02 – Triad, a Reality Check

02 – Triad, a Reality Check

I know what you’re thinking.

Wow! Three people! I wonder how many bed-frames they go through a week.

The honest answer is zero. The honest reason for that is because John and Jane had already broken theirs through ahem some extracurricular activities.

When a typical two-person monogamous relationship starts, you are treated to all the good stuff. You have what I usually refer to as the ‘first day of school’ phase. The two of you will wear your best clothes, be on your best behavior and are eager to please.

Before getting my feet completely wet, I figured that a triad and a regular two-way relationship couldn’t be very different. I mean, the operative word for both these romantic models is still ‘relationship’. How different could it be?

You get all the great firsts. The first date, the first time you hold hands, the first time you kiss, the first time you look into their eyes and find yourself smiling uncontrollably, the first time they kiss your neck (where my ladies at!) and of course, the first time you have an adult sleepover.

Before getting my feet completely wet, I figured that a triad and a regular two-way relationship couldn’t be very different. I mean, the operative word for both these romantic models is still ‘relationship’. How different could it be?

Obviously, I was as blissfully ignorant as a colorblind man getting behind the wheel of a car.

Three people make a huge difference. That’s three sets of ideals, opinions, preferences, issues, political stances, hobbies, communication styles, sleep patterns, eating habits, priorities and schedules.

John and Jane found themselves having to factor in one new partner in their lives and I found myself having to factor in two. This combined with John’s pilgrimage to Pluto (in reference to the place he went to for 10 months to get some down time. Fine, it wasn’t exactly a pilgrimage. I’m just highly theatrical), Jane’s increasing yet completely understandable concern of being without him for so long and my eight zillion questions and complete virgin status in the ways of bisexuality and polyamory meant that we had created the world’s most incredible soap opera. ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’ had nothing on us.

From the get, the relationship put me through the wringer. It was unlike anything I had ever been through before. It wasn’t just the fact that I was completely unprepared for any of this. It was the sheer speed of everything. In the space of three weeks:

  1. I was exploring a vagina that wasn’t my own for the first time
  2. Said ‘I love you’ to two separate individuals and meant it
  3. Had my social circle widen considerably when I met all their friends
  4. Got comfortable in two new homes
  5. Had my first threesome
  6. Had to figure out how to tread when John and Jane were arguing
  7. Attempted to communicate and be completely vulnerable with both of them
  8. Figure out how to give and receive equal parts time, attention and energy to and from the two of them equally
  9. Tried to keep my shit together while adopting a completely new lifestyle

These are things that anyone who is considering a triad has to consider getting involved with. They might also apply to poly relationships in general, though on that front I’m not entirely sure. I have to say that a lot of it was hella fun. I was learning something new all the time and there was never a lull in the conversation – one of the epic perks of having three people in a relationship.

However, the amount of adjustment and adapting that ensued meant that I didn’t really get to revel in the ‘first day of school’ stage. -Cue sad face emoji-

After those three weeks, John departed for Pluto. Jane and I found ourselves with almost a year to just ourselves to get to know each other – but more on that next time.

Here’s the thing – that initial crash course was a great eye opener unto what was to come.

More than anything else, being in a triad meant that (and I simply cannot stress this enough) a whole bunch of things could happen in a very, very short space of time. It felt like I was running a marathon. But instead of running on smooth even ground, there were potholes, hills, gaps in the road, steep declines, mud pits and then a giant slide th. This does not necessarily mean that the relationship was unstable. My point is that with three, you can be damned sure that there will be something happening in at least one person’s life at any point – both good and bad.

My mother once told me that being married required you to grow up instantly – immaturity and selfishness was simply not an option especially when you had to make space for the other person’s needs. That did not mean that you had to suppress your own – but it meant that you had to prioritize what was important. There was no space for petty arguments or wasted energy.

I have never been married (and by the grace of the Universe, I never will be) but I find that the same thing applies to a triad. I had to prioritize what to communicate immediately and what could wait. Meshing three people’s schedule together is hard enough and when that window of time finally arrives, the last thing you want to do is argue about something minuscule that happened that the other two may not even remember.

being in a triad meant that (and I simply cannot stress this enough) a whole bunch of things could happen in a very, very short space of time. It felt like I was running a marathon. But instead of running on smooth even ground, there were potholes, hills, gaps in the road, steep declines and mud pits. This does not necessarily mean that the relationship was unstable.

I assumed that having two partners meant that I would have a lot more attention and I was even concerned about how suffocating that might be. But that is simply not the case. Apart from me spending time with the both of them separately, they too had to spend time with each other separately. Then the three of us had to spend time together. We also had to make space for events and work that would be happening in each other’s personal lives. So though I am in contact with them most of the time, I see them in the flesh only a few hours a week.

There are a number of other misconceptions about triads. But these are the important ones to toss out the window:

  1. It is not all about sex – I wish it was sometimes, but there is a lot more to it. (Example: communication, communicating about your communication style and communicating to each other about how to improve your communication.)
  2. It is not about receiving more attention. In fact, be prepared to receive a whole lot less.
  3. It is not just about short-term relationships. You can build a relationship that will stand the test of time. All it needs is a whole lot of work. I am hoping that mine will last for many, many years to come. Unless I get offered the option of space travel, then I’m out.

That’s it for now. I would really love to hear any thoughts, comments or questions anyone may have. Thanks for making it this far.

XOXO

Featured image credit: etsystatic.com

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