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Triad Relationship: Benefits & Complications of a Three Way Love

What exactly is a triad relationship? Can they work or is it simply a ton of work with little reward? These 12 truths help you know if it’s right for you.

Triad Relationship

Is a triad relationship the same as a long-term threesome? Or is it simply another case of good old polygamy? Despite what we’re about to find out, adding another party in a normal couple relationship is not going to be easy. If you think one partner gets complicated, imagine three different individuals each with their own personality and preferences all in a single relationship. It makes you wonder how these kinds of relationships manage to last long.

And they do last long, if all parties involved have the proper understanding of the nature of a triad relationship. Because triad relationships are doubly complicated, but it sure has a lot of physical and emotional benefits for all those involved. [Read: Why people are switching to polyamory]

What are triad relationships?

A triad relationship is a kind of physical and emotional relationship that involves three individuals. It is not considered cheating as all parties are aware that each of their partners is in a relationship with them. Triads cannot be compared to threesomes as they are purely associated with sex.

This kind of relationship falls in the realm of polyamory, which is having a consensual romantic, physical, and emotional relationship with multiple people. A triad relationship is the basic form of polyamory.

Facts about triad relationships

#1 It’s not just about sex. Triad relationships don’t happen because a couple looks for a third wheel for threesome sex. Even though triads are unconventional, it is still a proper relationship. Triad relationships are composed of three people who are mutually attracted to each person in the relationship. [Read: Could you be happy in a polyamorous relationship?]

#2 Triad relationships require no sexual preference. Triad relationships can be straight, bisexual, or homosexual in nature. So from all three you can get MMF, FFM, MMM, or FFF triad relationships. [Read: Everything you need to know about polyamorous dating]

#3 Triad relationships are a three-way relationship. Most imagine a triad is simply a couple joined by a third wheel. However, this is not the case. There are no third wheels in a triad! Each party in the relationship is mutually attracted to the other two, and they reciprocate the relationship likewise.

#4 Triad relationships require some ground rules. Given the complex nature of triad relationships, it requires several established rules to make it work. The most basic and self-explanatory is to honor and respect the agreed rules so that all parties are comfortable and satisfied inside the relationship.

Some feel these rules are restrictive, but people in a triad relationship believe established rules allow them to manage different aspects of the relationship such as time, sex, finances, and their other activities.

#5 Open communication is a must. Most articles written about how healthy relationships work emphasize the importance of open communication. A triad relationship is no exception. In fact, it requires all parties to maintain open communication with their partners.

Given its complicated nature, conflict and dissatisfaction is always a possibility. One way to resolve any issues is to communicate it with their partners. [Read: How to fix the issues of communication in a relationship]

#6 Triad relationships should be inclusive to all partners. People in a triad relationship confess there are times a partner feels left out. After all, humans can only pay attention to one, and you cannot fully divide your attention equally between two people.

For this reason, all partners in a triad relationship always check with the amount of attention each partner gives the others to make sure the relationship is inclusive to all involved. All decisions should be communicated and consented by all those involved in the relationship.

#7 Do all triads cohabitate? Not everyone. Depending on the nature of the triad relationship they are in, as well as their personal circumstances, people in a triad relationship choose to cohabitate or live separately with their two partners.

Benefits of a triad relationship

#8 Sex will never be boring. As you may imagine, the prospect of better and more exciting sex is possible in a triad relationship. Threesomes are sure to happen, while everyone equally has the chance of sleeping with more than one person. [Read: The 10 best threesome positions for all partners]

#9 Stronger emotional support group. Another benefit of a triad relationship is the presence of a stronger support group in the event of problems or difficulties. Having two people who love and care for you sure does make an individual feel more secure and optimistic in dealing with such difficulties.

Difficulties in triad relationships

#10 Jealousy is a constant problem. Odd numbers in a relationship generates jealousy. Managing this jealousy can sometimes be difficult in a triad relationship. It can’t be avoided if one partner feels the other goes out or sleeps with the other partner more than them. That’s why, as previously mentioned, open communication and inclusiveness should be practiced in a triad relationship.

#11 Taking sides and favoritism. Conflict is unavoidable even in normal couples. Having conflict in a triad relationship sometimes calls for the odd one out to take sides. However, taking sides is discouraged in a triad relationship as it is seen as favoritism and incites further conflict and resentment.

As much as possible, conflict must be resolved as a triad and one partner might serve as a mediator to resolve the conflict. [Read: The 15 best ways to cut the drama and resolve conflict]

#12 Raising a family. The ultimate difficulty in a triad relationship is when one or all partners decide to settle down and raise a family. There’s also the legal problem of parentage of children as current laws do not define the legal guardianship of children within a triad relationship.td

Heterosexual parents on the other hand hold biological basis as parents but adopted children of homosexual triads pose a serious problem. In any case, starting a family and raising kids is an issue that the partners should discuss carefully amongst themselves before committing.

[Read: A guide to simplify the label of polyromantic]

Triad relationships are a lot of hard work. Time, attention, sex, and commitment should be distributed equally in order for the relationship to remain healthy. But despite the difficulties, triad relationships have their own rewards. After all, the more, the merrier.

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Paul Timothy Mangay
Paul aka Morty is a keyboard-pounding cubicle-dweller based in Manila where he occasionally moonlights as a writer for anyone in need of his mediocre word-strin...
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