Triad Relationship Dynamics

If your a “unicorn hunter” but have full intentions of having a relationship and emotional connection with a third person. This post is for you. We want to give you better terminology that sets you apart from fake poly people. Also want to ensure that your emotionally ready for a third person to be apart of your relationship. Abusing your third partner, physically, mentally or emotionally, is the signs of a unicorn hunter and we want to avoid that.

Now there is no right or wrong way to make a relationship dynamic in polyamory. There are three main factors that play into building a good polyamorous relationship dynamic. Sexual orientation, gender identity and what the person is comfortable with. So whatever manifest of those three factors will determine the outcome of boundaries set and fun to be had. Here are 5 different but standard triad relationships you may see in polyamory:

  • Closed Triad
  • Fully Open Triad
  • A “Vee” Relationship aka Alphabet Relationship
  • Closed Duo/Dyad with a Open Partner
  • Asexual Triad

Closed Triad – The partners only date each other and no other partners. This can change in the amount of partners however all partners are involved with each other.

Full Open Triad – These partners are date one another and may have other partners outside the triad. The other partners may not meet the partners not into the triad however it depends on comfort level.

A “Vee” Relationship aka Alphabet Relationship – So this is the type of triad where you have a main partner that is seeing two people. Now I have expanded on that term and call it the Alphabet Relationship. To me this means that the connection can vary depending on the partners involved. Take myself and my husband, We are both pivot points however both of our partners are married. Its more of a zig zag but you get the idea.

Closed Duo/Dyad with a Partner – This is when a couple welcomes a third partner, the third partner can have more then just the couple as their partner(s). The couple will only have the third person as a partner.

Asexual Triad – Now this form of relationship that is rare but do exist. As we say all the time polyamory isn’t about sex but connection. While asexual people do have sex its not their top priority.

Under no circumstances use the term unicorn hunter in my opinion. It makes the connection sound disingenuous. Also be up front and honest about your intentions whether it mean doing introspective work or discussing boundaries as a couple. Either way go in with your eyes open !

If you want more in-depth information on any of these triad relationship dynamic and counseling for Open Relationships and Polyamory please visit The Relationship Place . They seem to get it.

3 responses to “Triad Relationship Dynamics”

  1. I have often experienced couples wanting a third for occasional nights of sex. If this happens often, would this be a triad?


    1. Nope. Triads are actual relationships. The closest thing to what your describing would be a swinger lifestyle. Some swingers have relationships but not all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right that swinging (to me) is often limited to playtime activity. There is still the possibility that swingers could migrate the play into a full-time relationship.


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