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  #1  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:56 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default Typical steps in three-person relationships

Hi all,

I have a question for those who have successfully formed three-person relationships in which all three people are intimately (perhaps sexually) connected to each other - with three functioning couples as well as some sort of a triad thing going on.

I've read through a LOT of the past entries on these topics, but honestly feel I've missed stuff - either good threads or really meaningful responses that people might have written as part of larger conversations. Pointers to those would be great. What's on my mind, right now, is a question about how those (for sake of using a single word) triads came to be, what steps happened to get you to where you are right now.

For example, it's obviously rare to have a three-person first date lead to love at first sight; let's assume a couple started out and a third person joined in somehow. How did that happen and how did the "new" person joining lead to a new balance of interactions? (I'm purposefully trying to avoid "couple-centric" language, because I'm asking about how that original couple stopped being JUST that couple...)

I can imagine there are some triads that are monogamous to the triad (i.e., closed, poly-fi). How do three people negotiate that moment? In a binary couple, someone might propose to someone else, or you have The Talk about exclusivity, or whatever it might be. How does a triad do that?

I ask these questions as I am thinking about the ever-tightening connections between WI, AM, and me. So far, so good, but it's nice to gain stories that others have experienced. I'm not sure we'll end up "monogamous" to the triad, but we're kind of headed there (with EL still a part of my life, long distance). Stories, advice, and insights would be great. Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:03 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by pulliman View Post
What's on my mind, right now, is a question about how those (for sake of using a single word) triads came to be, what steps happened to get you to where you are right now.
From what I've read: Chance and sheer dumb luck. Not looking for it, but having it just sorta happen when you're busy minding the tulips.

The best things in life always happen when you're looking the other way. The trick is to have your eyes wide open and be willing to take opportunities where they happen, and not be attached to specific outcomes.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:20 AM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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All the 3 person relationships I've seen was where one member of the couple was already seeing third person separately then it kind of naturally progressed from there. I know.lots of couples looking for.a 3rd but not finding one.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:12 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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From what I've read: Chance and sheer dumb luck. Not looking for it, but having it just sorta happen when you're busy minding the tulips.
Laughing - we got THAT. Chance, sheer dumb luck, totally improbably events: two of three people totally going against their life-long principles, and the one poly member of the crew minding his own business while the other two just up and took off..

What I'm asking about is some of the nuts and bolts of what happened next, from others who have been down this path...

Thanks for replying! (also thanks to inyourendo, where the same answer sort of applies...)
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Old 11-15-2013, 10:45 AM
Eponine Eponine is offline
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I'm not sure if you'll be interested in my answer, since the triad I'm in is very atypical (see my signature). But anyway, it's very easy for us. We all met on the same forum. A and I met first and started a romantic friendship. Then L appeared, all three of us talked on the forum a lot, and I started to talk to L in private. Very naturally, we all came to think the three of us could make a wonderful triad. It was pretty much like two friends both befriending a third person, and our triad is essentially based on deep friendship indeed. The strong friendship component enabled us to connect as three equal individuals with none of the typical unicorn hunting drama.

Seeing that I'm married to someone not in our triad, exclusivity is clearly out of the question for us. Even if I wasn't married, none of us wants an exclusive triad anyway, because (at least for me) that's no better than monogamy between two people.
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Last edited by Eponine; 11-15-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:49 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulliman View Post
Laughing - we got THAT. Chance, sheer dumb luck, totally improbably events: two of three people totally going against their life-long principles, and the one poly member of the crew minding his own business while the other two just up and took off..

What I'm asking about is some of the nuts and bolts of what happened next, from others who have been down this path...

Thanks for replying! (also thanks to inyourendo, where the same answer sort of applies...)
You sound like an engineer ..

There are no nuts and bolts. Too many variables. You have multiple personalities, multiple interpersonal relationships, and multiple outside influences.

The gist of great poly relationships are also what make up good mono ones. Trust, communication and a solid foundation of all the good things.

I found "unicorns" in bars, at work, on the mountain.. it started with fun talking, usually flirting and then it progressed. My wife is a big flirt and that always helped.

I have to end it there since, my relationships usually end at sex. I rarely built or build relationships from the friendship level. For me, its a raw consuming need to fuck someone, and it evolves from there. Thats going back to my teenage years. Love for me develops from lust.. otherwise, its friendship .. (fortunately I do lust after some of my friends)

The big thing in any configuration is don't expect all things to be equal. They can't be. a nice skewed scalene triangle is probably the best you can do long term. Expectations can create resentment so its a potential nut to watch out for.

Speaking from a quad.. there was no negotiation moment. We just don't have a lot of expectations of what makes up a quad. So the interrelationships are always shifting and adjusting. We don't have set rules beyond respect your partners. Since we all have the same definition of respect, and what that generally means, we don't blow through peoples expectations. This method works exceptionally well for us..

Good luck.. sometimes I miss being out there as a couple.. it was an enjoyable experience haha.. (for the record sometimes I miss being single too.. so its all relative haha)
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:11 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
You sound like an engineer ..
Not really, but i see how it seems that way. I recognize that each person's experience is slightly different, which is why I was hoping to get several different kinds of stories.

Quote:
The big thing in any configuration is don't expect all things to be equal. They can't be. a nice skewed scalene triangle is probably the best you can do long term. Expectations can create resentment so its a potential nut to watch out for.
I like that image, the skewed scalene triangle. That feels appropriate - I find that the lines of the skewed triangle in my life change in length, week by week, which is kind of what you're saying about things shifting and adjusting.

Quote:
Speaking from a quad.. there was no negotiation moment.
I like hearing that. That's where we are, right now. We have actually been explicit about not wanting to negotiate and name things. We want to live our life, and see where it takes us.

But that doesn't stop me from being interested in hearing stories of others who have gone through something similar. I feel chastened, though, for not having asked any quads how they went through this - sorry! Duh, of course I have something to learn there, too...
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:58 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
From what I've read: Chance and sheer dumb luck. Not looking for it, but having it just sorta happen when you're busy minding the tulips.
Exactly. We weren't looking for it (any of the three of us). It just happened. Honest.

We did go out however and had a meal and declared to each other that 'we're in a relationship'. So at some point it went from 'it just happened' to 'this is real'.

I do remember wondering what the other people in the restaurant were thinking, and then realising they seemed to think it was quite cool
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:06 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulliman View Post
I can imagine there are some triads that are monogamous to the triad (i.e., closed, poly-fi). How do three people negotiate that moment? In a binary couple, someone might propose to someone else, or you have The Talk about exclusivity, or whatever it might be. How does a triad do that?
Maybe you could ask more specific questions like this.

I'm not sure if your usage of "proposed" refers to marriage, or to an "exclusivity proposal." I proposed to Gralson, but we were poly and open all the while.

But you bring it up the same way you bring up any item that needs to be discussed. Indicate to the other two in some way that there's something you'd like to talk about, all sit down together, and tell them what you're thinking. No one can get more specific than that without being involved in your relationship and knowing what communication styles you use.

Another "nuts and bolts" thing that people emphasize is the need to nurture the dyad relationships with one-on-one intimacy, as well as the monad relationships with me-time. As a coincidence of arithmetic, those can happen at the same time
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2013, 04:18 AM
peabean peabean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulliman View Post

I can imagine there are some triads that are monogamous to the triad (i.e., closed, poly-fi). How do three people negotiate that moment? In a binary couple, someone might propose to someone else, or you have The Talk about exclusivity, or whatever it might be. How does a triad do that?
I don't know that we ever sat down and formally talked out being poly-fi. I see many people discuss the importance of triads allowing for partners outside of the relationship, but that was never something that came up. None of us is interested in anyone else. We are busy, we are focused on our family and careers. I feel the best when I'm with my partners, and choose to spend all my spare time focusing on our family, so the idea of other partners just isn't appealing to me. I don't know if that would always be true. Perhaps I might meet someone in the future that I clicked with. I guess I would deal with that situation at that point. I was married for a decade and never interested in anyone besides my husband, until I met my girlfriend.

We probably wouldn't be poly if we hadn't stumbled into each other. I guess I can say the same was true of my marriage, my husband and I just kind of met and never stopped talking. That is the way I think of it. With my gf, it was the same. We started hanging out together, then she started coming over and hanging out with my husband and I, then we got drunk and slept together. Then, well, we never stopped talking.

There were a number of times when I thought 'can we make this work' and had serious doubts. Those times were always about outside forces, negative reactions from family after coming out, people giving us a hard time at our kid's school, etc. Further, I found a lack of support for triads in the online community. Most people posting on this board discuss how triads don't work, blow up, people get hurt, etc. The idea that you are ALL ALONE can be so overwhelming.

The inherent privileges of being a 'normal' in society are only completely visible once you lose them. I had to step away from the outside world and focus on my relationship. I had to stop letting fear and outside forces have a negative impact on me, because this relationship is the best thing for me. I love my partners immensely. How do you know you are right for each other? How does anyone? You just KNOW. When I met my husband, I just KNEW he was for me. I was 19, but that didn't matter. When my relationship with my gf formed, it was a bit fuzzier because of the swirl of outside world forces, but when I mentally stripped all that away, I just KNEW she was for me too.

Ack, I feel like language is inadequate to describe these things.
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