Benefits of Being the Third

Even in poly circles, we talk a lot about relationships, marriages, and families. But we acknowledge that polyamory doesn’t mean avoiding commitments—it often means having more of them.

There are polyamorous people who prefer to remain independent agents, like my close friend Lucia who identifies as single and has many lovers. She prefers being free and unfettered. Whenever someone tut-tuts about a beautiful woman like her not having a man, she fires back, “I have LOTS of men.”

Lucia prefers dating married men. She does date guys who are unattached, but only if they are able to keep their distance and accept her independence. She does not want to live with a man or another couple. She does not want to share family or finances or a condo with anyone. Her preference above all is to be “the other woman” to a handful of lovers.

Here’s why women like Lucia say this lifestyle is “all benefits, with no drawbacks.”

Benefits of Being the Third in Poly Relationships

Uncomplicated Finances

The only downside to being the third that Lucia can point to is not sharing expenses, but running her home and budget on her own terms makes up for it.

Paying for her own car, mortgage and investments is empowering, and even if she is paying twice as much as people who share financial burdens, she doesn’t have the sticky situations that couples face. She doesn’t answer to anyone for her choices—she likes to spend money on great wines, collecting art, and supporting homeless shelters. Nor does she have to suffer the fallout of breakups and divorces and the divisions of property and painful losses that might occur.

You Get the Best Side of Your Lovers

When you’re the third, or other woman, Lucia says you are never taken for granted like a wife or primary partner. Similar to being in a long-distance relationship, your date is always eager to see you. You don’t get stuck doing laundry or picking up dirty socks on the floor. Her guys never make it to the comfort zone where they belch and laugh about it, scratch their balls, forget to flush the toilet, complain about her cats, or snore.

Simple acts of chivalry—flowers, compliments, door holding—never fade away.

You Avoid Jealousy and Petty Emotions

Even poly couples bicker and act suspicious. Being “allowed” other lovers doesn’t stop couples who are in relationships from constantly questioning each other, from worrying if their partner will feel more for a new lover, from wondering whether they are being lied to or deceived.

Lucia says she never worries about “the other woman” when SHE is the other woman. She lets men worry about their wives and their wives worry about them, and she doesn’t worry at all.

There Is Less Fighting and Arguing

Lucia can’t relate to the rest of us when we talk about the bitter arguments we have. Once I was trying to explain how upset I was over the dishwasher never getting emptied or the dribble in the milk bag always being put back in the fridge. She didn’t get how humans could waste time fighting about them.

As a Third You Enjoy Great Sex

Less is more, Lucia says. She doesn’t have sex every day because she doesn’t see her partners that often. But there is always time to build up anticipation, always time to miss and desire someone. It’s never a hurried or utilitarian affair, and always passionate and romantic and electric. There is often a ritual that includes a slow undressing, lingerie, fine wine, delicious food, intrigue, perfume, and fluffy towels.

Interested in becoming a third to a couple? Check out our Guide to Polyamory Dating Sites.

What are your thoughts on the being a third in polyamory? Please share in the comments!

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