Lots of people are curious about throuples. As a poly person, I’ve been asked many times if my relationship might be considered one. It’s not, but that doesn’t stop people from questioning me about what a throuple is, and how it works.
“Is it like a threesome that just never ends? Or a love triangle where no one can make up their mind?”
There seems to be an underlying assumption that throuples are fraught with drama and sexual tension, when really, they are a lot like any other kind of intimate relationship.
Here are some answers to a few commonly asked questions about throuples.
Is a throuple the same as a triad?
Although both terms refer to a polyamorous grouping of three, they are not interchangeable.
A triad consists of three people in two distinct relationships: One person is involved with two people, but those two people aren’t romantically or sexually connected to one another.
In a throuple, the circle closes, and all three partners are intimately tied.
Do throuples always live together?
Nope. Some do choose to co-habitate, but many live separately or in varying combinations.
Two members of the throuple might shack up together, while the third has their own place and visits on occasion. Or perhaps all three live on their own, but take turns hosting one another.
It really just depends on what everyone wants and needs.
Do all thouples start with an existing couple seeking a third?
While this is probably the most common way that throuples come to be, it’s not the only option.
Some poly people independently seek to form one because they want the deep connection and intimacy that comes of it. Some throuples are all about sex and the desire to spice up things between the sheets, while some are just about love and emotional closeness.
Does someone in the throuple have to be bi?
This is a common misconception, probably because lots of people think of throuples as consisting of a man and a woman, plus one.
Like any type of intimate relationship, they come in all combinations of gender and sexual orientation. They can even be part of a larger polycule!
Things can get pretty complex, but that’s all part of what makes the poly lifestyle so interesting.
What happens when there’s conflict?
As in any committed relationship, fights happen. Sometimes things get resolved, sometimes they don’t. Jealousies arise, but they are dealt with, just as they are in other types of poly dynamics.
Conflict doesn’t necessarily mean that a throuple was doomed from the start. In fact, sometimes it’s helpful to have a third person available to moderate tough discussions, and offer emotional support. This is just one advantage of throupledom.
Seeking your own throuple? Take a look at our article about polyamory dating sites.
Already part of a throuple? Share your story in the comments!