My online dating profile recently received a visitor that was frankly like no other. Mark enjoyed reading my profile, and was interested in pursuing a dialogue. It was his opening line that gave me cause to pause…
“I know your profile says that you aren’t interested in seeing married men, but what if it were two men married to each other both looking to expand our marriage with one other incredible man?”
At first I was rather shocked, but considering that Mark was very handsome with a well-written profile that included Douglas, his partner of five years, my curiosity got the best of me. I responded, and the dialogue started.
The thought of being part of a polyamorous relationship never entered my mind as a viable relationship option. Maybe this was the opportunity to check it out and see if throupling was for me.
After multiple conversations with Mark, and then with Douglas, it was decided that meeting for dinner was the next step. We met for dinner, and in the three hours I spent with Mark and Douglas, I learned a lot about them as individuals and as a couple. I also learned a lot about living a polyamorous lifestyle. Of course I still had lots of questions, so I brought up the topic to several friends. To my surprise, one of my friends was actively in a throuple. Needless to say, she helped fill in lots of the blanks.
Dipping my toe in the water led me to these four basic truths about throupling:
1. Polyamorous relationships aren’t all about sex.
Mark summed it up when he said that this is about love. As a duo, he and Douglas have more than enough love to share with the right man. They want a third in their relationship to share every aspect of their daily life, from household chores and dinner as a family to vacations. Just think of the couple dynamic shared by two, but in this case shared by three. Of course, sex is a component, and sometimes it may be just two or all three… there are no limits, no guidelines and no guilt.
[Tweet “Just think of the couple dynamic shared by two, but in this case three.. #throuples”]
2. 24/7 honesty and communication are the mandatory keys to throupling success.
Being open and honest with your partners regarding your needs, and listening and responding to your partner’s needs are crucial to the success of the relationship. If you think about it, this is true for any relationship, be it a duo or a trio. It might be even more important to the success of a throuple because you’re dealing with three opinions, three egos and three responders.
There may be times that two of the partners go out to dinner, and you don’t go with them. Maybe
another time that you go with one while the other sits out. There’s no contest, nor is it necessary to keep score. It may seem that your partners may be off together more without you, but at some point one of the partners may feel the same way about you and the other. You must have faith and trust that the end of the day, it all balances out.
4. Develop a thick skin to potential feedback from friends and family.
Motormouth Maybelle said it best in Hairspray- “Better brace yourselves for a whole lotta ugly comin’ at you from a never-ending parade of stupid.” Many throuples remain in the closet, like my friend. Others like Mark and Douglas plan to be 100% open regarding their relationship. Be it open or discrete, your throuple status isn’t classified as a societal norm. As such, you will encounter people who don’t understand. What do these people do? They laugh (uncomfortably) at you and make insensitive and judgmental statements. Interracial couples faced the brunt in the 50’s and 60’s and same-sex couples faced the brunt in the 70’s and 80’s. Sure, some people today don’t understand nor accept couples that don’t mirror their own relationship, but acceptance has greatly increased of all couples. It’s only a matter of time before throuples receive the same understanding and acceptance.
As for me, I’m grateful to be educated to the concept of polyamorous relationships. Mark and Douglas made a great statement of support of how throupling could work; however I politely declined dating them. Perhaps I’m just too conventional or I’m afraid of public perception. Maybe it goes back to Kindergarten when I would gladly share a toy but not my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For me, some things are just not to be shared, and my partner is one of them. But that’s just me. For others, being in a throuple works for them. And these people deserve nothing less than the respect and acceptance given to all relationships… times three.