Relationship

What is a throuple relationship?

If you're thinking about embarking on a three-way relationship, it's important to understand what you're getting into first. This type of relationship can be rewarding, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. So if you're curious about what goes into a three-way relationship, or if you've been thinking about exploring one yourself, here's everything you need to know.

Dating Expert Janet Smith October 3, 2022 • 9 minutes read
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When it comes to three-way relationships, there seem to be a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around. With this blog post, we’re going to set the record straight and explain what a three-way relationship actually is.

Understanding relationships is the key to having successful ones. Read our in-depth guide to learn all about the different types of relationships, attachment styles, and how you can make them work for you.

What is a three-way/throuple relationship?

A three-way relationship is a committed relationship between three people. This type of relationship is also known as a triad or throuple. Three-way relationships are usually formed when two people enter into a romantic relationship and then a third person joins the relationship later on. All partners are equally committed to each other and share the same level of intimacy.

A throuple belongs to a polyamorous relationship structure in which all partners are openly and honestly involved with each other. This means that everyone knows about and agrees to all relationships within the throuple. Polyamory is a non-monogamous way of living in which people have multiple romantic relationships at the same time.

Polyamorous people can have just as stable relationships as traditional monogamous couples. If you’re interested in the benefits and challenges of a monogamous relationship, check out this article: What is a monogamous relationship?

Types of three-way relationships

What all types have in common is that it is a consensual relationship between three adults who all agree to be in the relationship. There are a few different types of three-way relationships:

1. V relationship

This type of relationship is named after the shape of the letter V. One person is considered the “hinge” or “pivot” point between the two other people. The hinge person is not in a relationship with either of the other people but instead acts as a connector between them. This type of relationship can be difficult to maintain because it often requires a lot of compromise from all partners.

2. Open throuple relationship

An open threesome relationship is one where all three partners are free to date and sleep with other people outside of the threesome. This type of relationship can be very rewarding, but it can also be difficult to manage because of the need for constant communication and trust.

4. Closed throuple relationship

A closed threesome relationship is one where all three partners are committed to each other. Opposed to a monogamous relationship where you are only sexually and emotionally attracted to one person, a throuple relationship allows for sexual and emotional attraction to multiple (3) partners.

Three-way relationship vs. open relationship

An open relationship is a two-person relationship with a primary partner, where both individuals are free to have other sexual and/or romantic encounters with others without it being considered cheating. A three-way relationship, on the other hand, is a three-person relationship where all three people are romantically and/or sexually involved with each other.

While open relationships can work well for some couples (and throuples), they are not for everyone. If you want to learn more about open relationships, check out this article: What is an open relationship?

5 Benefits of having a three-way relationship

Have you ever considered a three-way relationship? While they’re not for everyone, there can be some real benefits to having three people in your life who love and support each other. Here are a few of the advantages that come with being in a throuple.

1. You’re (almost) never alone.

When you’re in a three-way relationship, you always have someone to lean on. Whether you’re going through a tough time or just need a shoulder to cry on, your partner(s) will always be there for you.

2. Increased emotional support

In a traditional two-person relationship, it can be easy to feel like you’re carrying the entire burden of the relationship on your shoulders. But in a three-way relationship, you have two other people who are ready and willing to help with whatever you need. Whether you’re feeling stressed about work or home life, your partners can offer emotional support that can really make a difference.

3. Improved communication

In any relationship, communication is key. But in a three-way relationship, it’s even more important. With three people involved, there are more opportunities for miscommunication and misunderstandings. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that everyone is on the same page about what’s going on in the relationship. By communicating openly and frequently, you can avoid any potential problems.

4. Greater sense of freedom and self-expression

In a three-way relationship, you’re free to be yourself. You don’t have to worry about hiding your quirks or your fantasies from your partners. They already know and accept everything about you. This can be really liberating and empowering, especially if you’ve been in traditional relationships where you felt like you had to censor yourself.

5. Added excitement and adventure

Adding a third person to your relationship can inject a bit of excitement and adventure into your life. It’s a great way to spice things up and keep things interesting. Whether you’re exploring new sexual fantasies or just trying out new activities, a three-way relationship can be a lot of fun.

5 Challenges of having a three-way relationship

Three-way relationships can be incredibly rewarding and exciting, but they also come with their own unique set of challenges. If you’re able to manage these challenges, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of this type of relationship. Here are 5 challenges of having a three-way relationship:

1. Jealousy

Jealousy is inevitable in any relationship, but it can be amplified in a three-way relationship. You may find yourself feeling jealous of the time your partner spends with the other person or of the attention they are giving them.

2. Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a three-way relationship. There are more potential pitfalls when communication is not clear. Miscommunication can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

3. Boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a three-way relationship. You need to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the level of physical and emotional intimacy.

4. Trust

Trust is essential in any relationship, but it can be even more challenging in a three-way relationship. There are more people involved, so there are more potential opportunities for things to go wrong. You need to trust your partners completely in order to make the relationship work.

5. Time Management

You need to be able to manage your time effectively in order to make sure that everyone gets the attention they deserve. It can be challenging to find time for everyone, but it’s important to make sure that everyone feels like they are a priority.

Tips for making a three-way relationship work

It’s not always easy having a three-way relationship. There can be a lot of challenges that come with it, like balancing time between all parties, agreeing on rules and expectations, and making sure everyone is happy. But if you can navigate these challenges successfully, then your three-way relationship can be incredibly rewarding. So if you’re thinking of giving it a try, here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Talk about your expectations

The first step to making a three-way relationship work is to talk about your expectations. What do you want from the relationship? What are your boundaries? What kind of physical and emotional intimacy are you comfortable with? It’s important to be clear and honest with each other so that there are no misunderstandings.

2. Set some ground rules

It’s also important to set some ground rules. What are the rules around communication? What is everyone’s role in the relationship? What are the expectations for time commitment? Having these things spelled out can help to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.

3. Be prepared for jealousy

Jealousy is inevitable, so it’s important to be prepared for it. There will be times when you feel jealous of the time your partner spends with the other person or of the attention they are giving them. It’s important to remember that jealousy is normal and that you can manage it by communicating with your partner and trusting them.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a three-way relationship. Make sure that you are clear about your expectations, boundaries, and needs. Miscommunication can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings, so it’s important to be as clear as possible.

5. Have fun!

The best relationships are the ones that are enjoyable and fulfilling. So make sure to have fun and enjoy your time together. Laugh, joke around, and just enjoy each other’s company. A three-way relationship can be a lot of fun if you make it that way.

FAQ about three-way relationships

1. What is a three-way relationship, exactly?

A three-way or throuple relationship is a consensual relationship between three people. All three people are equally involved with each other and share intimate, emotional, and physical intimacy.

2. How do people get into three-way relationships in the first place?

There is no one answer to this question. Some people may be interested in exploring a three-way relationship after being involved in monogamous relationships for a while. Others may be intrigued by the idea of having multiple partners simultaneously.

3. Can a throuple relationship last?

Absolutely! Just like any other type of relationship, a three-way relationship requires communication, trust, and commitment from all parties involved. With that said, throuple relationships can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

4. What are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering entering into a three-way relationship yourself?

Firstly, you should ask yourself if you really want to be in a relationship with two other people. It’s important to be honest with yourself and your potential partners about what you’re looking for and what you’re comfortable with.

It’s also important to discuss your expectations with your partners. What kind of dynamic do you want to create within the throuple? Will everyone be equal partners, or will there be a hierarchy?


Though a throuple relationship is not for everyone, it can be an exciting and fulfilling way to live. If you are considering entering into a throuple relationship, make sure that everyone involved is on the same page about what they want and need from the arrangement. And most importantly, have fun!


More than two: The best books to help you navigate poly relationships

Polyamory is a big umbrella that encompasses a lot of relationship styles and structures. If you’re curious about polyamory or are currently exploring poly relationships, here is a comprehensive list of some of the best books on polyamory, covering everything from building healthy poly relationships to communicating effectively and jealousy management.

  1. Beyond Monogamy: Polyamory and the Future of Polyqueer Sexualities
  2. The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love
  3. A Few is the New Two: Real Stories of Non-Monogamous Relationships
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Dating Expert

Janet Smith

Janet Smith is a freelance writer who writes about psychology, relationships, and dating. She has always been interested in understanding the human brain and how it affects our …

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