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How to Navigate Problems in Your Throuple

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So, sometimes, there’s situations that are untraditional, complicated, have no clear answers, and require a delicate emotional awareness to navigate—no matter what you choose to do or say. And these situations certainly come to life when you’re part of a throuple.

There are so many variables and random things to face when trying to put a threesome together. But what if you have an ongoing relationship with the people you are in a threesome with? Then what? It can get really complicated to know where the boundaries are with both people, especially when you’re not a primary partner.

Knowing that you aren’t a central option can be a struggle for some people, but some are totally cool with being a sexy third wheel of sorts. It’s not about being the person who gets texts every day and goes out on dinner dates once or twice a week. Being the lover who comes in and has sexy times every month or so can be totally wonderful—I know I’m okay with it!

But still, it can be challenging being the third, because you have a relationship to them as a couple, but also to each of them individually. You have to negotiate and communicate boundaries and rules as you go along for subsequent connections. Who are you allowed to call or text? Can you hook up with them individually or only as a couple? Are nonsexual hangouts okay?

If they are both women, what determines your boundaries? If they are both men, how do you negotiate the time and desires of both? If one is a woman and one is a man, do you have a way to balance the sexual and emotional differentials? And if they are trans or non-binary, how do you work out their needs and give them the attention and connection they seek?  These are delicate and complicated issues to spend time working out your answers to. They can’t be avoided or ignored. Not forever, that’s for sure!

What would you do if the couple who you’re with are having relationship problems? What if they’re having problems with each other that you’re not having with either one of them? Have you ever had to watch someone you just made love to have an argument with someone else you just made love to? Do you stay silent or do you choose to speak up and let them know your thoughts? Or do you quietly make an exit?

There are no hard and fast rules, but following your heart and respecting the boundaries you have set out is a good first step. Silence is a smart space to lean into, but there obviously comes a time when you are right to speak up and let them know how you feel. If you are uncomfortable with your sex partners arguing, then say so. If you feel like their issues are affecting your relationship with them, then say so. Know that things might change, but they are changing whether you face it or not.

It’s important that everyone agrees to take responsibility for the reality you share together. Once you admit what’s going on and you all decide what will be done about it, then you can be happy with the shifting, changing, nebulous realities of being with two or three different people at once… EMOTIONALLY.

Sex is one thing, but the aftercare and conversations are a whole other thing. There WILL be differences of opinion and perspective. Buckle up, sweetheart!

Are you part of a throuple? What challenges do you face? Please share in the comments.

You can do it,
Addi Stewart

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