Lee Suckling: Throuples: The truth about three-person relationships

NZ Herald 27 June 2018
Family First Comment: And so the groundwork of preparing society for group ‘marriage’ continues! This time in the NZ Herald…
“As I said, three-person relationships, when consensual, are just as legitimate as any other. They are valid, and for some are the preferred way spend certain periods of their lives. So someone comes out to you as a throuple, try and understand that they’re making the right choice for them at that given time.”
No – not ‘valid’, not ‘legitimate’, and not ‘right’. But as we predicted, inevitable.

This week I’m delving into territory that sits on the polyamorous scale: three-person relationships. “Throuples”, or “triads”, as they are commonly known, come in all forms but generally include three people in a consensual, mutually-exclusive relationship.

All parties know everything that’s going on so there’s no lying or cheating. A throuple is more than just three-way sex: there are emotional connections too. Basically, think of dating two people at once, who might also be dating each other, and everybody in the trio knows about it and what they’re in for.

Confusing? Of course. Dating is difficult on its own, and feelings are unpredictable. If throuples can be successful, how do they do it?

I’ve spoken to two sets of friends with throuple experience to get a personal insight into how this all works. The first is a gay couple who’ve had two throuples with another man (lasting two and five years, respectively). The other is a heterosexual-presenting couple who now have another woman in their relationship.

The common agreement amongst them is that a throuple is an unusual lifestyle choice, but that doesn’t take away its legitimacy. People in throuples also tend to dislike the term throuple, or even labelling themselves at all. I found it too confusing to write a column on the subject without the consistent use of a noun, so I do apologise to anyone uncomfortable with the term “throuple” to begin with.
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