Navigating a Triad Relationship

Cuddles

New member
Hi! I am new to the forum and have been looking for a place that would have people available to help me more on this subject.

Back story, I used to be in a triad with an ex girlfriend and her husband a LONG time ago. It was very sexual and it just flowed smoothly since I had been dating her on and off for years before she met him and they got married. Awkwardly enough, I was the first person he had sex with after their wedding since she wasn't in the mood. We were all very close and never really talked about boundaries or a certain dynamic, we just spent a lot of time together and had sex whenever we wanted. The dream really, I guess haha.

Anyway, fast forward to today. I have only ever been invited into couples bedrooms for the occasional threesome so they can experiment but nothing ever permanent. I decided I was going to actively seek a couple who was interested in dating me instead of just a drive by. Well, I started using OKCupid since I had read that it was a very inclusive app that allowed for that kind of stuff. I found an old friend on there who is in an open marriage and they had both expressed interest in dating me separately at different points but I had turned them down. Well, we got to talking and I mentioned that I was interested in being in a triad again, because I missed the dynamic of the relationship and how utterly amazing it was to have two loving partners who enjoyed sharing me. In the end we all started talking and decided we would give it a try, they both knew me well and knew they had a sexual attraction to me. They have never been in a triad before but have always wanted to. They have expressed that they would be willing to have an emotional connection along with a sexual one, but don't want to rush it. Which is great, because that's what I'm looking for. Sex is always just a plus to these kinds of things.

My question is, for those of you that are in long term triads, how do you do it? I know I said my last triad just flowed and worked without having to try, but I'm just in my own head and don't want to ruin a good thing. What boundaries do you or have you set? What's worked for you? As a secondary, what is my roll in this relationship? How should we plan to continue forth as a triad? Any war stories?
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
You know, the truth is, there have been several long periods when I've dated someone who is also dating someone else that I date. But we never referred to ourselves as a triad.

We might have lived together but because it was more about logistics and practicality. We might have had group sex but that was because we were all into it.

I think being open rather than closed also detracted us from thinking of ourselves as a triad. We used the word to describe a closed configuration of three partners.

Because each relationship between 2 people was its own entity, boundaries developed naturally as they would between any two people dating. We didn't do anything special because of they were a metamour.

By going in with a plan to create a triad, I think you risk losing a lot of what made it work for us which was the space for each relationship to exist on its own and find it's own natural spot in your life.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Generally, triads are most successful (other than a casual short-term sex thing) if you start dating someone, one individual, first, and then, eventually, something starts to happen with their partner, or with a third unrelated person.

This seems to be how it happened with your first triad.

If you go in trying to make it work on purpose with a couple, unless they are very experienced with navigating things, you can run into trouble. You might start out OK, but then one of you decides they really aren't all into one of the other people. You might like Partner A more than Partner B, and you break up with B, and then B gets envious and starts giving A a hard time...

There are 4 relationships in a triad.

You+A
You+B
A+B
You+A+B

Every one of those relationships needs to be in balance. Even if the sex/romance cools off between one of the dyads, will they remain friends? Will they drift apart? Will everyone be OK with the changing dynamic?

I was in a semi-triad for a bit with my nesting partner and my bf. It was more of an occasional FWB thing for him and her, less time spent together. It worked for a while, but then seemed to feel weird for her and me. I got the feeling he was losing interest in me personally, and just got off on feeling like a stud with 2 females to fuck. Like we were less than human to him and more just conquests or something to feed his ego. But there were other issues... He turned out to be a soulless narcissist who just played the role of being a "good boyfriend" for a while, until he tired of both of us and looked for fresh victims.

After him, my gf and I decided not to date or have sex with the same person ever again. I had 3way sex a handful of times with 2 other groups (a MF couple; and another long term bf of mine with a new bf of mine) but nothing much ever came of those.

It takes a lot of trust, skill, emotional maturity, chemistry, etc., to make triads work. That's why good ones are actually very rare.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Cuddles,

There is some good information about being/becoming a secondary partner ... https://www.morethantwo.com/polyforsecondaries.html ... check it out. In general, my advice to you is to develop a healthy habit of communication with your two partners. Once a week or once a month, sit down with them and discuss everyone's wants, assumptions, expectations, and needs. Nurture all four relationships within the triad: you + him, you + her, him + her, and all three of you together. Be careful to not get into a situation where, because you are "the secondary partner," you become a second-class citizen to them. For instance if they get to have one-on-one sex with each other, then you, too, should be allowed to have one-on-one sex with each of them. Try for a situation in which you are "secondary" in name only (if even that). An ideal triad would be one in which all three people are on the same level playing field.

Those would be my initial suggestions. If you want, you can keep posting on this thread, whenever you run into a snag, or just to update us on your situation in general, and as you do, we will be able to think of additional suggestions for you, ideas on how to make your particular triad run smoothly. You see, everyone is different, and as such, what works for one triad may not be what works for another triad. So, to a certain extent, you will be learning by trial and error, and we will be learning along with you. I just give you some initial suggestions to get you started; the lion's share of the wisdom you will gather, will be gathered by interacting with your two partners, and learning what works for them as well as what works for you working with them. True, they are "the married couple," but really this is a relationship for all three of you. It's not just them anymore.

Good luck, and good love,
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
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