‘Thruples’: a couple, and their best friend

This year, a new term was coined at ARHS: thruple. For those of you living under a rock, a thruple is, as Rafael Depillis explained, “a couple with their best friend.”

Natalie Elliott has a more specific take on the matter: “You can third wheel, but a thruple is something else; not just anyone can be a thruple.”

There is a strong emphasis on the difference between third wheeling and thrupling. “If I didn’t belong, it would just be third wheeling. But I belong,” senior Ethan Lefebvre said. Opposed to the concept, Luca LaRaja said, “I don’t know how thruples do it. It’s not like a love triangle, it’s just friendship, which is weird.”

There’s also some controversy over the value of the thruple to both the romantic and platonic relationship.

I was astounded by the measure to which the student body spoke out about their thrupling experiences, their trials and tribulations, and the ways in which thrupling can enhance or dilapidate a relationship. It is important to note that there is nothing inherently sexual or romantic about thruples.

“It’s just like hanging out with your best friends, except two of them happen to be dating,” said senior Lucas Willocq.

Junior Justin Guaytanof had mixed feelings about thrupling. “When a thruple is there, they can confirm the craziness or irrationality of the significant other. It can be good if the person making the mistake is good at taking criticism, but it can be bad if they’re not,” he said.

But more often than not, there’s a feeling of ganging up. There are definitely abusive thruple relationships, like when the third person is dismissed at certain times. And now that I think about it, I haven’t always been treated fairly in a thruple,” Guaytanof said. “But for the most part I enjoy thrupling. It’s chill. You can never do too little as a thruple.”

You may never be able to do too little as a thruple, but can you do too much? Ethan Lefebvre didn’t seem to think so.

“I spent an entire snow day with my thruple,” he said. “We watched a documentary about tiny houses, ate a family dinner, and then we watched the Bruins game. Anything that you’d do with your friends, I’d probably do with my thruple.”

Lijah Joyce agreed. “As a thruple, I’ve done dinner, outings, vacations, movie night, hanging out, just thruple things really,” she said.

Annick Sheridan was also pro-thruple, and hoped to debunk the taboo. “I don’t see why we have to have such a stigma around couples and them just hanging out by themselves. They’re two completely separate people. It’s a ridiculous concept.”

Annick has also done a lot with her thruple. “As the thruple, I like to walk in between [the couple] when they go to class. It’s comfortable; I feel surrounded. We watch movies and play board games. It’s hard to play backgammon with three people but we make it work,” Sheridan exclaimed.

Willy Wright had a more vague take on the concept. “I’ll say one thing. Three wheels make a tricycle. I had a tricycle when I was young. I still have the tricycle,” he commented.

Although Sheridan. Lefebvre, Elliott, Depillis, Willocq, Joyce and Guaytanof were on the same page, some of the student body was vehemently opposed to the thruple. Senior Luca Laraja described himself as anti-thruple.

“Thrupling? Isn’t that just third wheeling? I don’t think that’s a real thing. The person who is the third wheel, that’s who they really are, is not enjoying themselves,” he said. Luca’s sister, Téa, agreed. “Thrupling is an unhealthy situation,” she said.

Qualms about thrupling are not exclusive to upperclassmen, and freshman Gabe Hennessey is proof. “Thrupling is an illusion that exists in the minds of people in relationships and want to bring them and a platonic friend together. I used to think it existed but I don’t know anymore,” he said.

An anonymous sophomore was pro-thruple until they had a disappointing experience. “I thought I was in a thruple with my girlfriend but then my other friend turned out to be dating her,” they said.

Clay Fosterweber, however, would argue that even that can’t be considered a thruple, because for a relationship to be classified as a thruple “you, the non-couple, can’t already be dating someone; that’s just third wheeling.” He also adamantly believes that for a thruple to be successful, everyone must like everyone else independent of the relationship.

Many folks expressed frustration with the dreaded three letter acronym: PDA. For those of you still in the dark about this lingo, PDA stands for “public displays of affection.” I found a unanimous agreement that PDA between the couple can easily obliterate the thruple.

“I think thrupling is cool until they start making out. And I’m like ‘word,’” Jasmine McMickle said. Justin Guaytanof has found a great way to combat this problem. “The thruple tends to fall apart during the evening hours, but situations where I’m more involved are much better. I recommend out of the house thrupling,” he said.  

Ethan Lefebvre had another solution. “I’ve found a thruple that isn’t super publicly affectionate, which helps,” Lefebvre said. In the words of Annick, “It’s not thrupling unless you’re having fun.”