Any love for unconventional couples? Here’s me (right), my partner, and her husband on their wedding day, 4½ years ago.

This link was originally posted to /r/CouplesPics. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

The original link was:

JTA, Ruth and Dan at Ruth and JTA's wedding


  1. Dan Q says:

    /u/avapoet !!! There is tons of love for ANY type of relationship from me! I already have plenty for you, my friend :) Thank you so very much for posting your picture here! This has totally made my day:)

  2. alexd51 alexd51 says:

    Ok im confused i need a beer??? How is this a couple?? isn’t it a threesome? or something on those lines? lol Any how congrats, can you elaborate on how your relationship works? just curious.

    1. Dan Q Dan Q says:

      Well… it’s two couples, the way I see it: my partner and I are one couple, and she and her husband are the second. Her partner and I aren’t in a romantic relationship with one another, or else there’d be a third couple there!

      Threesome’s a perfectly valid term, if you like, although it carries a sexual implication that isn’t necessarily true (somebody can have two sexual partners without having two sexual partners at the same time, if you see what I’m saying). Also triad, trio, vee (after the letter “V”, whose shape does a reasonable job of describing our relationship structure).

      Can I elaborate on how it works? Certainly! Although I can promise you that it’s more-dull than you might be hoping! My partner, her husband, and I all met at about the same time: my partner and her husband were in the same residence at University; my partner and I met through volunteer work a few weeks later. That’ll have been about 2002. In 2007, she and I got together as well, with some negotation involved (as you might expect!). In 2009, we all started living together in Oxford. In 2010, they got married – the photo you see is from their wedding. In 2013, we bought our first house together. In 2014, their daughter was born. And here we all are, trundling along in what’s doubtless a frightfully normal and everyday relationship in every sense, except for the fact that there are more of us involved with one another than is typical!

      I’m not sure what exactly you want to know, but I’ll try to answer whatever you can think of! People often ask about our sleeping arrangements (my partner’s husband and I each have a bedroom, she spends about half of the nights in each of them), jealousy (I could talk at length about jealousy, but the fundamental revelations that need to happen are that (a) monogamy doesn’t make you immune to it, either, and (b) it’s not something to be afraid of, just understood, owned, and handled), childraising (humans have brought up children in extended families for millenia: children don’t care much who sleeps where, they just care that they’re given a loving, supportive, and stable environment by adult caregivers they can trust and rely upon), and how people react to the discovery (mostly good, although we’ve had a few nasty exceptions): we’re all pretty-much universally “out” about it, though. If there’s anything you want to know (more) about, though, just shout! I’m personally a big fan of talking about our relationships because I think it helps to show people that a polyamorous relationship isn’t really that-much different from a monogamous one!

      1. alexd51 alexd51 says:

        Thank you for the answer. Its interesting . I have only heard of these kind of unions but with the male being the ones that has various wives and never the other way around. How is your relationship with the husband? and i dont mean it in any sexual way just like if you 2 are buddies and go out for a beer ? Have you guys ever been mad at her at the same time? What about the baby, do you babysit for them so they can go out ? are you involved in raising the child at all or are you just an observer?

        1. Dan Q Dan Q says:

          Fuck; I just wrote a long response to this and Reddit ate it. Let me try to write a short version of the same –

          Friends: Yup, he and I are close. And on top of our regularly-scheduled “date nights” with our partner-in-common, we try to have ocassional nights out/in for just he and I, too, for beer and pizza followed by whisky and train documentaries, usually.

          Mad at the same time: I don’t think so. We’re all quite laid-back people. We’re often all stressed out at the same time and by the same things, though!

          Childcare: Yes, we all play our part in raising and looking after the baby. We all do some of basically-everything involved in her upbringing.

          Sorry for the short response; was frustrated to lose my initial answer! Shout for details if I’m skimmed over anything.

          1. alexd51 alexd51 says:

            Was there ever a need for a DNA test for the baby?

          2. Dan Q Dan Q says:

            No. I’m sterile following a successful vasectomy a few years ago.

          3. alexd51 alexd51 says:

            So you guys just got a house was that a 3 way split? Does she have any interest in another boyfriend? What will happen if you find another girl? has that been ever addressed?

        2. Dan Q Dan Q says:

          More great questions! I think. The first one confuses me a little:

          So you guys just got a house was that a 3 way split?

          I’m not sure what you’re asking. I think you’re asking about ownership of the property? In which case: yes, we’ve collectively got a mortgage on it and own it in equal shares. Interestingly, we don’t pay equally for it: we’re clearly all of a socialist bent because we use a means-assessment based system of dividing up our household costs – over the course of each month, everybody puts their household expenses (mortgage, family car, utilities, insurance, shopping, family holidays, etc.) into a Google Docs spreadsheet which then divides them up proportional to our relative incomes and tells us how to settle the difference (which, given that the mortgage, utility, and car payments come directly out of my bank account usually means that they both owe money to me at the end of each month). I wrote a blog post explaining it in detail (which includes a sample sheet to adapt) back in October, if you’re interested.

          Alternatively, I figured that you might be asking about the physical layout of the house? What we’ve got is a large (for the UK) house that consists of a main house plus an annex that was originally used as a separate flat, but we’ve pulled down the dividing doors and turned its living room into a dining room, making it all one big house. It confuses people that our ground floor has a “loop” and that our two ground-floor-to-first-floor staircases take you to separate and otherwise disconnected first floors. (Apologies for the use of British English in the naming of parts of the house and floor numbering.)

          Does she have any interest in another boyfriend?

          I think she finds two, plus an infant, more than enough right now!

          (or girlfriend; both my partner and I are bisexual, although that’s completely unrelated to our relationship structure)

          What will happen if you find another girl? has that been ever addressed?

          We’re in a relationship that is nominally “open” (i.e. we’re all theoretically “available”). I mention this because it shouldn’t be taken for granted: there are people in “closed” polyamorous relationships just like there are people in closed monogamous relationships, whose relationship is built on rules that preclude additional parties.

          However, despite being theoretically open, we’re all pretty busy people (I, for example, have employed work, freelance work, voluntary work, a kid to help look after, a girlfriend, and a couple of hobbies competing for my time) and finding time to “date” is a stretch! I’ve typically had about one “first date” per 18-24 months, these last few years, and only one – with a woman who lives in the other side of the city – has progressed to anything beyond that. That relationship is nice, but I don’t get to see as much of her as I’d like for all of the above reasons plus her own time constraints (husband, school-age child, work, etc.): my partner jokes that if I have a ‘type’, then it’s apparently “married women with kids” (which is clearly false but certainly looks that way to outsiders).

          There have certainly been times that there were more people in our network, though: for about a year, long ago, we formed a “square” of four people. For a short while after that we were a line-of-five (if we’re a “V” now, then I suppose we were a “W” then). This last 5 years is the only time for any of us that our entire committed network have lived in the same home, though.

          Oh, and safe sex: we have a “fluid bonding” arrangement whereby we practice only barrier sex with people outside the three of us (and we all got tested for just about everything possible when we started doing so). And anyone(s) ever joining that fluid bonded group would need everybody’s agreement, a fresh round of re-testing for everybody, abbe to accept the same rules going forwards.

          My partner’s husband has tried his have at dating around, too, from time to time, but I feel like he’s a little less self-confident than me and that works against him, even though he’s perfectly dateable and lovely. I should be a better wingman.

          Thanks for the interest! I imagine that I’ve opened a while fresh can of worms with those answers: sorry!

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