Is a 'Throuple' acceptable in 2023? Everything you need to know according to a psychologist

If you’ve been on Twitter or Instagram recently you may have noticed Una Healy, Sian Osborne and David Haye are bringing the term ‘Throuple’ to the mainstream consciousness. The trio are reportedly in a romantic partnership with each other.

The relationship between them has certainly raised eyebrows, but can we really lambast a consensual relationship between three adults in 2023? "In this day and age, people are far more open to alternative, non conventional types of relationships. Throuples are becoming more and more popular,” explains psychologist and CEO-Founder of 'The Private Therapy Clinic' Dr. Becky Spelman, "just because it's non conventional doesn't mean that these people can't be happy in their arrangement."

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throuple
throuple

The 'throuple' was explored in 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona

To be fair, there has been no definite confirmation that this is the case with David, Una and Sian. On Saturday night David, who was attending the Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith fight, said, "I like to keep my private life private. I let people in through my social media a little bit, but what I do behind closed doors is between me and the girls involved." Una for her part has shared a photo of herself, David and Sian at dinner with the caption, "I've started 2023 in a comfortable place, feeling genuinely happy and at peace. Here’s to this year being ours x."

Dr. Spelman explains, "It should be warned that some people who are in the public eye might just engage in these kind of relationships for public attention. We can never make assumptions about what is really happening behind closed doors, with a celebrity couple or the people who are in the public eye who have chosen to form some kind of relationship together." Dr. Spelman has over 21 years experience of working in the field of mental health, so we decided to investigate the 'Throuple trend' and what to consider when embarking on this kind of relationship, and how to make sure it is safe and consensual.

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What is a Throuple? 

"A throuple is where three people decide to have a relationship in a polyamorous type of way," explains Dr. Spelman, "This could be sexual or romantic. It may vary between different throuples as to what the exact agreements are in some situations. This is a closed throuple where the couple are exclusive within the three people. And other arrangements is far more open. You also have all sorts of different living arrangements in relation to throuples."

Can Throuples actually work? 

"As people know, making a relationship with one partner work and be healthy and happy is already a challenge... So adding an extra person into the mix can be even more challenging, but that's not to say that people can't be happy in a throuple," explains Dr. Spelman, "It requires openness and a lot of open communication from all parties involved. It also requires three people who are capable of managing their emotions very well and acting in a very mature way and managing things like jealousy."

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Are Throuples problematic?

"Unfortunately when it comes to relationships, some people can be quite manipulative, and say certain things that will try to normalise a certain behaviour, but it's more focused on that individual’s gain rather than the benefit of both people. And rather than being a mutually loving situation, or relationship," warns Dr. Spelman, "There are things to look out for because throuples are now on the rise and this is actually becoming normalised. It's important that if anyone is trying to negotiate this kind of arrangement with you that you listen to your gut instinct, your emotions will guide you."

What do I do if my partner suggests being in a Throuple? 

"If anything doesn't feel right or if anything causes the slightest bit of upset or annoyance or anger for you, speak to speak to your partner and talk about how you're feeling. And if that conversation is not met with respect, kindness and empathy and you're not allowed to feel a lot better about the situation then I would say that that is a serious red flag," explains Dr. Spelman, "If you are considering entering a throuple, it should be highly appealing for you rather than being sold to from another party, and you should also have a lot of room to state your needs and your boundaries in any type of nonconventional relationship."

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