If you believe the general voices in society, they will tell you that the only ideal form of relationship is between one man and one woman. This traditional view has led to discounting of many types of other types of relationships. One such relationship is that of a throuple. The term “throuple” refers to a relationship involving three people who are emotionally, romantically, and sexually involved with each other. If you are someone who is curious about non-monogamy like “throuple,” this article will help you.
Understanding the Meaning of Throuple
Non-monogamy is a common phenomenon despite the traditional view of relationships being monogamous or couple relationships. It simply means that you are involved in one way or another with more than one person at the same time. This, unlike cheating, involves the consent of all the people involved .
To individuals who have grown up in very traditional households, the fact that this is a common practice will sound strange, but data backs it. One survey that approached people in the US and Canada found that 1 out of 6 people desire to try out polyamorous relationships (relationships where a person has more than one romantic partner). It also found that 1 out of 9 individuals have, at some point, already engaged in polyamory .
One form of non-monogamy and polyamory is “throuple” or “triad.” In a triad relationship, three individuals are involved. All three chose to build a romantic, emotional, and sexual connection with each other . So if a couple is involvement of 2 individuals, a throuple is an involvement of 3 individuals (of any gender or sexuality). It differs from an open or V relationship, where even though partners have sexual relationships with others, there is a primary couple. In throuple, there is equality and commitment among all the members and mutual consent among all partners involved  .
Challenges of Being in a Throuple Relationship
If you are able to find people who are right for each other and complement each other, then being in a throuple relationship can be extremely fulfilling both emotionally and sexually. That said, being in a throuple relationship can become challenging if not handled well. Some of these challenges include  :
- Judgment and Biases from the Society: To begin with, society, in general, looks down upon technically “non-traditional” relationships like a throuple. This means that people who are in a triad are at a greater risk of facing criticism and prejudice from those around them. In some situations, this can become threatening as well.
- Communication Issues: Communication is key to any relationship, and even in couples, it is tough. When there are multiple partners involved, communication becomes all the more crucial and all the more difficult. Many throuples struggle with communication issues. This is especially true for triads where all partners do not have equally good communication skills or have differing communication needs.
- Jealousy and Insecurity: In a throuple, the chances of jealousy or a sense of personal insecurity in one or more members is quite high. For instance, one partner may become jealous of the bond between the other two. If such situations arise, the triad will be facing a time period disharmony and conflict.
- A Disadvantage for the Third Person: Many times, a throuple starts with a couple, and the third person enters later. In such setups, there is a high chance that the third person feels as if he/she/they are at a disadvantage even after they have been fully integrated into the couple. They may feel left out or as if they have a lesser value because they came in late. If such feelings take root, the chances of conflicts are higher.
- More Time and Effort for Maintaining the Relationship: Even in couples, significant effort goes into maintaining the relationship. In a throuple, there are multiple people, and you become responsible for juggling the needs of both your partners. These needs may even be contradictory. Thus, throuple relationships demand a significant investment of time and effort.
Seven Tips to Navigate a Throuple Relationship
Even though reading the list of challenges makes it feel like it is overwhelming to be in a triad, it is really not. If you are able to have open and honest communication and move from a space of making comfort and consent a priority, then it can work really well. To make this process easier, here are seven tips to improve and maintain a healthy throuple relationship   :
- Accept and Expect Jealousy and Insecurity: If you are expecting that everyone will be secure and there will be no jealousy involved, chances are, you will face a conflict. It is important to make space for such emotions and normalize them. You can start expecting that jealousy, a very human emotion, is bound to get triggered, and it is okay to feel insecure. This permission will allow you all to work together to overcome these feelings or situations that trigger these feelings.
- Plan and Divide Responsibilities Equally: Apart from jealousy, overwhelm, or the feeling that there is unfair labor being done by some people can also arise. One of the greatest strengths of a triad is that more people are involved, and things like household chores, financial obligations, and emotional support can be supported by more people. Try to divide work equally and have some roles defined to avoid burdening one person. If you are all to live together, you will only be able to live peacefully if all of you have an equitable relationship.
- Have a Sleeping and Dating Schedule: The throuple is one unit, but it has sub-units; that is, three couples (or dyads) are present in it. It is important that the group nourishes these dynamics as well. You can do this by establishing a schedule for sleeping, sex, and dating together and within dyads. This will ensure that each partner has dedicated quality time with one another.
- Have Clear Rules and Boundaries: The key to a good throuple relationship is in its clarity of roles, rules, and boundaries. You must have clear and frequent communication about desires, boundaries, and expectations you have with each other. All partners must be comfortable with the setup, and care should be taken to not break the boundaries or rules.
- Have Time for Self and Friends: In any kind of relationship, one should not forget that their life and self is more than the relationship. They are a separate person. Since in a triad, you are readily giving time and space to each other it becomes really important to ensure that each partner has personal space as well. Each one of you need to create time, hobbies, and friends outside the throuple to avoid being consumed by it.
- Build a Support and Community: A robust support system is an important especially when you are going against the norms of society and are at the margins. Try and build a community of like-minded individuals around you. This will make sure that you are protected and taken care of if you face a situation of prejudice or if you feel in general confused by your situation.
- Reevaluate Consent and Relationship Dynamics: Consent and relationship dynamics are fluid and can change with time. It is a good practice to frequently review the rules and boundaries you have set as the relationship grows. This will ensure that the comfort of all partners is explicitly taken into account and things are not assumed by anyone.
Even though the society provides you with a certain ideal, it is important to remember that things like monogamy are not rules. Neither are monogamous relationships ideal for everyone. Some individuals feel happier in a polyamorous relationship like a throuple. But triads come with their unique challenges and to make it work, one needs to learn the skill of open communication and spend time in developing boundaries for their relationship. By following simple tips, people can thrive in throuples and live lives which are fulfilling for them.
If you are a person who is in a triad or is considering entering one but is unable to navigate the challenges, contact the experts at United We Care. United We Care is a mental health platform with a range of experts, including relationship experts and therapists who can help you build a robust throuple relationship. At United We Care, we are committed to providing the best solution for your overall well-being.
- A. C. Moors, A. N. Gesselman, and J. R. Garcia, “Desire, familiarity, and engagement in polyamory: Results from a national sample of single adults in the United States,” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, 2021. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.619640
- T. Vaschel, HAPPY PROBLEMS: PERFORMATIVITY OF CONSENSUAL NONMONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS A thesis, Dec. 2017. Accessed: Jul. 7, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/apexprod/rws_etd/send_file/send?accession=bgsu1510941420190496&disposition=inline
- A. Resnick, “How does a throuple work?,” Verywell Mind, https://www.verywellmind.com/how-does-a-throuple-work-7255144 (accessed Jul. 7, 2023).
- S. Kedia, “What is a throuple relationship? definition, benefits, challenges, and everything else,” ThePleasantRelationship, https://thepleasantrelationship.com/throuple-relationship/ (accessed Jul. 7, 2023).
- N. Williams, “30 throuple relationship rules for successful relationship,” Marriage Advice – Expert Marriage Tips & Advice, https://www.marriage.com/advice/relationship/throuple-relationship-rules/ (accessed Jul. 7, 2023).