There may be times in your relationship when you are happy, but you both can’t help but feel like there’s something missing. Or maybe you both feel like you’re missing a someone? If that’s the case, it may be an opportunity for you to discuss your relationship structure. If you’ve never thought about it before, maybe bring up the idea of a throuple.
Throuple relationships have been making appearances in media, the most popular example in recent times was on Netflix’s The Politician. The visual of Dede, Marcus (her husband), and William (their boyfriend) in bed was not as shocking as seeing them operate as a whole, healthy relationship. The portrayal of these kinds of relationships has sparked conversations about unconventional love affairs. These discussions have allowed more and more people to explore their own needs and expectations from their current partner or ideal partnership.
What is a Throuple?
A quick inspection of the word “throuple” would have probably clued you into its origins. It’s a combination of the word “three” and couple. It refers to three people who are linked in a romantic or sexual relationship. Maybe even both. Some people may refer to a throuple as a triad, three-way relationship, or a closed triad.
Things to Know About Being in a Throuple
If you’re looking into becoming part of a throuple or just want to know more about this type of relationship, here are a couple of things you should know.
1It’s not the same as an open relationship or a threesome.
Open relationships occur between two people who have mutually agreed to open their relationship to sex with other people. No romance or love should be involved with their dalliances outside of the relationship.
Threesomes are different in which a couple shares sexual experiences together with a third person – still not considered a throuple. A threesome is purely sexual.
Throuples can have sexual aspects to their relationships while having an ongoing relationship that also fulfills their emotional, intellectual, and romantic needs. It is a balanced, consensual, and committed between all three partners.
2It has real advantages.
Sometimes, a couple will agree to add a third to their relationship because they do not feel comfortable or fulfilled in monogamy. Being uncomfortable in monogamy doesn’t mean that they love their partner any less or are not as committed to their partner.
With a third person in your relationship, you and your partner will be exposed to qualities that both of you may have been looking for but can’t offer each other. A third partner can also ease tensions when fights or disagreements occur between two.
Your third can be someone to enjoy hobbies that your other partner has no interest in. They can offer emotional support when and can be someone for you to emotionally support. Having a third can also ease the burden of household chores and financial burdens if you all live together.
The greatest advantage? You get to watch the people who matter most love and be loved. That can offer you boundless joy.
3It can also make the relationship more difficult.
Just like adding a third person to the relationship can make things a bit easier, it can also make things a little trickier. Let’s face it, in a traditional couple, the chances of one or both parties feeling some type of jealousy exists. Add another person for you to love and romance, and someone’s bound to feel like they’re getting a little less of you. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just human nature. If you’re all communicating your needs and concerns with each other, the green-eyed monster can be avoided.
Another issue that can crop up is the feeling of someone taking sides in an argument. While the suspected party may not actually be taking anyone’s side, the partners in the midst of a disagreement may feel that way. The remedy for this is by everyone in the relationship mastering the mediator role.
4It can be a healthy and balanced relationship.
As long as everyone in the throuple shares similar interests, values, ideals, and morals, your romantic life can be enriched by this new dynamic. As long as you’re all communicating and willing to put in the work to keep everyone happy in the relationship.
5It only works for people who know what they want in a relationship.
Why do you feel like becoming part of a throuple will is the best move for you or you and your partner? What are you looking for and what do you expect a throuple relationship to provide you with that your current relationship feels like it needs to become more complete?
If you’re looking to add a third to your relationship simply because you want to have sex with someone else, then you might be looking more for a threesome than a rich, loving throuple relationship. If you have to force your significant other into a triad, that’s not a good start to that venture either.
Take a closer look at your motivation for wanting to be in a throuple, and have a heartfelt discussion from there.
6Maintaining boundaries is important.
Understanding what you’re all after in this relationship is a good place to start. The only hard and fast rule of a throuple is that it’s a relationship between three people. Other than that, it’s all up to the people in the relationship. It’s best to take a moment at the start of your relationship to figure out your emotional and physical needs and expectations.
If there are kids involved, or consider financial responsibilities, and other practicalities, you will of course have to take it into consideration. You can choose to limit your knowledge about what the other members do. You can discuss if your throuple is a closed or open relationship. Maybe you end up discovering that you all want to be in a polyamorous relationship instead of just a throuple.
Make sure you’re all in agreement with the boundaries you have set and check in with each other every now and then to see if everyone’s feeling fulfilled with your arrangement. If not? It may be time to have another conversation about your needs.
7Jealousy is still a possibility.
As we mentioned before, jealousy is inevitable in any relationship. Learning to talk about and manage the jealousy is the only solution. Be open about it with your partners and if you can’t deal with it on your own, lean on them for support.
8There may be a hierarchy.
Every couple is different and it’s completely possible that your relationship will not. Sometimes, though, especially when a third is introduced into a long-established couple dynamic, primary and secondary relationships can develop. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It will all depend on all of your needs and how you communicate with each other.
9You don’t all have to be dating one another.
Just because you’re in a throuple doesn’t mean that you all have to be dating each other. You can enter a ‘V relationship’ where one person acts like a hinge where they are in a relationship with two people, but those partners are not romantically involved with each other.
Whether you choose to keep each other at a distance, or you are all housemates, or you’re all close friends, how you choose to operate within your throuple is all up to you and your partners. So figure out what makes you all comfortable and confident in your relationship.
10You will need to check in with each other often.
In a throuple there are more emotions, more opinions, and more past experiences to take into consideration. It will take a lot of communication to maintain balance and harmony, but that can be said for all types of relationships. There are more boundaries and rules to the relationship that you’ve set, and you can all grow and change during the course of your partnership. That means that you will all need to adapt your boundaries to new needs, too. Check in with each other often so that you’re all on the same page. This will help avoid resentment and misunderstandings.
How to Know if Being in a Throuple is Right For You
Embarking on a throuple-hood isn’t something to take lightly. It takes a lot of introspection and understanding of yourself, your partner and your relationship.
If you’re already in a relationship:
1You have a strong and healthy current relationship.
Knowing that you and your partner are in a happily committed relationship is important. You do not want to introduce another person into a relationship that is already on unsteady ground. If you’re hoping a third will fix a troubled relationship, you’ve got another think coming. A third person should enrich a happy partnership that isn’t quite fulfilling the parties involved, not be a band-aid for problems.
2You both have healthy coping skills for jealousy.
Jealousy can be a beast. In even the most healthy monogamous relationships, it can tear couples apart. In a throuple, envy can even be more of a challenge because you love both of your partners, and know they love you back… you just feel like they may not love you as much. Adopting coping mechanisms for dealing with jealousy is very important in getting throupled up – and every partner should be well-equipped.
3You have an idea of what the new relationship might look like, but are willing to compromise depending on your third.
While you and your partner will have had a lengthy and comprehensive talk about the new person you’re about to add to your relationship and how that will change your relationship. You should have a clear idea of what a third will mean for your relationship and how you function. That said, there should be some wiggle room there so that you can take their needs and wants into consideration.
If you’re single:
1You’re wholly attracted to both parties.
Make sure that you’re not entering a throuple because you’re only interested in one of them. They’re looking to you to help round out their love, not get in the way of it. So if you’re saying yes to being a third because you’re only in love with one of the partners – do not do it. Just like you wouldn’t enter a monogamous relationship with someone you aren’t totally interested in, you shouldn’t half-heartedly enter a throuple either.
2You know how to properly communicate your needs and boundaries.
Entering an established relationship can be tricky, especially because they already have a set of boundaries in place. Not to mention the communication shorthand that may exist depending on how long they’ve already been together. Being able to properly communicate your own needs and boundaries is extremely important for you to feel like a proper, equal partner in the relationship. Make clear how many date nights you want, how you want to be treated. Do you want to know about everything that goes on and has gone on in their relationship as a couple? What the plan is if someone gets pregnant or wants to start a family.
Make your expectations of the relationship known. Make sure that you’re ready to adjust and adapt to their needs and boundaries, as well. Communication and compromise from all sides will be pertinent for a throuple to thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
This relationship structure is new to a lot people, and even to those who have already looked into it, throuple partnerships can be a bit confusing. Here are a few of you inquiries, answered!
1How do I bring up the idea of a throuple with my partner?
Tell them why the idea of a throuple interests you and ask the how they feel about it. But, before bringing it up with your partner, make sure you’ve thoroughly examined yourself and the reasons why you’re interested in making this change to your partnership. Also, know if you’ll still want to continue your relationship with your current significant other if they are uninterested in being part of a throuple. There’s a real possibility that you will need to end the relationship if they reject the idea, or that they may want to end the relationship because of your interest in it.
2What’s the difference between polyamory and being in a throuple?
A throuple is comprised of three people. A polyamorous relationship means that people can have sex, romance, or even love with people outside their primary relationships. A throuple can be a polyamorous relationship though, but that all depends on how you and your partners’ dynamics are established.
3Can I be in an open throuple relationship?
Yes. Again, the boundaries of every relationship are established by the people in the relationship. If you all agree that an open relationship is good for all of you, then by all means, go ahead. However, if you all feel like it’s best to be in closed relationship, then do what’s right for you.
4I’m falling out of love with only one of my partners. What can I do?
Have a conversation. Tell them how you feel, and what you hope to achieve with this discussion. Do you want to mend the relationship, leave or maybe introduce a new dynamic? Have an idea of what your end goal is and take steps based on that. honesty is the best policy in any relationship.
5I’m in a throuple and I’m realizing it’s not for me. What now?
It is a difficult realization, especially if you are in love with both people. You may have initially thought that being in a throuple would round out your love, only to find out that it doesn’t suit you. First, figure out if you’re having a problem being in a throuple, or someone just isn’t fitting correctly. Or maybe a different relationship dynamic is what you’re looking for. You need to have a conversation with your partners. Figure out how to move forward. You may need to leave the relationship – even if you were part of the ‘original’ couple. Or your partners may be willing to explore other relationship options. But also understand that your needs are more important, and if you need to be alone to figure out what you really need, then take that time to learn more about your relationship needs.
A throuple is similar to a traditional monogamous relationship except for one thing: a third partner. Make sure that both you and your partner are good at communicating your needs to each other. And follow that straightforward communication through to when you find your third. You may discover that becoming a throuple is the best thing to happen to your relationship – or you can discover otherwise. It can open your mind to other forms of relationships you can explore with your partners and that’s great, too! At the end of the day, your relationship is your own, and how you find happiness, love, and fulfillment in your partnership is the right relationship for you.