Published on 31 March 2022 at 21:28

Three-way compatibility model of friendship, love and sex.

As featured in my first video discourse, this is the slightly expanded version of the topic: three-way compatibility model.

Most of us have browsed, used or considered using online social dating, hook-up or friendship platforms. Some of us have been to real-life coaches, workshops and attended live talks on the topics of "friendship", "love" and "sex". Personally, I have only truly explored three sites and none of them actual strictly dating sites (for your own curiosity here they are: Libertic, JoyClub and Fetlife.). Regardless of the platform or the ongoing conversations I've had over the years, nothing concrete has ever materialized regarding what would lead to a successful connection with another person. Of course this recipe I'm exploring isn't one that will bake the same cake for everyone, BUT, it has proven to be a very consistently tasty mix over a good number of years. And what is my expertise on the topic? Some official education (university level psychology) and life experience (been dating, exploring sexuality, marriage, family and just plain old debauchery for around 25 years!).

Let's jump right in!

The three-way model is essentially a mental, physical and emotional compatibility in different combinations to assist towards a good outcome for different types of relationships. For the sake of not getting lost in terminology, I refer to platonic friendship, long-term romantic relationship (or life partnership), and sex friendship. If you have different terms for these types of connections, feel free to "replace-all". 

For a platonic friendship to last over years, a mental compatibility is usually enough. What is mental compatibility? It is essentially "the way one thinks". It is the collection of shared values, common hobbies, vision of life, common topics of discussion and so forth. The mental realm is vast and can include many metaphysical aspects of the human condition. 

For a long-term romantic relationship, you'll have the best shot at success over time, with a total three-way compatibility. Since I've already described the mental one, I move on to the physical one. This is of course, in short, sexual attraction. This attraction manifests as those famous butterflies in the stomach, or the inability to stop thinking about that person all day long, or that spark in the eye when you gaze at each other. It's either of those things or all of them together, or various levels thereof but not an exclusively list at all. Lastly, we arrive at the emotional compatibility. This one is the most abstract and hardest to pin down. I see it simply as "the manifestation of attachment to another person". Essentially it is the way people become attached to each other. It is the way a person loves, falls in love, or falls out of love and also possibly the way one person needs their significant other, and to what extent.

It has been my experience that most romances start with a physical attraction, which is then complemented by a mental connection and then lastly welded by an emotional component that also provides the safety net we most often crave alongside excitement and sex.

Now for the more fun part: the sex friendship! For this to work well, and here I'd make abstraction from a one night stand of any kind, you need the duo of physical and mental compatibility. The emotional one is superfluous for a sex friendship because it isn't about the day-to-day living and sharing of life with another person but rather the intermittent, intimacy of sex while at the same time being able to watch a movie together, have a dinner or enjoy a common hobby for instance. 

Is it all that simple? Of course not. Relationships are fluid in nature. Even when they seem static and boring, they are still constantly changing because the people are changing with respect to their life experience, age, interests and so forth. The lack of sparks later on in a relationship is in and of itself the proof that things change! This change manifests within the three-way compatibility model as well, with one or two of the three becoming more predominant and thus changing the dynamic. How so? Well, your sex friend can become your life partner (Here! here!); your platonic friend can become your sex friend and sometimes the reverse order of it all happens as well. 


So how does all this help with finding a mate...or mates(if you're poly)...or play friends...or just a one-time fling? It probably doesn't really! You still need to get out there and get your hands dirty, so to speak. No online site or coaching will replace the grit and grime of lust and rejection. However, it may help in saving time on the next occasion. Knowing on which of the three pillars of compatibility you stand in relation to the "other", may help to clear the cobwebs of wishful thinking. This may also help with a fading romance. Essentially knowing which of the three pillars are missing or lower than your foot can touch, may help you focus your energy better in reviving a hibernating love affair.


So for now, I leave you with a little insider anecdote on the topic of love and sex.

"Man! Why can't we just unknow each other?" She questions in a half-joking, post-coitus languid voice.

"Why?" He asks with a yawn. "Why would you want to unknow me?"

"Because then I'd be able to flirt with you!" She answers with a laugh.

"But you know..." He began groping her breast lazily. "We do flirt! All the time! You've just stopped noticing it!"


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