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Throuple Relationship: 27 Rules & Secrets to a Happy Romantic Three Way

Most people are in a romantic relationship with only one person. But what is a throuple relationship, what are the rules, and how does it work?

Throuple Relationship

You may have thought that romantic relationships can only consist of two people, but that’s simply the traditional way of looking at things. Not to say that a two-person relationship is wrong. It’s not, but there are also other forms of intimate relationships that you can have, including a throuple relationship.

What is a throuple relationship?

Don’t get this mixed up with a sexual threesome, throuple relationships are completely different. A throuple is an intimate relationship between three people, whereas a typical threesome is a sexual encounter with two other people.

In other words, think of a throuple relationship as any other intimate relationship between two people, just with other person added.

[Read: How to get past the jealousy of sharing love in a poly relationship]

Throuple vs. polygamy

Okay, so a throuple isn’t a threesome, so how is it different than polygamy? 

Well, there are so many different ways to be intimate. You can connect with people platonically, spiritually, and romantically. So, people who are in a throuple think it doesn’t make sense to limit yourself to just one person to be in a relationship with.

The word polyamory means “many loves.” It describes people who are a part of a consensual sexual and romantic relationship with more than one partner.

By this definition then, a throuple is technically a type of polyamorous relationship. But a throuple relationship is only three people, whereas a polyamorous one can be any number of people. For example, there could be one man and five women. Or there could be one woman, and four men. But the throuple sticks to just three people.

While it is a strange concept for a lot of people, those who are in a throuple relationship find it fulfilling, liberating, and fun when it is done with compassion and intention. [Read: Love triangle – why it’s sexy, fun painful, and complicated all at once]

How does a throuple relationship work?

You might be wondering, okay, so how exactly does a relationship work when there are three people in it? Well, there are several ways that a throuple relationship can be organized.

1. A married couple invites a third person into the relationship

This might sound like a strange configuration. After all, why get married if you’re going to invite another person into your relationship? Well, if both spouses agree to it, then there is no problem, right? They both might just need to spice up their lives by falling in love with a new person together. [Read: Unicorn hunting – how to find a third sexual partner and do it right]

2. One person dates two people

This one might be a little tricky to understand. So, envision a “V” formation. One person dates two people, but those people aren’t really involved with each other.

For example, one man has a relationship with two women, but they don’t with each other, even though they’re technically a throuple. 

3. All three people agree on a closed relationship where they commit to only dating each other

Three people who aren’t simultaneously committed to anyone else decide to enter into a three-way committed dating relationship where they are romantically and sexually intimate with only each other.

4. All three people form a committed relationship, but also date, have sex with, and have relationships with people outside the throuple relationship

This one is a bit of a stretch for some people. But it happens. Three people are in a committed relationship, but it’s totally wide open. They can date and have sex with anyone else they want to.

People of all genders and sexual orientations can participate in throuple relationships. Some people might also have just romantic feelings for people in their throuple, but not sexual feelings for them. The reverse can also be true.

Also, despite the fact that most people would associate a throuple with a threesome, it doesn’t always work that way sexually. The rules are always negotiated and agreed upon by all three people involved. [Read: Polyamorous relationship – Could you be happy in one?]

The rules for throuples – The dos and don’ts that can’t be ignored

Three is company. And these rules play a big part in a happy throuple relationship.

1. Communication is essential

You thought communicating with another person was a challenge? Try two other people. If you want a successful throuple relationship, you’re going to need to make sure your communication is top-notch.

You cannot leave any room for interpretation. It’ll take some work, but you’ll find the best way to communicate. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love life]

2. Allow it to grow naturally

Think of this relationship the same way you would of a regular two-person relationship. This means you can’t force the relationship to develop.

You may notice that after some time, you three aren’t a great combination and that’s okay. The more you force it, the less likely it’ll work out.

3. Don’t start a relationship with only one person in the throuple

This isn’t a threesome where you’re with one person and allow another person to join in from time to time for some extra fun. No. You’re in a relationship with two other people!

This may be obvious to you, but when you’re in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget it. Your relationship with one person will affect the other person’s relationship with both of you. [Read: The threesome invite – How to ask someone to join you and your partner in bed]

4. Have clear expectations and needs

You have needs and expectations from the relationship, right? Well, this is the time to talk about them.

Before you even start the relationship, sit down with your partners and talk about what you’re all expecting and needing from the relationship. Then, you’ll be able to see what you can get and give to one another.

5. State the boundaries right away

Boundaries are everything. Though you may have feelings for both of these people and think it’s going to be perfect, talk about the boundaries right away.

What is it that you don’t like, what they don’t like, etc? If you don’t know what they are, this is when problems arise in a throuple relationship. [Read: How to set boundaries in your relationship – 15 rules for healthy love]

6. Be flexible

Not physically, but being physically flexible isn’t a bad thing either. There are three of you in a relationship so you’re going to need to be more flexible with each other.

Some things may not work out or be in your favor, but you can’t always have it your way, especially with three people involved.

7. Talk through problems ASAP

Do not let issues sit and fester. Sure, when it comes to talking about problems it can get uncomfortable but it’s much better than an explosive fight a month down the road.

Not talking about your problems in your throuple relationship will only lead to issues down the road. Even the smallest of problems, you must talk about them.

8. Drop the jealousy

We can’t tell you that you’re not going to have moments of feeling jealous. You are. You’re only human.

Regardless of how open you are, there are going to be moments where you’re feeling jealous. However, you’re going to need to control your jealousy as that can negatively affect your relationship. [Read: Why am I so jealous? The real reasons why we feel it and how to fix it]

9. You don’t always need to be a trio

There will come some times when one of you is busy and can’t make it. But that’s okay, you should be spending one-on-one time with your partners.

You don’t need to always be together as a trio, nor do you always have to have sex altogether. [Read: How to have a threesome with all the right rules]

10. You’re all equal

When it comes to a throuple relationship, you are all equal. If it was a threesome for a night, there’s a chance for someone to receive more attention than the other.

However, as a throuple, you’ll need to create a balance. If you view each other as equal, then you’ll treat each other as equal. [Read: How to manage your expectations in a relationship]

11. Be organized

There are three of you and you all have your own schedules. You may work days while one of your partners works nights. See where it can get challenging?

So, whether you’re seeing each other all at once or going on separate dates from time to time, make sure you have your schedule organized, or else it can become a mess.

12. Have any confessions? 

You’ll need to be honest in your relationship. In addition, you’re also going to need to know when to admit things. You may be feeling jealous, but this is a golden opportunity to talk to your throuple about it. They’re in a relationship with you, so you need to feel comfortable opening up with them.

13. Everyone should win

Everyone should be gaining something from the relationship. If you’re not getting what you want from it, then you need to talk to your throuple relationship partners.

If you’re still not getting what you want, then you may need to find new partners. [Read: The triad relationship and the benefits and complications of being in one]

14. Be open to negotiation

Regardless of how many people are in the relationship, you’re going to need to negotiate and make sacrifices.

No one said you’re going to get everything you want from your throuple. You have two other people that have needs and desires as well.

15. Relax and have fun

Ultimately, you’re going to need to relax and enjoy the experience. Sure, like any relationship you’ll have bad moments. But there is going to be a lot of laughter, intimacy, and, of course, amazing sex. So, just have fun and enjoy every second of this special bond!

Sleeping arrangements of a throuple relationship

Now you’re probably wondering about the sleeping arrangements for throuples. Well, there are a lot of possibilities.

1. Individual bedrooms

This is pretty self-explanatory. Everyone has their own bedroom. This is convenient because there isn’t any guesswork about how to arrange things. But the disadvantage is that you have to find a house big enough for that. [Read: Polyamorous dating – everything you need to know first]

2. Everyone shares the master bedroom

Another arrangement would be that all three of the people sleep in the same room, and even possibly in the same bed. This might make for a little too much togetherness and it might get crowded at night. But, some people like it that way.

3. Master bedroom and another bedroom

In this configuration, there is a place for people to go if they need a night on their own once in a while. It also allows a place for a guest to sleep when they come to visit. Or, if you’re in a “V” configured throuple, it allows the one in the relationship with the other two to go between both bedrooms.

4. Mix and match

Maybe one person in the throuple relationship just prefers to sleep alone, but the other ones like to spoon at night. Well, that person can have their own bedroom but can join the other two whenever they feel like it. [Read: What is polyamory? How it works and is it something worth trying?]

Benefits of a throuple relationship

Being in a throuple isn’t something that mainstream society really thinks about. Most cultures are focused on one-on-one relationships and marriage. So, you wouldn’t think that there would be a lot of benefits to being in a throuple, but for some people, there are.

1. More people to love

People who are in throuple can actually be in love with all involved. And what’s wrong with having more people to love?

As long as everyone isn’t jealous of the other, then it can work quite well. After all, there are no limits to love, and it should be unconditional.

2. More people to have sex with

Some people just get bored having sex with the same person all the time. But, if you like commitment, then a throuple could be a great alternative. You get to have both!

More people to have sex with, but you are all committed to each other. [Read: Endless bliss – The 25 best threesome positions to keep all three partners happy in bed]

3. More companionship

When you are in a normal one-on-one relationship, the only person you have to hang out with on a regular basis is your partner.

But sometimes you can get sick of them and want some different companionship. A throuple gives you more than one option for that.

4. Sexual variety

Depending on how you set up your sex life, a throuple usually allows for more sexual variety.

This isn’t limited to just variety in terms of people to sleep with. But maybe each person has their own things that they like to do in bed, so you can switch off from person to person.

At the end of the day, a throuple relationship works for many people, but it is not for everyone. It takes a certain level of emotional maturity, love, respect for each other, and selflessness, for it to work over the long term.

Is a throuple relationship for you?

It sounds fun, but it can be just as messy as a traditional two-person relationship.

So if you think you’re ready for it, or if you and your partner are falling in love with a friend, why not give it a try? Maybe you’ll find it way more rewarding and fulfilling than a relationship between two people. Or maybe you won’t.

[Read: More about what polyamory is and why people are switching to it]

If you’re looking for something different than a traditional partnership, consider a throuple relationship. But remember to use this guide and follow the rules for a successful and healthy relationship.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...