Just the Tips

What to Do when You Fall in Love with Your Third

Steamy Couple in Bed

A threesome that suits all involved is hard to find, but it can happen, and when it does, it’s hard to let go of. Many couples opt to keep their magical third (sometimes referred to as a unicorn) for ongoing group-sex encounters.

And why not? Who wants to go looking online every time they get the threesome itch. If all three are having fun, it’s the perfect arrangement, right? Every intimate connection can run afoul when you least expect it, but one common problem in regular FFM relationships is when one primary partner falls for or in love with the third.

I’ve heard from many men and women about the fallout from such an experience. It’s never pretty, and doesn’t always signal the end, but does require a certain amount of damage control.

What Happens when You Fall in Love with Your Third

Admit what’s happening to yourself.

Often there’s a modicum of denial that happens once you realize you’ve developed actual feelings for this other woman. In polyamory, it’s called New Relationship Energy (NRE) and is recognized as natural even though it can cause ripples of discontent at first. If you feel those butterflies before your third comes over or you find yourself jerking off to her alone, acknowledge there may be something going on that needs attention.

Separate the reality from the fantasy.

Remember the relationship you ARE in, and the kind of commitment you and your partner have for one another. Whether you consider yourself polyamorous or not, it is unlikely that you were looking for love, especially just for you. It’s not preposterous to have feelings for someone you are sexually intimate with, but think back to why you and your partner looked for a third in the first place.

Be honest with your primary partner first.

Whatever you do, don’t have a secret meeting with your third to reveal these new-found feelings. That’s irresponsible, and you’re likely to send your third running. Even if you think she has some hidden feelings for you, it’s just not cool. Find an appropriate time to talk to your girlfriend or wife, and lay it all out. Expect her to be anything but cool (she may be, but she also might be angry, jealous, hurt, and confused.)

Listen to her take and her feelings, and make a decision together.

After you share what you’re feeling, let her talk as long as it takes to get out what she needs to. There’s a chance she’s already aware of what’s going on (depending on how long you’ve been together and the depth of your connection) or she might be blindsided. Once you’ve both had a chance to speak on it, make a plan moving forward, one that you both can agree on.

Sit down with your third together to discuss the future.

Many couples in this situation decide it’s best for all involved to cut ties with their third. If it’s been a regular threesome arrangement for a long time, it’s only fair to give her the respect of sitting down and being honest about your decision. If your partner and you think your feelings are just a passing fancy and don’t want to give up the arrangement, you may want to take a break, or change the frequency of encounters.

Discuss rules and boundaries moving forward.

If you decide to cut ties with your third as a way to preserve your relationship, it’s probably best to either give up the group-sex encounters entirely if that’s what your partner wants, or take a break and think about placing new boundaries in place for future threesome hookups. Maybe one-off threesomes will feel safer, or letting your partner choose the third (someone she feels secure about letting into the bedroom). Maybe it’s time for you to fulfill her fantasy of an MMF threesome.

Think of this experience as a learning opportunity to decide which way to go next. And whichever direction you do choose, choose it together.

Have you gone through this with a partner? Please share your experience!

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