One of the worst things about being a polyamorous person who isn’t currently in a couple, or a dyad, is how often you find yourself a unicorn.
You’re with a couple and you find that they’re extra cuddly towards each other. They kiss each other in front of you. They go out to dinner after meeting up with you, telling you that they need couple time. You meet up with them on their whim, do whatever it is that they want to do since it always seems to be two against one anyways, and then you go your separate ways. Until the next time they call at least.
Unicorns are beautiful creatures. They’re magical and majestic. They’re healers and fighters. They’re also not real. Same goes for the polyamorous unicorn.
In the world of polyamory, a unicorn is a person who is invited into an existing couple to date and play with. The couple can make demands but the unicorn cannot do anything that could cause any inconvenience for the couple. The unicorn is not allowed to develop feelings because it is assumed that the creature will also magically disappear whenever the dyad decides that they are no longer interested in being in this triad.
I’ve often thought that meant the couple was inherently dating a cardboard cut out. She can’t really feel and she can’t really protest. I say she because a unicorn is also known as an HBB, or a hot bisexual babe, but, of course, a he can also be all of these things.
If you’re like me, and you’re looking for a triad where you feel like an equal member of the relationship, here are a few warning signs that will prevent you from turning into a unicorn.
1. The dyad are very protective of each other.
Some couples come across as very clingy and protective and it’s easy to spot from the get go. They’re holding each other possessively throughout the date. They talk to each other a lot and you notice you’re not really getting asked anything. They seem to almost put up a force field around each other.
2. They seem to only talk about sex with you.
This is a really strong warning sign. If the only plans they seem to keep making with you are sexy ones, they’re not looking for you to be an equal partner in their relationship. They’re looking for someone to have a threesome with.
3. They’re both pretty heterosexual.
You identify as a man and the boyfriend of the couple isn’t interested in men. You identify as a woman and the girlfriend isn’t into girls. Either way, something’s a little fishy. It’s hard to have a triad if one member of the group physically cannot be attracted to another member.
4. They’re closed off.
They know lots of things about you, but when it’s your turn to ask questions, they’re pretty vague. Over time, you realize you don’t really know what they do, where they’re from, or even just little things that they know about each other, like their favorite movie. If they’re not letting you in, it’s likely because they don’t plan on having you stay for long.
5. They’re new to the poly world.
Everybody has to start somewhere, but new poly couples are often not quite on the same page. It’s not their fault. They’re learning, too. But that can often mean that one partner wants a triad and another just wants a unicorn or maybe one of them is unfortunately treating saying that they’re poly as an excuse to have a lot of threesomes. They’re learning, but they might leave a string of broken hearts in their wake.
Being polyamorous is hard and it’s often hard because there really isn’t much of a strict definition. Maybe you want that beautiful, elusive triad. Or maybe you want a primary partner and then other partners that you date and play with. Or maybe you want a primary partner who you swing with. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there. You don’t have to be a mythical creature to find a couple to be with. You’ll find the right someone, or rather someones, when you least expect it and when you finally get to just be yourself.