People in a throuple, or a relationship between three people, have gained major followings on TikTok.
The hashtag #throuple currently has over 869 million cumulative views on the app.
One TikToker told Insider that fans frequently thank him for normalizing the relationship structure.
On March 3, Adam Joshua, a 27-year-old from Vancouver, British Columbia, posted a video kissing his partner in front of a snowy backdrop. On-screen text read, "We should try out an open relationship!" The video then playfully cuts to a clip that included a third person, as all three of them are seen smiling to the caption, "Falls in love and starts a closed throuple months later."
@thatadamlguy What happens when romantic types try being open 💛💛💛 #gaylove #gayboys💙 #gaythrouple🏳️🌈 #throuple #loveislove #EstalandoOsDedos ♬ original sound - Adam Joshua
Videos featuring three people in one relationship have become increasingly common on TikTok. The term for the relationship type, and its complementing hashtag #throuple, currently has over 869 million cumulative views on the app.
Joshua's March upload gained 1.8 million views. Over 70,000 followers tune in for his and their relationship updates. He told Insider he regularly receives messages from viewers thanking him for shining a spotlight on the throuple lifestyle, but he's also been subjected to hateful comments from those who say the dynamic is doomed to fail.
Joshua has led viewers along his journey from monogamy to polyamory
Back in May 2022, Joshua made TikToks with his monogamous partner of five years, Zeke, documenting their travels and outdoor adventures. He told Insider he was following a "very traditional, normal lifestyle" at the time on a trajectory to marriage and kids.
Then they decided to try an open relationship. This lasted around five months, which is when they both met Derrick, fell in love, and a final "what are we" conversation led them to all agree to be in a relationship, he said. Derrick hadn't been in a throuple before, either, but the trio decided to "take a leap of faith" and see what would happen.
Joshua said he was "really nervous" to start posting about his new relationship status on TikTok.
He posted a few uploads, which featured the three of them spending time together, and made lighthearted videos that addressed how they dealt with jealousy. His confidence grew as he received positive responses from viewers. Some commenters cheekily asked if they were looking for a fourth.
@thatadamlguy Every healthy relationship is rooted in crying for attention and seeking revenge! No different here :) #gaythrouple🏳️🌈 #throuple #gaylove ♬ You Found Me - Instrumental Pop Songs
Then the more personal messages came. Joshua said members of the polyamorous community began directly message him praising him for shining a light on the alternative lifestyle.
"Every couple days, I have throuples or people in open relationships ... message me privately and thank me for posting," he said. "For showing some representation, just showing the stories of this part of the community online because they just don't see this thing. It's always so hush-hush."
Despite widespread support, not all responses have been positive
Joshua said he was braced for criticism, too. Viewers have also left judgemental comments to say throuples were simply couples with unresolved relationship issues, or that their three-way relationship was doomed to fail.
"I think when people see something different, they kind of get scared and immediately put up a barrier and throw hatred at it," Joshua told Insider.
He said most of the negativity didn't bother him because he was confident in his relationship. However, a recurring comment that suggested he was giving the gay community a bad name has stuck with him.
"I definitely thought about that one for a bit," he said. "I don't wanna cause more hatred anywhere. I want to spread positivity and love in the world."
Joshua said he came to the conclusion members of the LGBTQ+ community shouldn't have to fit a singular mold to be accepted, and encouraged others to support "smaller parts" of the community.
Although he's hesitant to become the face of throuples, he understands he's one of a few TikTokers highlighting the different dynamic and he plans to keep posting about it.
"If I can be that representation for people, I'm actually really happy to do it," he said.
Read the original article on Insider