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What is a Polyamorous Throuple Relationship?

What is a Polyamorous Throuple Relationship?

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Are you open to a Polyamorous Throuple Relationship (PTR)? I know what you are thinking. Uh, what exactly is a PTR? A Poly Throuple, also called Polyfidelity Triad is an emotional, usually sexual, or intimate committed relationship between three people. This is different from an ‘open’ relationship where a couple decides to date people other than each other or consensual non-monogamy or threesomes, where a new partner is invited in just for sex.  

A Polyamorous Throuple is also not the same as a polygamist situation shown on the TLC series ‘Sister Wives’. With a Poly Throuple, all three people involved openly agree to form a relationship with each other. It is a Polyfidelity Triad. 

There are different ways poly relationships can be structured. They can be open or closed, poly-fi. Solo polyamorous and include multiple people like a triad, also known as a delta, triangle or a throuple and a quad – involving four people. While there can be some similarities between a Throuple and Relationship Anarchy, these forms don’t follow the same concept.

TED talk about Polyamory

Poly Throuple definition

Couple = 2 people, Throuple = 3 people.

There are many ways that people start a Poly Throuple Relationship ranging from a planned recruitment of another partner, to an unexpected and unintended extension of a threesome or an existing couple simply acting on an undeniable connection with a third person. A third person can join an existing couple, forming a throuple of equal partners and agree on the rules. The person joining is often called the “unicorn”.   

To put it simpy. in a throuple, A is dating B is dating C is dating A.   

OK, before you think ‘kink’ hear me out. While Poly Throuple Relationships can take on many forms (whether the PTR is open to other partners or not, co-habitation and the degree of intimacy, sexual exclusivity or not in the Polyfidelity Triad) the foundation of a PTR is very much like the foundation of a traditional couple.

How to have a successful Throuple?

A successful Polyamorous Throuple Relationship requires that members of the group have a lot of;

  • open communication,
  • honesty,
  • boundaries and rules about sex or intimacy outside of the relationship, and
  • trust.

However, as with any relationship, the realities of longer-term success of a Polyfidelity Triad require a commitment and continued mutual alignment of collective and individual needs and wants.

There are other challenges too. 

Challenges of the Polyamorous Throuple Relationship

1. The power dynamics can get complicated especially if one person feels outnumbered when there is a disagreement.

2. There are now three people to agree on basics such as movies, dinner, activities, food shopping, chores, etc. In the beginning compromising is easier but declines as the newness and excitement of the relationship wanes. This can put a strain on the relationship, especially if there is a distinct ‘coupling’ within the throuple.

3. Individual desires for sex (timing, location, positions, experimentation) vary. Unless managed right, an imbalance, whether perceived or real, can lead to feelings of inadequacy or jealousy.

4. How one enters and exits a Poly Throuple is more complicated.

What is a polyamorous throuple relationship

Why do people go for Polyamorous Throuple Relationships?

If you can get the foundation right and successfully navigate the challenges, people in a Polyamorous Throuple Relationship claim to have better sex lives, more fun, and an overall sense of happiness. They benefit from more feedback and personal awareness that comes with forming intimate relationships and they have more of their needs fulfilled simply because there is another person in the circle. Those are some of the reasons why this form of polyamory gains in popularity.

Is a Throuple legal?

Love relationships are private and in most countries, law doesn’t get in the way. However, formalizing the relationship is quite hard in most societies, since marrying someone already married is classified as bigamy and constitutes an offense. In other words – group marriage is not legal in most societies.

While in some areas of the world, it is difficult to legally formalize a throuple, similar to traditional couples, it is important to ensure protection of assets and other rights if the relationship is disrupted.

There are ways to protect everyone’s interests, but these vary by location. If you are serious about being in a committed poly triad, it is advisable to have some sort of legal financial agreement or trust.

Agreement is the base of the relationship

In the poly triad, all members are considered equal and a lot of matters need to be discussed and agreed upon. Sex and finances among other things.

Sexual activity, exclusivity and sexual relationships within the triad are a part of that agreement. Whether all partners will agree to be sexually active only with other members of the triad. For instance, actress Jada Pinkett Smith revealed she was a part of a non-sexual triad.

If one person shares finances with the other two or not should always be a matter of free choice, as well as clear and agreed upon.

Polyfidelity Triad – many shapes of love

A poly throuple may not be right for you. However, as the definition of a ‘normal’ romantic relationship continues to evolve and as societies develop, so do the opportunities for an individual to form loving relationships with more than one person.