Relationships in media often follow one template with most narratives taking a decidedly romantic comedy angle. A lot is changing though about how relationships are perceived as people deconstruct patriarchy. One of the things that’s on the rise is polyamorous relationships.
One study in the US found that more than 20% of Americans have participated in a consensual, non-monogamous relationship at some point in their life. A unicorn in dating refers to the third person who joins an existing relationship. This partner is usually a bisexual woman. It could also be a bisexual man or a non-binary person. The reason this partner is referred to as a unicorn is because of how difficult it is to find one, so difficult they’re mythical.
Why do couples look for unicorns?
- To spice up the relationship with new sexual experiences and novelty.
- It’s a safer way to foray into non-monogamy as a couple.
- It can affirm your sexual orientation and allow for experimentation.
- Greater companionship.
- To share the burden of parenting together for people with kids.
- Financial considerations especially if the unicorn moves in and contributes financially.
Why would someone want to be a unicorn?
- It presents the opportunity for group sex galore.
- It can be a way to have a relationship with lower commitment requirements than ordinary dating.
- It can create an opportunity to give, receive, and experience a whole lot more love.
Unicorn relationship guidelines
Open communication is key: there’s a lot to navigate here. Make sure you have regular check-ins that aren’t just about addressing issues but also celebrating the good times and reaffirming mutual respect. Every person should be free to speak openly about their concerns, desires, and feelings without feeling judged. Make sure you’re always on the same page.
Understand the unicorn’s boundaries upfront: the unicorn is already at a disadvantage as they join an existing relationship, the least you can do is encourage them to set boundaries and respect them. That’s non-negotiable.
Set boundaries for the group: set healthy boundaries and constantly revisit them to account for people’s changing thoughts and feelings.
It’s not just about sex: remember that it involves real people which means genuine emotions and needs that should be recognized and honoured. You should build a foundation of mutual trust, understanding, and respect. Avoid objectifying the unicorn.
Stay flexible and adaptable: things change, so be open to that. Be willing to make adjustments as long as they are not compromises that you can’t live with.
Recognize when it’s time to part ways: every relationship has a lifespan and ending doesn’t mean failure.
Other tips to ensure your unicorn relationship survives and thrives
- Avoid giving anyone the “veto power” when it comes to decision-making.
- Be transparent from the start about your needs, intentions, desires, and fears.
- Regularly rotate date nights with each other to strengthen individual bonds.
- Educate yourself about polyamory and non-traditional relationships.
- Be prepared for external judgments, not everyone will be on board.
- Practice self-awareness. Regularly check in with yourself about your feelings and needs.
- Don’t expect too much from your unicorn.
- Set the rules for the relationship together without excluding the unicorn.
- See a relationship counsellor if you need to. You can do so as a couple because adding a unicorn will change the dynamics of your relationship. You can also do it as a triad.
If you’re the unicorn, make sure you feel like an equal part of the union and not just an outsider. You need to have a say in the relationship. A good couple will make sure you feel 100% included.
8 Pros And Cons Of Polyamorous Relationships
Relationships: Pros And Cons Of Open Relationships