This article belongs to Psych In The City column.

Just when you thought a two-person relationship was difficult enough, there is a new phenomenon starting to catch on in the world of relationships. Couples are now opting to add a third permanent member to their relationship to form what is now being called polyamorous relationships. Couples have long engaged in ménage a trois and swinger clubs to add spice to their sex life, but with polyamourous relationships the commitment is more than just sex. There is also an equal respect among the relationship, no one is considered the "leader" or the head of household, as you might find in a polygamy type situation. A polyamourous relationship is basically an establishment of a monogamous partnership between three individuals, this can occur in gay or straight relationships. For couples who once struggled to decide where to eat on a Friday nights, just imagine the delay deciding where to eat with a third individual now included in the mix, will it be Chinese, Mexican or Italian food, how will they decide? I offer the best sound advice to polyamourous in this situation, BUFFETS!

While it might appear to be exciting to have a third person to cuddle up to if your partner is too tired or unavailable, beyond an extra chance of some "nookie", I have to ask what purpose do these polyamorous relationships serve? I foresee problems in communication staying equal between all three parties. Will there be colluding of two of the partners against one partner during group arguments? With communication being a key asset in relationships, these polyamorous unions will need to work even harder to make sure that there is open communication between all three participants in the relationship.

Before a couple engages in a polyamorous relationship they must ask themselves if this third person is being added to the relationship to fill a void within the relationship or to enhance their relationship. Couples may look at a polyamorous situation as a quick fix to their problems within the relationship, without fully understanding the consequences that could be involved with engaging in such a situation. There also needs to be an understanding of the legal ramifications that could arise from such a union. Most importantly, who would get to take the family pet in case of a break up of the relationship? Divorces can already be messy and adding a third person to the mix will now require more lawyers and more money being spent on court fees. In the end could a polyamorous union work, I think it largely depends on the participants in the relationship and the ability of all participants to be willing to have an open dialogue about what they expect out of the relationship. If nothing less, bring this topic up at dinner and see what type of conversation this may spark with friends or a loved one, its sure to produce an interesting debate, besides you just might learn a little more about a person after the discussion.