What is a Unicorn in a Relationship? 10 Things To Know

Unicorn in a Relationship

A unicorn in a relationship refers to a person who is open to joining an existing couple, forming what is often known as a triad or throuple. 

This concept is commonly associated with polyamory and open relationships, where a couple seeks to include a third partner who becomes romantically or sexually involved with both members of the couple. 

But what does it mean to be a unicorn, and what should you know about this unique dynamic? 

Let’s explore 10 essential things about unicorns in relationships.

10 Things You Should Know About Unicorns in a Relationship

Welcome to the world of “unicorns” in relationships, where rare and open-minded individuals are willing to venture into the uncharted territory of polyamory and open dynamics. 

In this section, we embark on a captivating journey to explore the intriguing concept of unicorns in relationships, delving into their significance, the challenges they face, and the magic they bring to the lives of those who dare to embrace this unique form of love.

1. What is a “Unicorn” in a Relationship?

At the heart of it, a unicorn in a relationship is a person who openly embraces the idea of forming an intimate connection with an established couple. This dynamic often involves all three individuals engaging romantically, emotionally, and sexually. Unicorns are valued for their potential to enrich the existing bond between the couple, adding a new layer of love and depth to the relationship.

2. What is “Unicorn Hunting”?

“Unicorn hunting” is a term used to describe the act of couples actively seeking a third partner to join their relationship. While the concept may seem exciting, it is crucial to approach this process ethically and thoughtfully. Unicorns are not objects to be acquired but individuals with their own desires, needs, and autonomy. Treating them with respect and empathy is paramount to fostering healthy and sustainable connections.

3. How Does Unicorn Polyamory Look Like?

Unicorn polyamory entails a three-person relationship, where an established couple invites a third partner to join their intimate connection. The dynamics of these relationships can vary significantly, ranging from equal triads where all individuals are involved with each other, to hierarchical structures where the pre-existing couple maintains primary status. Central to the success of such relationships is open communication, emotional intimacy, and genuine consent from all parties involved.

4. Unicorn Polyamory vs. Triads/Throuples: What’s the Difference?

While the concepts of unicorn polyamory and triads/throuples may share some similarities, they differ in essential ways. Unicorn polyamory primarily involves a pre-existing couple actively seeking a third partner to join them. On the other hand, triads or throuples are formed by three individuals who all enter the relationship with mutual consent, creating a balanced and equitable connection from the outset.

5. What Emotional Impact Can Unicorns Experience in Relationships?

Unicorns, like any individual in a relationship, can experience various emotional challenges. They may grapple with feelings of being a secondary partner or struggle with jealousy, as navigating multiple connections can be complex. Open and honest communication is pivotal in addressing these emotions effectively, ensuring all parties feel seen and supported.

6. Are Unicorns Objectified in These Arrangements?

Unfortunately, in some cases, unicorns can be objectified or treated as mere commodities in these relationships. This occurs when their desires, needs, and well-being are not given equal consideration. It is vital to approach these dynamics with empathy and mindfulness, recognizing the individuality and agency of each person involved.

7. Can a Unicorn Be Involved with Both Partners Equally?

Absolutely, a unicorn can form meaningful and loving relationships with both members of the pre-existing couple. The key to achieving this lies in cultivating equality, respect, and open communication within the triad. Acknowledging and addressing any imbalances that may arise is vital to nurturing a harmonious connection for all involved.

8. Do Unicorns Have the Right to Date Outside the Triad?

Unicorns have the same autonomy and agency as anyone else in a relationship. They have every right to date outside the triad if they desire, provided that the rules and boundaries are discussed openly and mutually agreed upon by all parties involved.

9. How to Approach Finding a Unicorn Respectfully?

When seeking a unicorn partner, approaching the process with respect, consent, and clear communication is paramount. Avoid objectifying potential partners and focus on creating a genuine emotional connection. Being considerate of their feelings, desires, and boundaries will foster a healthy and sustainable relationship.

10. Can Unicorn Relationships Be Long-lasting and Fulfilling?

Indeed, unicorn relationships, like any other, have the potential to be long-lasting and deeply fulfilling. The key lies in building a foundation of trust, open communication, and genuine connection between all individuals. When nurtured with care and respect, unicorn relationships can be a source of profound love, growth, and happiness for everyone involved.

What are the challenges of being a unicorn in a relationship?

While unicorn relationships can be exciting and rewarding, they also come with their fair share of challenges. Navigating the complexities of a three-person dynamic requires open communication, self-awareness, and a willingness to address potential hurdles. Here are some of the common challenges of being a unicorn in a relationship:

1) Balancing Time and Attention:

One of the primary challenges for a unicorn is finding a balance between both partners in the pre-existing couple. Ensuring that each individual feels valued and receives the attention they need can be demanding, especially when competing priorities arise.

2) Jealousy and Insecurity:

Feelings of jealousy and insecurity can emerge in any relationship, and unicorn dynamics are no exception. A unicorn might experience jealousy towards the primary couple or feel anxious about their position in the triad. It is crucial for all parties to address these emotions with empathy and understanding.

3) Navigating Hierarchical Structures:

In some unicorn relationships, the pre-existing couple might have a hierarchical structure, where they prioritize their connection over the one with the unicorn. This can lead to feelings of being a secondary partner, which may be challenging for the unicorn to cope with emotionally.

4) Communication Challenges:

Effective communication is essential in any relationship, but in a triad, it becomes even more critical. Miscommunication or assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Being honest and transparent about needs, boundaries, and emotions is vital.

5) Lack of Autonomy:

Unicorns might face challenges related to autonomy and decision-making within the triad. Ensuring that their desires and preferences are respected and that they have an equal say in the relationship’s direction is crucial.

6) Outside Judgment:

Society’s perception of non-traditional relationships can lead to external judgment and misunderstanding. Unicorns may face criticism or scrutiny from friends, family, or society, adding additional stress to the relationship.

7) Emotional Exhaustion:

Balancing emotional connections between two partners can be emotionally taxing. Unicorns may find themselves emotionally drained or overwhelmed, especially if conflicts arise.

8) Feeling Disconnected:

In some cases, the unicorn might feel disconnected from the pre-existing couple if they share a history and bond that the unicorn is not part of. This can lead to feelings of isolation and exclusion.

9) Changing Relationship Dynamics:

As with any relationship, dynamics can change over time. This might include shifts in feelings, desires, or life circumstances. Adapting to these changes requires ongoing communication and flexibility.

10) Unclear Expectations:

If expectations are not discussed and aligned from the beginning, misunderstandings can arise. It is crucial for all parties to have open conversations about their hopes and boundaries within the relationship.


Despite these challenges, unicorn relationships can be successful and fulfilling with conscious effort and communication from all involved parties. Establishing a foundation of trust, empathy, and mutual respect is vital to overcoming these hurdles and nurturing a healthy and loving triad.