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My girlfriend wants a threesome

but the thought makes me feel cheated on

The Dilemma

Emma (she/her) l 23 l Lesbian l  Manchester

My girlfriend recently said she wanted a threesome. It was a very cold approach, done while I was folding clothes, and it was presented more as a statement than a question. We’re both in our 20’s but I saw a future with her. I now feel cheated on, even though nothing has happened. I’ve also found myself worrying what she’s up to and if she’s ever had a secret fling. I certainly don’t want to have a threesome with another and the thought alone makes me feel cheated on. We ended that evening in an argument.

Am I being too sensitive?

The Response

Firstly, dear Emma, you will see that I’ve extracted and italicized your finale question. What a question it is, so let’s unpick that first, before delving into the relationship.

The question strikes me as one that comes from someone who doesn’t have their emotional needs met. I’m curious how strong your boundaries are with the human beings around you – strangers and loved ones. 

It feels like you’re taking responsibility for how your partner has made you feel, instead of questioning why your partner has made you feel this way.

One must always tread carefully when discussing another’s relationship, as outsiders only ever have limited information, and in my case, all I have is an email. That said, I do think we have some clear topics for discussion around motivations, communication, and compromises, so let’s kick off…


In the first instance, you need to understand your partner’s motivations for a threesome.

Some people simply have higher sex drives than others, and need an interesting sex life that explores new fantasies and flavours. Many relationships work well where both partners are sexually satisfied, and that may include having threesomes (or more) with others, or exploring new fantasies, but only with each other.

For threesomes to work, partners need to first discuss and respect one another’s motivations and feelings around it, and most importantly agree boundaries and limitations. That said, I feel this is moot guidance based on your values.

Therefore, there could be an alternative to why your partner asked for a threesome; your partner may be craving something more from you sexually, and they aren’t emotionally mature enough to share their need with you. This causes people to play up.

Another thought, and it won’t be a nice one for you to read, is that your partner may be self-destructing to rock the foundations that you’ve built together. If they knew your personal values meant a threesome was never on the agenda, they may be using this to destroy the trust in the relationship. In summary, it was never about a threesome.

While it may not be what you want to hear, it doesn’t necessarily mean they want the relationship to end. We can self-destruct for lots of reasons, but irrespective, it does mean your partner is experiencing some form of anxiety or discomfort that they’re not talking to you about.

Communication is key now.


How often do you talk?

Like, really talk.

If we take your partner’s approach to discussing a threesome, doing it ‘coldly’ while you’re folding clothes feels an off-hand way to broaching a very important conversation. I may go as far to say it’s subtle aggressive. 

Why did she not ask you to sit with her so that you could have a conversation…

Why did she not explain her motivations for wanting a threesome…

Why do you not feel you can outline your needs to her…after all, you have had to come to me for guidance.

I would suggest she did it subconsciously with intention to destroy your respect for her, or that she needs to do some very real work on her emotional maturity.

Communication is the foundation to any healthy partnership, because it is a partnership, not a singularship.

Your partner has a duty to talk openly with you about what they’re going through, and to ask you how you feel about the partnership as it evolves. I wonder how often this happens.


The third and most important thing you need to do, Emma, is determine your points of compromise (and non-compromise).

Take Monica and Richard, they may have loved one another dearly, but neither was prepared to compromise. For these big decisions, remaining true to who you are is critical for a happy and loving, long-term partnership.

It isn’t unreasonable to not want a threesome, nor is it unreasonable to want a threesome. We’re all different, though, and so the question is whether views can align within your relationship.

My final thoughts

Finally, Emma, please never question your sensitivity if someone has caused you upset. We all have different triggers, needs, and boundaries based on our personal values – you are entitled to feel upset by anything that goes against those personal values.

I hope you’re able to create the space for yourself to confidently communicate your personal needs and emotions moving forward.

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Warning: advice may sometimes be sassy

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