Caught Between My Ex And My Friend
Love triangles are awkward and challenging, and at some point in life many people will have to deal with one. Perhaps the most challenging love triangles though are those where all three people involved do care for one another. How do you take a positive point of view on a hard situation?
Jeremy from Wichita, KS writes:
“I am in a bit of a predicament as to my relationship with my ex whom I love dearly to my heart. We dated for about a year and a half. She is currently dating my friend, but I found out she wants to get back together with me. I really do want her back but I live out of town. She’s wedged between two guys she loves and who love her—me and my friend. I don’t know how to react as I am just despising my friend. I just don’t know what to do because I want her back but she’s dating a guy she loves and treats her exactly as I would.”
Hi Jeremy. Few things are tougher than trying to maintain harmony between two people you care about while also trying to keep yourself happy. First of all, you don’t despise your friend—if you did, you wouldn’t express your respect for him (which you have), and you wouldn’t be as torn as you are. It’s normal I think to feel negative emotions in this type of situation, but I think it’s important that you acknowledge that you don’t really feel that way, or you’ll risk becoming bitter with your role in things.
How close are you to your friend? I know you say you want to spend the rest of your life with this girl, but in twenty years time, which of these two people do you expect to be there for you? If the answer is the girl and not the friend, then I think you should really consider getting back with her. If the answer is the friend and not the girl, then you may want to consider leaving them be. If the answer is both, then it’s really tough.
One factor you can’t forget is how she feels. She wants to get back with you—is she dissatisfied with him, or just torn between the two of you? Even if she loves him and he loves her, if she doesn’t feel like that’s the right kind of relationship to have with him, then you can’t try to push her into staying with him, even if you think that’s the noble thing to do. If she wants to be with you, you aren’t helping your friend by trying to persuade her to stay with him. You may think you would be doing him a favor, but all you’d be doing is harming all three of you.
I suggest you talk to her directly and ask her what she wants, and what her feelings are for you vs. her feelings for your friend. Whatever you do, don’t forget that whether or not she is your girlfriend, she’s also your friend, and that won’t have to change even if she does stay with your friend. Again, I don’t really think you despise him—jealousy can make us feel things which are out of character but not true to who we are.
Is your friend aware of the situation? If he is, you should probably speak to him as well. He is, in a way, in the same exact predicament you are, and probably feeling similar emotions and uncertainties. Whatever you do, don’t let her not make a choice forever. She owes it to both of you to make a decision. And whatever you do, don’t forget that you have not one but two people who care for you! Even though that can lead to uncomfortable and painful situations, both these people are blessings in your life, come what may, as long as you all look out for each others’ feelings. Good luck, and don’t forget this situation is the result of having more than one important person in your life, which is a good thing.