There’s no denying that modern-day relationships are pretty confusing. Perhaps you saw three people having a romantic picnic in the park, acting all lovey-dovey and whispering sweet nothings in their ears, which confused you. Or maybe you were looking for a date on Tinder and came across a profile with a unicorn emoji.
What exactly is a unicorn in a dating app?
Unicorns were the stuff of our dreams in childhood, but this adult version has manifested itself in the dating world as something entirely different. So what is it?
Do you want to know what it means and whether you should swipe right on a dating profile with a unicorn emoji?
What Does the Unicorn Mean on a Dating App?
A unicorn in dating is a third person who wants to join an existing couple in a relationship. This “third party” may be of any sexual orientation and gender willing to enter a polyamorous relationship.
These unicorns may be looking for casual hookups, also known as “swinging,” or a long-term commitment.
It could also refer to engaging in sexual escapades as a threesome or simply desiring a triad of a loving, doting relationship.
The dating world is ever-changing, and keeping up with all the new lingo is hard. But you know what they say, “Get with the times.”
Surprisingly, polyamorous relationships are not that uncommon. Research suggests one in five Americans has been in a polyamorous relationship during their lifetime.
According to Cosmopolitan, even celebrities like Will Smith and Bella Hadid have admitted to being in a polyamorous relationship.
Keep in mind that unicorns aren’t another name for a throuple — you know, three people who are like a couple. However, they are not the same thing.
When it comes to unicorn dating, they are not the couple’s primary partner, nor are they on the same intimate level as them. In a throuple, all partners are equal and hold the same position.
To be in a unicorn relationship, you will need to join an existing relationship and be willing to follow the nuances, boundaries, and rules set by the existing couple.
What Is Unicorn Hunting?
Relationships get boring over time. To spice things up a bit, couples may look for a third person to join their dyad—someone who’s also looking to join in on the fun.
Or they may be looking for companionship when their first partner is unavailable. Searching for a third partner is called “unicorn hunting.”
Though “unicorn hunting” isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially since people don’t carry labels or tags around. And even if they did, unicorns are less likely to reveal their status or be open about who they are.
You’re likely to encounter a unicorn emoji in a dating profile of a unicorn. Or couples may write in their profile that they’re searching for their “unicorn.”
These couples may also attend LGBTQIA+ events or join queer clubs to look for their third partner.
3 Best Dating Apps for Unicorn Relationships
Looking to delve a little deeper? Here are some of the best dating apps for unicorn relationships.
Whichever one you choose, be open and descriptive in your profile about what and who you’re looking for.
Feeld is one of the best apps for unicorn dating, where you can make a profile as a couple or single. The platform caters to ENM (ethically non-monogamous) people.
The best part? They have 20 categories for gender identities and sexual orientation. So regardless of what you’re looking for or who you choose to identify as, Feeld has you covered.
Zever is another great dating application that targets polyamorous dating. From threesomes and swinging to dating, this app connects like minded individuals on a safe platform.
While it has a limited user base, it is largely focused towards unicorn dating.
While not exclusively for polyamorous dating, OkCupid proves to be a good app for unicorn dating.
It has multiple dating options, opening you to new opportunities.
The app also has a large user base, so there’s a good chance you’ll find your perfect partner(s).
Signs That You Are a Unicorn in a Relationship
If you’ve joined a couple for a polyamorous relationship and are too shy to ask for specifics, there’s no need to worry. Here are a few signs to watch out for that will confirm you might be in a unicorn relationship:
You’re the “third” one
Suppose you joined in on an already existing relationship with a couple who already shared history, a bond, and intimacy. This might mean that you are the unicorn in this relationship.
There’s no emotional bonding
Sometimes a couple appears closed off to unicorns to protect “their” relationship, particularly if they aren’t interested in continuing the relationship with you in the future. Often, couples only invite a unicorn into their dyad for new sexual experiences.
This leads us to our next sign.
You only have threesomes
While it may seem that the couple has plenty of sexual encounters on their own, with you involved, it only leads to threesomes.
Unicorns are often added to a relationship for sexual escapades rather than emotional bonding or long-term commitment.
You aren’t treated the same
If you’re a unicorn in the relationship, it will be evident from their behavior.
The primary partners, or the couples, are usually closer, clingier, and more protective of each other. They will, however, come across as vague and closed to you.
They’re new to polyamory
Couples in a relationship for too long often open up to polyamory to rekindle the spark.
When you join them, the existing couple may be confused about what they want, leaving you confused. While one may wish for a throuple or triad, the other may simply be looking for a unicorn.
So if you’re feeling a little confused and left out and aren’t receiving the same energy, attention, and time as the couple gives each other, you might be the unicorn.
Being a unicorn in current times is daunting and presents a set of challenges for both unicorns and couples.
If you’re a unicorn looking to enter a relationship, you should understand the couple’s relationship dynamics beforehand.
The couple should also research unicorn dating and what it could mean for their existing relationship. Read up on “A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching: Advice for Couples Seeking Another Partner” to know what steps you should take before opening up your relationship to a third partner.