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  #11  
Old 05-22-2012, 03:17 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by RedSalamander View Post
This is a really interesting point and I'm glad I glanced at this tread because this got me thinking. Thanks!

One further note - if OP is going to classify the "unicorn" relationship because it is a stereotype, then it also seems fair to mention that it is stereotypically a m/f couple seeking a bisexual female. That detail seems too important to overlook.
I'm glad that at least one of the trains of thought produced so far has been helpful.

I took care not to specify gender because I would still consider a couple to be "unicorn hunters" (a controversial phrase that encompasses a stereotype, it's true, but also a real phenomenon) if all the other particulars were the same but they were an m/f couple getting involved with a man, or two women getting involved with a man or a woman, or what have you. I've actually seen "want ads" with an m/f couple seeking a male in this manner, and gave advice on a thread some time back in which a f/f couple had gotten involved with a woman and were having typical unicorn hunting problems (she likes one of us better than the other!). So, while m/f seeking f may be most common, I don't consider it to be defining of that category of relationship style.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2012, 06:51 PM
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^ Very true. Many poly people often complain about aggressive MF seeking F unicorn hunters. But they are MILD compared to some aggressive MM seeking M unicorn hunters. Let me tell ya!
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by RfromRMC View Post
But I have wondered about a scenario where I saw someone dating a couple, as if that couple was One Person. Never went out with just one of them at a time....it was kinda odd. I have NO idea what you call that! I just simply joked that the person had a partner who's a set of Siamese Twins, because that's what it seemed to me.
For the record, I would say you call that "dysfunctional", but that's my biases showing.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:31 PM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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This might not be the right thread to bring this up, but I have been thinking about the animosity toward the unicorn hunter stereotype.

I am still relatively new to poly relationships and pretty bad at it, so I might not know what I'm talking about. You seem pretty down on the first scenario you propose, but with the exception of demanding the new person be equally into the first two, I don't understand why that's an unreasonable goal.

I guess I am sensitive to this because I think my partner and I dating someone together is probably the best arrangement for us, at least for now. I'd like to understand better why so many people in the poly community see this as tacky or short-sighted?

Or maybe you can elaborate on the distinctions between the unicorn hunters and serendipitous triad? I feel like the latter is more what we're shooting for, except if that's the goal at the outset, it doesn't meet the criterion of being serendipitous in the way you mean it.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:25 PM
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This topic has been discussed at great length in other threads -- if you're interested, you can uncover a lot through a tag search. That said, I do want to respond. This is just my opinion, obviously, but I base it both on personal experience and on reading many people's stories.

Thinking of a triad as something you could see yourself participating in, even something you'd see as an awesome prospect, is absolutely fine. But if it's your ultimate, first-place, gold-prize ideal and anything else would be falling short, or heavens forfend if it's the only thing you're willing to accept in any new entanglements, you're setting yourselves and anyone you get involved with up for failure, which is neither cool, wise, nor kind.

Why should this be the case?

Think about the times you've fallen in love, or, if you have relatively little experience, think about your friends' stories of how they fell in love. Love is a surprise. It's different each time it happens. Sometimes it comes on like an overwhelming storm, sometimes it's a slow burn from like to very-like to... wait, could it be love? Sometimes it seems perfect but then fizzles quickly, and other times it never actually feels quite right yet you get wrapped up for a time regardless. Sometimes the person who seems like a great match doesn't click with you at all and the person you never expected to even like turns out to rock your world.

Now in light of these facts about love, does it seem at all likely that someone would fall in love with two different people at the same time, at the same rate, to the same degree of intensity, and that those two people should also happen to be in a relationship with each other? Frankly, no. So what happens when the person you and your partner were supposed to be "sharing" falls hard for one of you and not the other? Or falls for you both, but one of you doesn't feel it back? Well, someone is going to be feeling rejected, left behind, maybe even resentful, maybe even heartbroken.

Now think about the breakups you've been through or heard about, the failed relationships, the false starts. The last thing you want is to be reminded of thr person with whom it didn't work out, much less to have to be around them. But what if your partner is still dating that very person? What to do? How can you escape from this painful situation? Sometimes an aborted triad can successfully rearrange itself into a functional vee but more often than not something has to give. Usually it's the newer relationship, with its more tenuous bonds, that gives way and the "unicorn" is cut off entirely, and sometimes it's the preexisting relationship that doesn't make it.

Yikes. :/

Soooooo, if triads are prone to becoming such messes, how can it be considered advisable to entertain them as a possibility at all?? The key is expectations. If you *expect* a new person to get with you both and for two new romantic relationships to form, which is the definition of unicorn hunting, when in fact this is possible but very unlikely, you are setting the stage for disappointment at the very least and a great deal of pain at the worst. On the other hand if you do NOT expect this to happen but are open to it, well, you can let whatever authentic relationships are there to be had actually form as they naturally want to, rather than trying to shoehorn them into a narrow and difficult pre-set mold. And if a triad by some chance does happen, well... serendipity does occasionally grace one's life. It's just not something it makes senses to bank on, y' know?

This is not even getting into some of the highly problematic trends that seem to often wind up recurring in unicorn-hunting-style triads, due largely to the power imbalance between an established couple and a new person, this is JUST to point out the basic problem of the premise.
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2012, 09:45 PM
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Mostlyclueless, think about it - the reason it's even called unicorn hunting is because it's so unrealistic and the young women often sought out to fill that role are called unicorns because they are mythical creatures. It's not that great relationships can't happen among three people, nor that there aren't any single people looking to be in relationship with a couple, it's that the unicorn is a ridiculous and pretty much impossible ideal to realize.

The animosity/frustration/low tolerance/ridicule you see directed at unicorn hunters has to do with unrealistic expectations that many newbie couples have about finding a person (preferably the "hot bi babe" or HBB) to fulfill a role that is focused on satisfying their desires, as if the couple is one unit, not two individuals, and the unicorn is expected to "join their relationship" instead of exploring the four different relationships that can evolve separately over time among three people.

Anytime you put the role first and try to fit a person into it, it will most likely fail simply because doing so negates individuality and a natural progression in relating to others. The stereotype is that the HBB love both partners equally (as if you could order your love like a sandwich), move in with them, share in household chores and childcare, service both of them sexually, and not have any other relationships with anyone else but them. Often the unicorn they seek would be a little younger, and less established, so that encourages some dependency on them (and some couples have been burned by winding up with someone who is just desperate and using them for a place to stay).

The unicorn will probably never be acknowledged publicly, nor have any say in how the household is run, but will be dumped the moment some stress or jealousy (or whatever) affects the couple (what I call The Holy Dyad). Some of these unicorn hunters won't even allow communication to happen between the poor unicorn and just one of them - there was one woman who came here and explained how all her emails, texts, and calls (they did not live together) had to go through the wife and she was not allowed to speak to the husband directly, even though she was expected to service him sexually. Unicorn hunters are all about preserving The Holy Dyad at all costs, and most every person who has been a unicorn comes here (and to other forums) and shares how they were mistreated and/or dumped without warning by the couple that promised them so, so much.

For some reason, most unicorn hunters seem to feel great disappointment if the triad starts turning into a vee - which often happens when their unicorn has a better relationship with or is more attracted to one of them and doesn't want the obligation of being with the other. So, instead of letting things morph naturally into something else, they get rid of her and start hunting all over again. They feel they MUST date as a unit, with no autonomy, otherwise it's a threat somehow.

It's a stereotype on both sides, for both the hunters and their prey, and of course there are couples who don't think this way. Unfortunately, however, there are still enough couples out there who live up to the stereotype and don't realize how unrealistic they are being with their expectations.

Maybe these threads will shed some light for you:

Added to, Joining In

Why Is it So Hard?

advice for couple seeking third

What's in it for a unicorn?

I Hope I'm Not Naive
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-22-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:29 AM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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What I'm understanding from both of you (nycindie and Annabel) is that the main issue is with the unrealistic expectation that everything, especially feelings, will be perfectly equal between the unicorn and each hunter. So let's say the assumption of equal feelings is removed...does that make the scenario more plausible?

To be honest I guess I find the scenario where either party falls madly in love relatively unlikely (although certainly within the realm of possibility). In my dating experience, the vast majority of people I've dated were great to hang out with for a while, and dating them was enjoyable, but there wasn't any love or anything out of control. Sorry if this is too much of a tangent for your thread, just something I've been thinking about.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:41 AM
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No worries about the tangent, this is a subject that interests me.

So, ok, let's say you and your gf start dating someone together. That person gets way into your gf (maybe not love, let's say strong like) and she's way into the new person right back, but rather than you and the new person getting closer, you find you really don't click after the excitement of the first few dates wears off. You two actually come to realize that while you don't have a problem with each other you don't even really like hanging out all that much and you're not feeling the sex. So now it's not just a matter of unequal feelings, it's actually just your gf dating someone without your involvement, it's a vee.

Do you insist they break it off? Or is it cool? And what if the shoe were on the other foot, same scenario but roles reversed -- what do you think your gf would do? If you can honestly say it would be fine, then sure, go ahead and seek a person you both like with that lack of expectations firmly in mind.

Finally, I think this simple question is really important -- *why* do you and your gf think dating the same person is the best arrangement for you? To prevent jealousy? It would be good for you to be aware that it actually seems to tend to be more likely to foster it, since it's more difficult to avoid comparisons when everyone is in the same space together all the time. Or is there another reason you think it would be best?
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:02 AM
mostlyclueless mostlyclueless is offline
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After many months of interrogating myself on a daily basis I'm sorry to say I don't have a lot of satisfying answers...all I know is that when we've done things together, in the past, it was great and a lot of fun, but when my partner tried to date a secondary without me I was devastated and we came very close to separating.

What to do in the case that you describe -- if I felt I could handle it, even if it was difficult, I would give them my blessing. If I couldn't, I couldn't, and we would mutually decide if it would be better to separate or for my partner to stop seeing the other person.
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:21 AM
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All I can say then is that I wish you guys the best! Be aware of the dangers, and communicate honestly and thoroughly -- including with any new partner, including about your past difficulties -- and hopefully things will be good. But anyways, does all of this begin to answer your original question?
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