Three’s Company, Too – Dreaming of the Multi-Relationship Home


Photo by Rutlo

It is not uncommon amongst the non-monogamous to kick around the idea of having an extra live-in partner or two. For some this musing is more appealing than others, not everyone wants a multi-relationship home. Yet, whether you envision a roommate with benefits, a second wife or husband, or just a nice little fuck-thing that you can play with and then store in your closet, the truth is that the thought of having a new partner living with you has probably crossed your mind at some point during your jaunt to the Swingset. The real question is…jesus. There are so many questions.

Timing: Is it too soon to even think about this?

If you happen to be in a relationship that does not outright forbid cohabitating with new partners in your particular copy of the Rules of Engagement, you might wonder when the appropriate time to consider and communicate multi-relationship living situations might be. Generally, the appropriate time frame won't be the first time you consider the idea. However, if you have the communication bug like most non-monogamous people, a thought is no sooner conceived than it tumbles out of your mouth. While talking about living with your new partner very early in a relationship seems a bit uncouth and entirely premature, it's not necessarily a sign that you're ridiculously drunken in New Relationship Energy and about to hail a U-haul.

When you are treading new ground in a brand new relationship, one of the main things a couple  is attempting to do is feel out the possibilities and boundaries of the new relationship. It is hard to imagine your place in someone's life in the present tense without looking towards a future. So, don't be afraid to discuss the limits of your new relationship. Keep those lines of communication open, just don't go making any big plans or saving up for security deposits just yet. New Relationship Energy is a strong and mischievous factor. Move too fast, and you might just find yourself in the middle of a decision that should have been inspected a bit further.

Logistics: Where do I sleep?

Should we all share a room? Perhaps we should all have our own rooms, and one shared rooms? What about the rent? Who is paying what? What will the neighbors think? What should we do when mom's over? Should we go suburban or city? Are the kids going to be okay? Are the roommates going to be okay?  Are the goldfish going to look at us funny?

Sometimes it's important to keep in mind that there is no right answer to logistics. Every relationship dynamic is different. What is right for you and your partners might not be right for the next persons. It will take a lot of communication and thorough planning. Make sure to get everyone's input, and remember to check in as time passes. Feelings and plans change with time.

One commonly overlooked tip: Don't compromise too much. Everyone involved in the arrangement should be happy with the decisions made during the transition to a multi-relationship home. If there is too much friction and compromise, it might be a sign that your crew of non-monogamous folk might be happier without changing the living dynamic. This doesn't mean you can't revisit the idea in the future. But if you find yourself resenting the compromises already, back away from the situation and approach things slower. Don't rush, and don't do anything you'll regret.

Buyers Remorse: What if I hate it/him/her/them?

Much as you've learned that a successful relationship is not to be judged lasting till death, neither should cohabitating with a new partner. It might not be forever. Enjoy your time together. If you find that you grow apart or that you can't stand the way they leave their glass dildos in the dishwasher, you can readjust from there. Nothing in this world is permanent…unless you want it to be. Work hard for the reality you want.

You get to make the rules, my friends.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.


Shira B. Katz is a co-host of the Life on the Swingset podcast, bringing a pansexual and polyamorous viewpoint to the show. Shira also hosts Pedestrian Polyamory, a podcast on the Swingset network that focuses on polyamory and all of it's glorious (and not so glorious) features. When not writing articles, podcasting, or otherwise extolling the virtues of polyamory, Shira can be found in the wild getting crushes on nerds, lusting after boykisses, and fussing about in the San Francisco Bay area. To learn more about Shira B. Katz follow her on Twitter


  1. We are considering a living arrangement that would bring 2 couples together in one house.
    When we first started talking about it we just did the day dream thing, but now that time has made it a more realistic option we are realising a lot of planning must be involved as to how we live.

    We have actually reached a point that we have decided we will need to build a special house.

    • Let me know what you find when it comes time for that house to go up. I wonder if there are contractors that specialize in that sort of construction. I am sure they are booming in Utah, but outside of there? Hmm.

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