1. A throuple isn’t the same as an open relationship

1. A throuple isn’t the same as an open relationship

The concept of non-monogamy has been around for ages. But lately, there’s been a rise in the use of the word throuple to describe a certain kind of committed relationship structure that calls for more than two people.

As you may have guessed, a throuple is a romantic relationship between three people. Not to be mistaken for an open relationship (where people in a relationship have sex with people who are not their partner) or a threesome (sex between three people), a throuple is a balanced, consensual, and committed relationship. And while the term might be new to you, Ann Rosen Spector, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Philadelphia, insists there’s nothing new or unusual about the concept.

Just a heads up: A throuple is usually referred to as a triad within the non-monogamy community, says Anna Dow, LMFT at Vast Love, a relationship counseling center for those kostet match.com geld who are non-monogamous. These relationships are intentional partnerships of three people, Dow explains.

Pop culture depicts them as primarily female-female-male threesomes in an imbalanced way that often fetishizes the relationship structure, she continues. In reality, however, throuples are just typical relationships comprised of people of any genders. Like all relationships, each one has its own set of benefits and challenges.

Thanks to the recent increase in visibility of the entire sexual spectrum, throuples are gaining more recognition but there’s still some work to do. Ahead, discover everything you need to know about throuples, whether you just want a better understanding of the nontraditional relationship or are considering starting one yourself.

  • A balanced, consensual, and committed relationship between three partners
  • An opportunity to be in a relationship and have sex with people who are not their partner
  • A threesome, or merely sex between three people

Thanks to the recent increase in visibility of the entire sexual spectrum (hooray!), the throuple (“three” + “couple”) is gaining more and more recognition, as are other forms of polyamory, the umbrella term for relationships involving more than two people.

2. A throuple doesn’t have any formula, aside from involving three people.

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Throuples can be made up of people of any gender identity and any sexual orientation who choose to be together, Spector says. (Love is love, right?)

That said, Spector says that most of the throuples she’s seen involve a married couple or long-term twosome who choose to add a third person-typically a man and woman who then bring in another woman. Some consider themselves straight; others call themselves bisexual.

She also sees throuples made up of people who don’t conform to any gender, folks who consider themselves pansexual, and those who identify as homosexual. But labels aren’t important, she notes. (Cosign.)

3. A throuple has legit advantages.

Sometimes a throuple begins as a purely sexual pursuit, to spice up a twosome, and then evolves into its own relationship with mutual feelings among the three parties.

But other times-and often times-people in a relationship who love each other but don’t want to be monogamous choose to add a third person to round out their bond.

Which has definite benefits, Spector says: When you have a third person involved, chances are you’ll expose yourself and your original partner to qualities that both of you may want but can’t offer each other.

A third partner can also serve as a buffer or mediator when scuffles come up between the other two, Spector adds.

All that could make for a much more satisfying relationship. Because just like couples, throuples love each other, elevate each other, argue, have sex, live together, and-yep-may even have children.

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