4 Things to Discuss before Living with a Third

Living with a romantic partner is a major decision. For many monogamous couples, it’s a precursor to marriage and is generally considered a big deal.

In poly circles, it’s not only just as big a deal, but a decision that requires a lot of forethought and communication. Here are four questions to consider before taking the leap.

1. What Are the Sleeping Arrangements?

After their heads stop exploding, this is probably the first thing people will ask you when they find out you plan to live together as a thrupple.

There are a few ways to approach things. You could trade off according to a schedule you’ve all agreed upon, you could have a primary sleeping partner that never changes, or you could go with the flow. This last option requires a lot of communication on a daily basis and is not a great alternative to coming up with a plan in the first place. And even if you do make a plan, like many aspects of your poly life, be prepared to revisit it every now and again.

2. Will There Still be Scheduled Date Nights?

Some thrupples choose to maintain their date-night routines, while others prefer to settle into a more casual dynamic. You might start out keeping things business as usual, then decide to change it up when (or if) somebody’s needs shift.

I feel very protective of date night with my partner. I love planning and looking forward to things, so this arrangement works well for me. My metamour, on the other hand, hates date night. She would rather go out when the mood strikes, and doesn’t want to feel tied to a weekly routine. We decided to just go with it; my partner does date night with me, and a more spontaneous mix out outings with my metamour.

3. Who Will Do What around the House?

As with any co-habitation arrangement, it’s a good idea to talk about chores and expectations. If you’re moving in to your partner’s family home, it’s especially important to work out the division of labor, as it can be hard to spontaneously insert yourself into an existing household routine.

When I first started spending a lot of time in my partner and metamour’s home, I offered to help with meal prep. Soon, however, I learned that my metamour loves to cook and that she prefers to have help cleaning up. Before you move in, talk about these things, along with how you’ll handle the experiences. Don’t wait for misunderstandings to arise before having the conversation.

4. What are the Boundaries around Space Sharing?

Are common spaces neutral ground, or can you and your partner cuddle up on the living room couch for a private movie night? Are certain rooms out of bounds, or can everyone go wherever they want, provided they at least knock first? You might have to figure this part out as you go, based on everyone’s comfort in the moment.

I thought I wouldn’t be cool with seeing my partner and metamour cuddled up in front of the TV, but turns out it’s fine. Living together as a thrupple can be a wonderful thing, but it does require a bit of planning.

Do you have a story to tell about bringing a third partner into your home? Share it with us in a comment!

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