I’m In A Throuple — Here’s How I Balance A Relationship With 2 Partners

I’ve been in plenty of monogamous relationships throughout my life, starting from when I was a teenager. I was always faithful and never cheated, but I also never really felt fulfilled. I realized early on that you can never count on one person to meet all your needs, whatever they may be, and that I’d be much happier having more than one partner. These days, I’m in a throuple with my boyfriend and my girlfriend and to be honest, I’ve never been happier. Many people ask me how I manage to maintain two distinct but intertwined relationships but to be honest, it’s not that hard.

  1. We’re all equals in the relationship. In a throuple, there can’t be any imbalances or things will go very wrong very quickly. None of us has a stronger connection with one person than any other. All three of us are extremely close and have an equal amount of love for both of our other partners. We also don’t prioritize one coupling over any other. Everything is on even keel, and that’s what makes my throuple work.
  2. We spend time together and in pairs. Sometimes I spend a romantic night at home with my girlfriend while our boyfriend is out with his friends. Other times, my boyfriend will take me out for dinner while our girlfriend goes to her book club meeting or whatever. Separate dates are part of every throuple relationship, but so is hanging out all together. In fact, I’d say most of our time happens as a threesome rather than one-on-ones within the relationship. It keeps our connection strong.
  3. We’re all hyper-communicators, which keeps jealousy and misunderstandings at bay. If one person in a throuple is upset or anxious about something, they talk to the other two and air their grievances so that they can be addressed and fixed and harmony can be restored. We don’t bottle things up, act passive-aggressive, or harbor resentment because if we did, that would be the end of the relationship.
  4. We rely on one another for different things. Most people who are in a throuple choose that arrangement because they recognize that both of their partners give them very different but equally important things. My girlfriend, for instance, offers me a very particular type of emotional depth and an intense sexual experience that I don’t share with my boyfriend. However, my boyfriend offers me chivalry, romance, and is my biggest cheerleader when it comes to my ambitions and goals in life. There’s emotional depth there too, just a completely different kind.
  5. I regularly check in with myself and assess my feelings. It does take a lot of mental and emotional energy to be in a throuple, and that means you have to have a high emotional IQ in order to make it work. I’m always checking in with myself to see how I’m feeling. Am I noticing any sort of weird feelings creeping in? Do I feel like I’m struggling to balance both connections? Are we all in a good place? If the answer is ever no, I know I can talk to my partners about it. And if I ever do become unhappy in the situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to pull myself out of it.
  6. I respect my partners’ time together away from me. This is a biggie and admittedly, it’s one of the things I did struggle with most when I first got into a throuple. I love spending time with my partners both together and separately, but I struggled when they’d go out without me, worrying I was missing out on something or that it meant they liked each other more than me (even though I knew the same wasn’t true in reverse). This was likely down to my desire to be the center of attention all the time (lol), something I’ve worked on a lot with my therapist. These days, I know how important it is to respect my boyfriend and girlfriend’s relationship together just as much as they do with each of ours.
  7. I don’t allow outside judgment into our relationship. When you’re in a throuple, you’re always going to run into someone who doesn’t approve or who thinks it’s weird or inappropriate. It’s 2022, but this is still somewhat of a taboo arrangement and some people just can’t get their heads around it. My partners and I have made a conscious decision not to let that stuff bother us. We don’t discuss any negative feedback, nor do we let it get to us at all. We’re happy with our arrangement, and that’s all that matters.
  8. I keep having fun. The best part of being in a throuple is getting to hang out with two amazing people every day. We live together, sleep together, cook and eat together, and have an amazing life. It’s a lot of fun, to be honest, and really fulfilling too. I can’t imagine going back to conventional monogamy ever again if I’m being honest.
Sinead Cafferty is a writer who has authored four collections of poetry: "Dust Settling" (2012); "The Space Between" (2014); "Under, Under, Over" (2016); and "What You Can't Have" (2020). She's currently working on her first novel, a dystopian romance set in the 22nd Century, that's due out in 2024.

Sinead has an MFA in creative writing from NYU and has had residencies with the Vermont Studio Center and the National Center for Writing.