American comedian, DeRay Davis and his two partners Coco Crawford and  Caro Peguero are among the couples who continuously make waves on the internet on the dynamics and nature of their throuple relationship. PHOTO | FILE


  • For as long as Tanzanian societies have existed, the relationship handbooks always stated that a man was allowed two wives on religious and cultural grounds. However, this has stretched to regular relationships dubbed ‘throuples’ which often leave people wondering who is desperate for what that they share an unwed partner

In a very interesting conversation, Josephine (not her real name) got candid and blurted out: “I got my hubby a girlfriend, who looks just like me, we are in a throuple relationship.”

Of course she went on happily explaining how she enjoys the relationship since her boyfriend agreed to another girlfriend.

As an ordinary soul, which was the first time I heard about that kind of relationship, my mind started formulating questions like: do they get jealous? How did they meet? And how do they sleep at night? You get the gist?

To better learn about them, I decided to go slow and shoot one question at a time.

What surprised me was the fact is that these couples aren’t married yet; they are just living the ‘la vida loca’ lifestyle and enjoying their couple goals.

“It’s fun being in throuple relationships, other people around us wish they could have this kind of relationship but what they need to know is that we have deep conversations beforehand and we build this from scratch,” she says.

First, let’s get one thing straight. The throuple I spoke with do not want to be seen as sex hungry monsters who swing from partner to partner.

For the purpose of this article, we will refer to them by the names Gorge Samwell, Josephine Martin, and Jasmine Luis.

Josephine and Gorge met 7 years ago and after a whirlwind romance in their relationship, they decided to spice up their relationship and introduced Jasmine.

According to Josephine, Gorge used to meet Jasmine everyday on his way home from work.

At first, Gorge tried to put the moves on Jasmine secretly but he later expressed his intentions to Josephine.

“I started seeing some change in him; he was acting like he did something wrong to me but I didn’t mind at that time. After a week, he then told me about the lady and that if I did not want that, he’ll leave that lady. I didn’t doubt him telling that because he was brave enough to tell me which meant he loves, respects and appreciates me. So, that’s where the spark started between me, Jasmine, and Gorge,” she says.

She further added that it was surprising and annoying to hear how people thought that the two were having a misunderstanding which was why they added another person.

“We sat down and had a conversation on how we were going to do this. You know, setting up the structures so that we all enjoy the journey and I am telling you I really enjoy having someone with whom we resemble,” she chuckles.

Success in their relationship

For Josephine, since she decided to be in this type of relationship, she has learnt to recognise her own wants and needs which she struggled with before.

“What most people don’t get about our relationship is that we didn’t wake up like this; we discussed it and we agreed on it,” she explains.

However, Jasmine says that she has never been happy in a relationship like this before because the bad beliefs are not there anymore.

“In my past relationships, insecurity is what always killed me and made me doubt the relationship I had. But after being introduced to this kind of relationship, I was scared at first but the deeper I am in the relationship, the safer and happier I feel,” she details.

According to their boyfriend Gorge, making that kind of decision did not mean he lost interest in Josephine; it simply meant that along the way, he met an equally interesting person, just like Josephine.

“If wasn’t into her, I would definitely cheat on her without not her knowing but we used to discuss this issue. I came to Josephine, explained to her and she gave me permission. We go on dates together, share intimate moments, do everything together and we enjoy our lives,” he details.

Complications in their relationship

According to them, judgment is always there, no matter how much time they spend explaining to family and friends.

Sometimes explaining your relationship so that people can understand is hard and sometimes, there are extra feelings to deal with internally because you’re dealing with two people instead of one.

“All three people may not agree on the same rules or have the same lifestyle habits. So we learn to adjust and give each other time to learn what the others like and dislike,” they say.

Over the years, our relationship culture has been evolving and changing according to globalisation and social media exposure.

Today, having a relationship is very easy. We jump into a romantic relationship and then speed up into marriage without taking the time to know each other.

What psychologists say

Social Psychologist and President of Tanzania Psychological Association (TAPA), Magolanga Shagembe says that at face value, those who are in a throuple relationships seem fine but when he sits down with them, there are a lot of problems within.

“Everyone wants to have their official partner but because their partner desires something more, it becomes difficult to take the hard step of leaving them when they’re told about adding more partners. In the end, they decide to accept anything they are told. They know they’re in pain but they can’t do anything,” he says.

He adds that in many cases, each one wants the other partner to leave, but they feel like they will offend their lovers. So you find that someone has a soul crisis.

Shagembe keeps on explaining that some of biggest the reasons that lead to the existence of this type relationship agreements is because of personal desires and financial instability.

“For the most part, throuple relationships sometimes don’t reach the marriage level. This is because, there are not investing in feelings of true love; it’s either because of material prosperity, their sexual desires, or the notion they’re just in a relationship,” Shagembe details.

Is it okay to be in a throuple?

Provided you enter a relationship based on your own personal choices, any relationship type that feels right for you is okay; a throuple is no different.

According to Shagembe, it depends on a person’s attitude toward the situation.

Each of us has different ways of weighing what works for them.

“Every relationship is surrounded by the fundamentals that govern them, these include faith, religion, and the relevant society. So you find that if you put them in that perspective, it’s unacceptable in our culture. Apart from that, it gets more complicated when children are involved,” he explains.

He also add that women in these relationships tend to also compete to be better than the other.

Social stigma

It is easy to be discriminated against and stigmatised by a society that doesn’t understand or favour such arrangements.

According to Peter Namala, a businessman based in Mwenge, Dar es Salaam; instead of playing around with each other, why don’t they get married?

“It’s a type of relationship which I don’t feel is commendable because if that love is true why not marry both of them and live a polygamous union?” he questions.


It is already hard at times giving attention to one partner, imagine having two.

Commenting on that, Veronika Kombo says that women love attention, all the time, and having two ladies whom you have not married is a disaster because you risk giving one more attention than the other.

“It’s just a matter of time because at a certain point, someone will want to become more significant than other. I don’t say it’s bad but both partners need to be in sync with their boyfriend,” she says.

One way road

Speaking with a beauty and make-up salon owner at Makumbusho bus stand, Catherine Charles; she says she doesn’t recommend a throuple relationship because it is not equal.

“This type of relationship is a one-way road because the woman is expected to be okay with choosing another partner for her boyfriend but he wouldn’t accept that situation. What if I also want to add another boyfriend in my relationship, can he understand me as I understand him?” says Catherine.

Legal challenges

In most of our relationships, couples spend years living together and even having babies without a marriage certificate.

Legal challenges come across when people living together, with children, and tragedy strikes.

“I don’t think this kind of relationship is recognised as a legal union in our country and others. As a result, inheritance and property ownership may bring a lot of challenges which may lead to other legal issues,” shares Benson Mtesha, a lawyer in the making.

One partner is not enough

Besides the arguments, Sophie Kibwana says sometimes having one person is not enough, men today cheat a lot so it’s better to have someone who can handle both of them.

“Nothing is guaranteed from one partner, people are changing every day so at least having a person like Gorge is interesting because instead of cheating, he decided to put it on the table for discussion,” she says.

Is this what both partners want?

As Shagembe explained earlier, it depends on the partner’s intentions. If it’s about wealth, then it can be what women or men want but if it’s for the sake of true love and affection, then it’s not what partners want.

It’s the kind of relationship that in more ways than one, favours men while becoming tougher when a woman asks for the same. According to different scientific research, women are naturally more interested in establishing an emotional connection than men and that’s why open relationships are becoming rougher for women.

Shagembe says that whatever the choice, it’s important to devote ourselves to a relationship that is acceptable in society.

“We do need a relationship which shows the way; one with a good image. If we do that, we will be creating a morally conscious generation that will be entering into relationships with clear understanding of their individual roles and the purpose of the relationship,” he says.





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