To put it quite simply I am 24 and stuck in a love triangle. I have been seeing this girl for about two years now, and throughout this time I was not ready to fully commit to a relationship, because I was afraid of getting hurt again. I have remained monogomous with her all this time. I have also told her that she didn’t have to wait for me if she wanted to commit to another, and to let me know, so I could move on let her be.
As time went on we grew together, enjoying moments of doing anything and everything together. I realized how great we were together and I was ready to commit. Unfortunately, at some point, because she thought we would never be serious, she started seeing another guy, while me and her were still sharing an emotional and sexual tie.
Eventually I found out about this other person, though she has lied to me about it multiple times. She has also lied about me to him. She intended to be in a commited relationship with this new guy, but now is completely torn between the two of us. So basically it has come down to a decision she has to make between us both.
She tells me she feels as though we’re meant to be together and says she wants to be with me, but all the while she hangs out often with this other person engaging in emotional and sexual acts. I ask her why she is not with me if she means what she says, but she tells me that she’s afraid of what he might do. Which makes me nervous because this guy seems abusive. I feel as though this is my fault for pushing her away and taking too long to finally ask her to be with me. Obviously that is a big lesson learned from this situation, but right now its really painful and I don’t know what to do.
A: At your age, there is no crime in taking things slow before deciding to commit. You’ve been upfront about your intentions all along and have let your relationship grow and evolve to the point that you are ready for the next step. I wish more young people would do this. It would prevent a whole lot of pain that comes from committing too soon and then having to put both people through a breakup.
Unlike you, your girlfriend hasn’t been totally honest. There was no need for her to lie – much less lie numerous times. If she is being emotionally blackmailed into staying with the other guy because he is threatening her, she needs to find a counselor to help her learn how to protect herself while she breaks things off. In that case, she needs your support.
If, on the other hand, she is using that story as an excuse for holding onto the other guy while continuing to date you, you have another issue. Why would you want to give your heart to someone who lies to you and can’t fully return the love you are prepared to give? If that is the case, it is time for you to let go and find the kind of woman who will appreciate your caring approach to relationships.
You are only stuck in a “love triangle” if you stay in your corner. As hard as it may be to do, I think it’s time you took a break to see what happens.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Mar 2009
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Unwanted love triangle. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/29/unwanted-love-triangle/