A unicorn is a rare person who appears to be the perfect catch. Because this type of person is hard to find or hard to catch, they are akin to the rare, mythical unicorn.
The unicorn term originated in the polyamorous and swinging communities but it has become more mainstream over time. In 2019, the term became more well-known with the release of a TV sitcom called The Unicorn, about a widowed father of two coming to terms with his newfound desirability. In this show, the character is a unicorn because he is a good single father with no commitment issues.
In polyamory or swinging lifestyles, a unicorn is a desirable person willing to have sex or enter a relationship with an established couple. In this context, the term unicorn usually refers to a single, bisexual female. However, it can also apply to people of any gender or sexual identity.
For swingers, a unicorn is someone who will have sex with both partners with no strings or drama attached. In the polyamorous community, a unicorn may be expected to be a part of a closed triad. This means they will not date anyone outside of the three-person relationship. People looking for these unicorns are known as unicorn hunters.
What constitutes a unicorn varies in different circles. A unicorn can theoretically be someone of any gender or sexual identity. However, when someone calls someone a unicorn, they refer to the groups of people to which they are personally attracted.
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Unicorns are rare in polyamorous and swinging circles because it’s challenging to find a person who is also willing to become involved with a couple. While bisexual people find people of all genders attractive in theory, they may not be attracted to both people in the couple. Some people may also be uncomfortable with becoming involved with an established couple. They may worry that they will become left out sexually or that they will be less important in the relationship than the established couple.
By nature of the term, finding a unicorn can be challenging. However, websites help connect unicorns in the polyamory and swinging communities with unicorn hunters. Through these websites, unicorns can get to know unicorn hunters remotely before deciding whether they’re ready to meet in person.
While some people freely use the term unicorn, others feel it is derogatory. The term has faced criticism because it implies that the unicorn is a plaything that isn’t free to pursue their own desires. They also say it puts undue emphasis on someone meeting another person’s criteria, without considering how they feel about it. However, some people who defend the term say it celebrates the person’s uniqueness and value.
As with all the best relationships, the most successful relationships with unicorns involve really getting to know the person, rather than placing them on a pedestal. People dating unicorns should appreciate their positive qualities but not be afraid to dive a little deeper and discover new parts of them, even if they are negative. They should also consider what unicorns need out of the relationship and try to give back to them. A common criticism from unicorns joining established couples is that they feel like outsiders there simply to serve the two other people in their relationship. Unicorns dating single people may feel their partner doesn’t know who they really are. When people get to know their unicorn and consider their needs as well as their own, their relationship has a better chance of going the distance.
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