What Is a Throuple — and How to Know When the Relationship Type Is Right for You, According to an Expert

Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey speaks with PEOPLE about the "type of polyamory" and when it may be something to consider

<p>Getty</p> Three people in a relationship (stock image)


Three people in a relationship (stock image)

Being part of a throuple is something that is just right for some individuals, according to a relationship expert.

In an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE, Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey — a psychologist and sex and intimacy coach — opens up about the non-monogamous relationship type and when to know if it might be something to consider in the world of dating.

A throuple, according to Bisbey, is "a non-monogamous relationship that has three partners who often live together."

"Throuples are often in committed relationships with each other and do not have other additional romantic or sexual relationships. It is a type of polyamory," she continues.

Comparing those in a throuple to others in polyamorous relationships, the therapist says, "Some polyamorous couples share partners. Others don’t even know each other's partners. In a throuple, all three are in relationship with each other, and often not with anyone else."

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<p>Getty</p> Three sets of feet in a bed (stock image)


Three sets of feet in a bed (stock image)

Related: Throuple Featured on House Hunters Shares Relationship Update: 'We’re Still Together — and Colorado People Now'

Highlighting whether a throuple is right for certain individuals, Brisbey first warns, "Getting three people who align enough to live together with deep intimacy is not simple."

However, "If you are willing to live with two people and have the skills to work through the complexity, it might be a good choice," she adds.

"One reason is that two incomes aren’t enough in a lot of places, so three people sharing works better," Bisbey continues.

"More people have recognized that you cannot get all your needs met by one person and are not willing to compromise on getting their needs met," she further explains.

<p>Getty</p> Three people in a relationship (stock image)


Three people in a relationship (stock image)

Looking at non-monogamy in general, Bisbey tells PEOPLE signs that it might be the "right choice" for someone include: "You didn’t mind sharing your toys (even your favorite ones) as a child, you desire high levels of communication and interaction with people and you have found it difficult to be monogamous."

Other reasons that she considers non-monogamy may potentially be of interest to people is if they "have lots of complicated desires and needs, really enjoy complexity in your life (but not drama) and have a high level of honesty with yourself and others and are willing to be authentic."

Still, Bisbey warns that being in a throuple comes with its own set of challenges, noting, "People often romanticize being part of a throuple, but it is actually quite complicated."

"It is easier to have multiple separate relationships where you are not all sharing space, finances, decisions about everything," she explains. "Throuples work together like couples, dividing labor between three instead of two. Consensus is harder because of more people. Higher levels of communication are needed and all relationships within the group need attention."

<p>Getty</p> Three people in a relationship (stock image)


Three people in a relationship (stock image)

Related: Calif. Throuple Raising 2 Kids Say Their Unique Road to Parenthood Is 'Like Winning the Lottery'

Speaking about the stigma surrounding throuples, and the reaction they may receive for their relationship type, Bisbey offers a few words of advice.

"Be prepared to educate people when needed, but remember not everyone is entitled to know your business," she tells PEOPLE. "Make sure you have thick skin."

"If you offend easily, do some personal work to increase your resistance to other people’s views of you. Keep your life private and only share what you are comfortable with anyone knowing," Bisbey continues. "Finally, make friends with other non-monogamous people."

As for what others can do to open their minds to be more accepting of throuples, the A to Z of Sex podcast host notes that people can "learn more about the wide variety of relationship styles there are in the world and remember that no one way is better than any other."

"Non-monogamy was the dominant relationship style when societies were matriarchal, because all wealth passed down the female line and there is never a question about who the mother is for any baby born," she explains.

"When we shifted to patriarchy and wealth began to be passed down the male line, who fathered a child became important. Since there was not a way to figure that out scientifically when the shift happened, the best way to be sure that a child was the patriarch’s child was to only sanction monogamous couples," she adds.

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Read the original article on People.