Unicorn. No matter how you say it, or how you write it, generally the same image will flash through your mind.
A white horse with a twisted horn, coupled with a multi-coloured mane and tail. A positively stunning creature that is rare and extremely hard to come by. It’s hard to hold onto, it may have the power to neutralise poison, cure disease, or resurrect the dead.
Or possibly to you, a unicorn could represent a tech start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars.
I am neither of those things.
A unicorn, in my case, is a third person that enters a couple’s relationship.
I’ve been in a relationship with Cathy and Thomas for over a year and a half, but I had never encountered this term until we we’re being interviewed about our relationship.
On introducing myself as Thomas and Cathy’s girlfriend, the interviewer looked up from her questions and said, ‘Oh, so you’re a unicorn’.
I had been given the label and had very little knowledge of what it meant. Afterwards, I scoured the internet for what it meant to be one.
The label is linked to the literal meaning of the word, that such individuals are unique and rarely found.
The search to find a person whom is not only bisexual, but also is willing to enter a long-standing relationship governed by existing structures is as challenging as finding the mythical animal.
Society loves labels. It makes things easy, metred and gauge-able. This label just happens to be one that makes me smile.
I’ve found two people whom I feel safe with and loved within the relationship.
I met Cathy through work and was immediately drawn to her. She introduced me to Thomas roughly six months after over a three-way-date where sparks flew between he and I.
Cathy and Thomas have been together for eight years, married for five and open for six. It was their openness and sharing through conversation that attracted me to them.
Originally, I fell head over heels for Thomas; he was so sure of himself, not to mention beautiful on the inside and out.
As our relationship developed, I would often share my time with Thomas and Cathy together. It was natural and comfortable. The time between us flowed with effortless conversation and flirting glances.
And because of the time spent as three (we call it ‘three-time’), I developed an underlying vibration of love not only for Thomas but Cathy, too.
I fell in love with the three of us as one
I am welcomed into a loving space with the support of two partners. I have complete freedom inside the relationship and I can also see other people.
We exercise constant communication to ensure we’re all on the same page.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way a lot of people see unicorn relationships – and to be fair, the parameters of the label change within each relationship, as do the guidelines.
It’s important that each unicorn sees herself differently. However, I’ve often found in the polyamorous community that a unicorn is considered by many as a negative term.
Generally used to describe women, she’s stereotyped as the ‘hot bisexual babe’ and only invited into a couple’s existing relationship for sex.
She will end all other relationships to be the couple’s main girlfriend, only being allowed to have sex with the couple together as a threesome.
She comes and goes whenever the original couple say so and is given no flexibility or freedom – it’s a pretty unfair agreement.
Luckily, in my case, Cathy and Thomas see a unicorn as much more. I am the very rare third person who openly joins their relationship to create a ‘throuple’. I am an equal part of the three-way-relationship.
Currently, being a unicorn is a big part of my life and I am open about my label, I thoroughly enjoy being the third person.
So, whilst I play youthfully within the realm of being a unicorn, I will share openly about my experiences and enjoy my relationship with Cathy and Thomas.
Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity — positively or negatively — and what the label means to them.
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