There are several poly triad relationships that we know of that are struggling to find their footing. I've been thinking about them a lot, and examining the structure there to see if there are patterns to be noticed. Some people may also call these "generalizations". Here's what I've noticed so far: In all cases, the fulcrum person (hinge that is dating two of the three partners) is male. In the majority of cases, the new partner is a significantly younger woman.
What does that mean? Are guys just less skilled in juggling multiple focus points? Are women that much tougher to balance? Is there a level of facilitation between partners that a fulcrum person needs to be capable of to form a stable triad structure, and if so, how can men prepare themselves for that role? And what is with the dating of younger women that lack relationship skills of their own???
Being a fulcrum person ain't always easy! On the plus side, you have two partners that show you attention, affection and love. On the down side, you have two partners that deserve attention, affection and love, and expect you to figure out a way to provide it how they want it.
What if your two (0r more!) loves don't get along as good friends? In an ideal world, your loves would be happy co-existing in close proximity, allowing you to multi-task with attention and affection at times. That's the way it is most of the time around here, although all of us still need time with oneself on occasion.
What if your loves don't enjoy being around each other though? This is where I think the great divide tends to happen with male and female hinges. As a woman, I balance enough factors in life simultaneously to recognize how an incompatible facet will trash the whole thing. If a piece doesn't fit, it doesn't matter how much I like it. It will upset the balance of my universe, and that's not going to work. I've discarded potential relationships, that I personally was hot for, on this basis. WARNING! BIG GENERALIZATION COMING!!! I think that men are generally more accustomed to looking at one piece of information at a time, deciding if it works for them, then pushing it into an existing structure regardless of the fit.
Does that mean that you shouldn't have a relationship with anyone you desire, on the basis that it might upset an existing system? No, but one MUST be cognizant of the ripple effect that happens when introducing a new partner. This is where almost all poly relationships we've seen fail fall apart. Even under ideal circumstances, extreme caution and care is advisable!
As the fulcrum person, I feel that I have a responsibility (or it's just a damn good idea!) to put effort into helping my existing and new partners gain familiarity and comfort with each other. THEY aren't in a relationship together, so what's their motivation for trying to make it work? Just out of the goodness of their generous hearts? To please me? That might last for a few weeks, but then it's time for something more solid to lean into.
This isn't to say that everyone has to be buddy-buddy, but I have yet to see a case of open hostility work out well for anyone. If things are at that point, it's time to take a long hard look at whether you want to sacrifice an existing relationship for a new one, because that's where your choices are heading if drastic actions aren't taken to pull up the plane that is plummeting earthward.
All this said, I know several triad and extended networks with males in the fulcrum position that work fine. Gentleman, it can indeed be done! PG and S have both managed to handle that slot with me and their additional connections. With a lot of conscious communication on all parts, we create a caring working relationship that makes space for each new partner.
It works best when everyone participates in that process openly, with an eye towards sustainability. Sacrificing common sense on the altar of NRE is great for a momentary thrill, but then, so are a lot of things that ultimately prove to be unhealthy to self and others. Honor your new relationships by providing them a stable base to grow from, and many other pieces will fall into place effortlessly.