based on what precisely a throuple relationship is and how it works.
Understanding the triad relationship
Polyamory is a relationship that centers around the belief that one can love more than one person. Here polyamory meaning often involves having more than one romantic partner or a relationship simultaneously, with full knowledge and consent of all the involved partners.
There are different types of poly relationships, including throuple (triad) and open relationships. But unlike popular conception, polyamory is not cheating and shouldn’t be mixed with affairs or infidelity. Even polyamory and polygamy shouldn’t be mixed, as the latter is a religious-based practice in non-monogamy.
It is estimated that around 1 million polyamorous people live in Australia alone. But a triad is explicitly a relationship involving three people with full consent. It can be referred to as a throuple, a three way relationship, or a closed triad.
Are open relationships and triad relationships the same?
One word answer- NO!
Typically when talking about an open relationship, it occurs between two people who have mutually agreed on being in an open relationship with the third that just deals with physical aspects without exploring the love or romance with other people.
An open relationship definition includes a couple having sex with a third person, and this form is more or less a threesome and not a throuple. The engagement with the third person could be on an individual level or as a couple.
Threesomes are explicitly sexual, and while throuple do have a sexual component in their relationship, their main component is romance, love, and bonding, which usually threesomes aren’t.
If it is an open (triad) relationship, people in the throuple can have romance within the throuple but can also form physical relationships with other people outside their relationship.
In a closed (triad) relationship, a throuple can only have physical and mental connectivity and bonding with each other. This implies that the individuals within the throuple cannot form physical relationships and fall in love with folks outside their three-person relationship.
It is important to know the whole dynamics of your relationship, where you stand, what you are comfortable with, a relationship’s boundaries, needs and wants before you get into a triad relationship.
According to research, when you are in a throuple, some may experience and have access to different types of emotional affection, intimacy, care, and joy. If the throuple is formed based on (only) sexual need: it is for sex, pleasure, and exploring the various aspects of physical bonding. But that is not the case with all throuples.
The three forms of throuple are:
A pre-existing couple decides to add the third person into their relationship and is actively looking for an addition.
A pre-existing couple naturally adds a third to the relationship.
Three people are naturally coming together around the same time and entering into a throuple. The heterosexual or straight couples lookout for a bisexual partner to form a throuple.
People who are bisexual, queer, or pansexual are more inclined to explore the triad relationship. But is it right for you?
Questions to ask when in a relationship:
Do I have a healthy pre-existing relationship with excellent and transparent communication?
Are you comfortable with the idea of a triad relationship?
Can you allow a third person in your relationship and accept the new changes that this will bring?
Do you compare yourself to others? And have you developed a healthy reaction to emotions like jealousy and insecurity?
Have you and your partner discussed what your life would look like in a triad relationship? Can you resolve disputes in the presence of a third party, who might share their views too?
Things to consider carefully when in a triad relationship
If you have unrealistic expectations of triad relationships or have unresolved issues within your two-person relationship, being in a triad relationship might not be a good idea for you (being completely honest here).
A couple who wants to add a third person should be prepared to undergo a complete shift after entering a triad relationship.
Experts suggest that a couple should discuss what works for them and what doesn’t (to preserve their relationship) before finding someone else. Internal mediation is important in a triad relationship.
If a couple fails to discuss their needs or set up rules, for starters, the triad relationship will certainly disempower a third party. Whenever you talk about setting boundaries, include all three people in that conversation.
A triad relationship isn’t just a slightly different relationship from a two-people relationship. It is a four-way relationship; three individual relationships and one that of a group. It requires a lot of communication (like a lot). If they don’t put in all their work (frankly), it won’t last.
Keep this in mind; transitioning to a three-person relationship won’t clear all your underlying issues; It might even exacerbate them.
Are you currently in a two-person relationship and considering a triad relationship? Before proposing this to your partner, ask yourself:
Why am I interested in a triad relationship?
Why do I want to get into a triad relationship when my partner and I can be a polyamorous couple with individual romance?
Why do I want to get into a triad relationship when my partner and I get into an open relationship with individual romance?
Am I ready to go through this shift?
If you shift to a triad relationship, make sure you are open about the people in the relationship, know your boundaries, respect other people’s boundaries, and have open (transparent) communication with your partner(s).
Watch this video to learn more about polyamorous relationships:
Polyamorous relationships of different kinds are gaining renewed interest in recent years, but it is crucial to gather all information before you get into one. They come with their different rules and dynamics, so figure out which one works for you.
Using all the information listed above, you can decide whether a triad relationship would benefit you. Ask yourself the questions raised here to understand better your own expectations, limits, and relationship goals.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Cindy Mikulski, a professional writer by profession. I write about legal services, business law, family law, divorce & separation, lawyer and related topics in a way that it’s appealing to people. I aim to achieve a difference through my writing which allows you to make a valuable choice..