Three Way Relationship: How It Works & Why It Isn’t an Open Invite

Although it may raise eyebrow, a three way relationship can be a healthy and balanced way to commit to those you love. What are you looking for?

Three Way Relationship

There is nothing abnormal, nothing wrong, or odd about a three way relationship or throuple as it is known in the modern day. However, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Me? No, it wouldn’t work because I’m completely jealous and would end up feeling left out. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect solution for someone else.

When you love more than one person

It’s completely possible to be in love with more than one person.

What do you think about that statement?

It’s actually a truth. While you might not imagine having the capacity to love more than one person, for some, being completely in love with two other people is not only normal to them, but natural too.

What about you? Go on, dare to think about it!

[Read: Polyromantic relationships and your guide to understand a confusing label]

What is a three way relationship exactly?

Perhaps the reason why so many people raise their eyebrows about this kind of relationship is because they confuse it completely with an open relationship. The two are not the same.

Let’s explore why and debunk a few myths.

#1 It’s entirely possible to love more than one person. I’ve mentioned this one before. It is proven that you can love more than one person at a time. For someone who is in that situation, being in a throuple, provided the other two feel the same, is the ideal way to satisfy everyone’s love for one another, without the relationship becoming damaged by unfulfilled emotions. [Read: How to get past the jealousy of sharing love in a poly relationship]

#2 It’s not about sex. A three way relationship is completely different to a threesome. Yes, three people who are in this type of relationship are likely to have sex together, at the same time. It’s not primarily what this type of relationship is about. A three way relationship is about love first, and if sex happens to crop up, well, that’s a pleasant side effect!

#3 A three way relationship is simply a regular relationship, with three people involved. There is no difference between this type of relationship and any other, only the number of people involved within it. A three way relationship is a balanced and committed relationship between those three people, just as a relationship with two people. [Read: Can you be in love with two people at the same time?]

#4 An open relationship is the freedom to sleep with others, a three way relationship isn’t. Many people confuse the two here, but a three way relationship isn’t casual or open. The three people in the relationship are committed to one another. They sleep together within that circle of three.

Of course, that can be all three together or just two, but nobody else is involved. However, an open relationship gives the people in that relationship the freedom to sleep with other people. The difference is clear, but often misunderstood.

#5 There are no set rules on how it starts. A three way relationship may come about because a married couple decide to bring another person into the fold. It could be three single people who form the relationship, or it might be a dating couple who somehow end up a three. There are no rules in terms of how a three way relationships starts, but it is committed no matter what.

[Read: Could you actually be happy in a polyamorous relationship?]

Is a three way relationship for everyone?

Hell, no! Some people would become the worst version of themselves in this type of relationship. Consider yourself carefully before you become one third of a throuple.

Have you heard the saying “two’s company, three’s a crowd?” Well, there is some truth in it. In a circle of three, it’s easy for two people to focus on each other and the third becomes left out. It’s also possible that one member has stronger feelings towards another member than the third, leading them to focus on that person more. Therefore, neglecting the third person who they’re supposed to be in a relationship with too. [Read: Dating a married couple – What you need to know BEFORE dating them]

It can be a battleground when the situation isn’t right. However, when it is the right route for those three people concerned, a three way relationship can be the perfect blend to spend time and be committed to the two people you care about most in the world.

There is no reason to judge anyone who wants to be in a throuple. As long as they’re doing it for the right reasons and there is equal love between all members, there is no harm to be done. However, that doesn’t mean that people don’t judge or raise eyebrows. Perhaps that prejudice is the hardest thing for people in this type of relationship to deal with. Bottom line is this, if it works for you, it works for you. It’s all you should be concerned with.

However, if you want your relationship with two of the most important people in your life to work, ensure that communication is a huge priority amongst all three of you. It’s vital that you talk about anything that is bothering you, speak up when you don’t like something or don’t agree with something, or when you feel like your needs are being neglected. Allowing issues to stew in this type of relationship can be dangerous. It can lead towards a split that none of you want.

[Read: Lack of communication in relationships and how to fix the issue]

Only enter into a three way relationship if you’re 100% sure that it’s what you want and that you’re not simply allowing it because it’s what your partner wants. It’s been known for a couple to experience problems, only for one partner to mention that they want to convert the relationship into a three way form. The other partner agrees to it because they’re so terrified of losing the person they love.

The only problem is, they then share them with someone else. This is not the right foundation for a relationship of this type. A three way relationship should only form when three people all have the same love and care for one another and want to spend their time together as part of a throuple. You should never do this for someone else. You’ll end up heartbroken when you see them spending time with the third person in the triangle. [Read: The benefits and complications of a three way love]

The same advice goes for a couple who convert their union into an open relationship. It can be extremely hard to watch the person you love with someone else, even if they’re still committed to you. This can be enough to rot the relationship from the inside out. Going into any type of change to your “regular” relationship status needs to be done for the only reason that is permissible. Because you want it too.

For a three way relationship to work, and many of them do work, there must be open and constant communication, love and trust between all three members, with fair attention throughout. Without those elements, a three way relationship will easily fade away. In many cases, it could be extremely hurtful for at least one member.

[Read: Throuple rules you need to follow for a happy three way romance]

A three way relationship is one of those things in life which many people judge unnecessarily. However, is it anyone else’s business? No!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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