Having two people compete for your affection might sound like the ideal situation. It makes you feel desirable, attractive, and gives you the power to choose who you want to be with. There are countless movies which depict love triangles prompting fans to pick a side - and the rivalries can be fierce. But in reality, love triangles are not something to be romanticized, they’re complicated, messy, and someone's heart always gets broken. Even if you end up having a great relationship with one of the parties, the emotional scars and guilt can take a long time to heal, it’s a tough burden to bear with plenty of complex intricacies. While some love triangles are unintentional, others are all part of a game where someone wants to weigh up their options before making a final decision. If you feel like you’re heading into dangerous waters, here’s how to navigate the situation and find the best solution for you.
Identify your end game
You’re in the dating game, you’re meeting new people, hanging out, and assessing if you’re compatible. But in the earlier stages, there’s nothing official and things could end in a flash, so you keep your options open and date other people. While this is natural, there are some situations where you may find yourself gravitating towards two people, and instead of making the decision to cut one of them out, you decide to keep things open. But as feelings grow, you can find yourself in a love triangle without even realizing it. At this point, the best thing to do is consider your options, find the pros and cons in each person, and at the same time, identify what you seek in the long run and if either partner could fulfill your desires.
If you’re just looking for something casual, be aware that the other people you’re seeing may not be on the same page as you and this can lead to complications. If you’re the person who is on the receiving end of this, once you’ve understood their intentions, it’s now your call to take a step back and realize that it’s not about winning someone over and they are not on the same page as you. Ultimately, if you want to get out of the love triangle, you need to find the person who matches exactly what you’re looking for. No two people are the same and someone will have to accept that it simply isn’t going to work out.
While it might be the last thing you want to do, being honest with yourself and the other parties involved is the only way you can have a clear conscience. Starting a relationship based on a set of lies will only damage you in the long run so it’s important that you tell the truth and explain that you are interested in two people and that at present, this relationship is not monogamous. From this, the other people can decide whether they are willing to wait for you and understand the situation, or they will choose to walk away.
It’s also important to explain that this love triangle is not something you planned or remotely anticipated. If you do not express that you have genuine feelings and compassion for the situation, it can easily get misconstrued and your partners may interpret it as you playing games and pulling on their heartstrings. If the situation is impacting you in a deep way, explain it, talk it out, and try to discuss your thought process in making a final decision about the partners involved.
Take time for yourself
Love triangles can make you feel a tremendous amount of guilt considering that there are feelings and emotions of three people, all tied together. While you might want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible to stop hurting the other people, it is really important to take the time to consider your own feelings and how this will affect you. No matter how the situation started and how things played out, you will have to pick up the pieces and heal your heart, no matter which way it goes. Despite this, you should also be mindful and compassionate to the other people involved, but remember that this is your life, and your romantic relationships; and you have to do what is best for you. If that means taking time to be alone to think about it, everyone needs to respect that decision too.
Consider the repercussions
While it can be much easier to solely base the decision entirely on yourself and where your heart lies, a considered decision would take into account the opinions of your family and friends. If the people around you know about the situation and the turmoil you have been enduring, listening to their guidance could help you gain further clarity. For example, if your family and friends have expressed that they do not support one of your partners, or see underlying issues from the outside, you need to weigh up whether choosing them would affect the relationships with your inner circle. These people know you better than anyone and can often have pearls of wisdom when it comes to watching you pick a life partner, and by choosing someone they do not approve of, your life may become harder in the long run.
Finally, you need to take the time and space to think deeply about your decision. Someone will always get hurt, so you need to put a lot of thought into it. After all, love triangles usually can’t be controlled and they are a toxic product of your feelings. While they’re not ideal, there are helpful techniques to help you get out of them and move forward with a loving and loyal relationship.