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Being in love is brilliant, right?
But… what if it’s not that simple?
What if you have feelings for more than one person?
Oh boy, that’s a confusing situation to be in, and you might be feeling really torn about how to choose – especially if one of them is already your partner.
We’ll run through some ways to figure out what to do next, but remember that the decision is ultimately yours to make.
1. Consider how you really feel.
First off, you need to figure out how you really feel about these two people. If you think you’ve in love with them, you need to work out how that is manifesting.
Be honest with yourself – is it love with both of them, or is one lust?
Maybe you’re no longer in love with your partner, if they’re one of the two people, but you’re so used to being with them that you assume you still love them.
2. Question how genuine your feelings are.
Feelings are confusing, and they can appear for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, they’re genuine and reflective of what’s really going on. Other times, they’re not real – but they still tell us something valid.
If you’re in love with two people, you might be trying to fill what is missing in one person with the idea of the other.
For example, your boyfriend might be great, but never has sex with you. The guy at work you fancy would definitely have sex with you, so you’re projecting that need onto him and your mind is convincing you that you’re in love with him – when, really, you just want to have sex!
On a deeper level, if your partner can’t give you the emotional support you truly need, you might think you have feelings for the friend who can and does give you that support.
Projecting is very normal, but it can make things very confusing, and it can be tricky to know when something is genuine and when we’re actually just focusing on the idea or concept of someone else, or a different relationship.
If your feelings for one person are quite rocky at times, you might really like the idea of stability. This can cause you to look for that quality elsewhere, and might mean that you then fantasize about a person who can give you that stability.
The worse things get with your partner, the more you crave someone who can make you feel secure, and the more likely you are to transfer that need onto someone else, and then convince yourself that you have feelings for them.
Of course, your feelings for both people might be very real! You might genuinely be in love with both of them – but what kind of love is it?
3. Figure out what type of love you are feeling.
We all love different people in different ways, whether it’s a friend, family member, or romantic partner.
Each romantic relationship we have will be different, and we’ll feel and act differently because of that. Our personalities can shift when we’re with certain people, as they may bring out different traits in us.
Every relationship evolves over time, too, and the type of love you had with your partner five years ago is likely to be different to the type of love you have with them now.
If you think you are in love with two people at the same time, you need to figure out what kind of love you have for them both before you can know how to handle it.
Familiar love is the kind of love you’ll probably feel if you have been with someone for a while.
It’s comfortable, and you both know each other really well. You’ve seen each other at your highest and lowest point, and there’s a lot of trust and companionship.
The excitement might have gone slightly though – there’s not much left to do for the first time anymore, and that can make the love feel a bit dull or boring.
People who are in this kind of relationship might start to wonder what else is out there, or feel as though they are only still together because of the history they share with each other.
Romantic love is often referred to as the honeymoon phase. You’re in a relatively new relationship but you’ve both established where you stand.
Things are great – you have a lot of fun together, everything is still exciting, and you feel really positive about where it’s all going.
You still have a lot of sex, cuddles, romantic date nights, and a loved-up life together. There’s plans for the future, but there’s no pressure for things to move quickly and you’re just enjoying spending time together.
Sexual love is one of the ones that can make things confusing. It’s something that you can experience with someone outside your relationship, which is often why people find themselves having feelings for more than one person at a time.
Sexual love is exactly how it sounds – it’s a type of lust, and it mainly focuses on sexual attraction and compatibility.
Desire for this kind of love with someone other than our partner often occurs when it is missing from our relationship.
It might be that we’ve not had sex with our partner for a while, or no longer feel sexually attracted to them. As such, we are drawn to that energy with someone else, and project feelings of love onto them out of our desire to be desired.
Idealistic love is one of the most common types of love in this situation. As we mentioned earlier, this is when you fall in love with the idea of someone, and not the reality of them.
This can happen when you are feeling unfulfilled in your relationship for whatever reason.
We often attach ideals to someone based on very little awareness of what they are really like. We might see someone physically attractive and assume that they will also be sweet and funny and charming, without any knowledge of their actual personality type. This causes us to fall in love with the idea of them, rather than the reality of them.
4. Consider who you are most compatible with.
Think about who you are most compatible with and how things could work on a practical level. Think about what you want the relationship to look like, and who your best match is.
Maybe the partner you’re with isn’t someone you see yourself in a relationship with long-term because you have such different goals and values, and the other person is much more aligned with what you want from a long-term partner.
Equally, maybe you’ll realize that one of the people you are in love with is very attractive and exciting, but wouldn’t be stable enough and good at communicating for anything long-term.
This will really challenge you, and you will need to be brutally honest with yourself.
Remember that neither of the people you are in love with need to know about your pro/con list, so you can be as open and vulnerable with yourself as it takes to make a decision.
5. Work out what you really want from life.
You might currently feel like you only have two options – partner one or partner two.
This can make things tricky, as you’re choosing between two specific people with specific sets of personality traits.
Rather than focusing on what these two people can offer you, think about what you actually want, independently from these two ‘options.’
Make a list of all the things you would like in a relationship – not just from the relationships that are available to you right now.
You might realize that one person already ticks all the boxes, or you might discover that neither of them are actually what you genuinely want.
When we have feelings for more than one person at a time, we get so caught up in choosing between the two of them that we forget about that rest of the world!
Don’t limit yourself – you might be having feelings for two people because neither of them can provide everything you want or need.
That means that neither of them are quite right for you, so you can start to look elsewhere and find someone who is enough for you in their one person, thus eliminating your need to fill someone’s void with someone else.
6. Be honest with them – both of them.
This might not be an option for you, for a number of reasons, but we would urge you to consider it if you can.
Being honest might mean telling your partner you have feelings for someone else. This is very difficult as it is similar to admitting to an emotional affair.
You will need to think carefully about the best way to approach it, and take their feelings into consideration.
If you’re not in a relationship with either of them, this will be easier but still challenging, so take your time.
If you are trying to choose between two people, it is unfair to keep them both dangling on a string while they wait for you to make a decision.
By telling them how you feel, you are letting yourself be vulnerable, which can feel very scary. Remember that you are doing this out of respect for them, and, if they are worth your time, they will try to understand that and let you come to your own decision.
7. Ask yourself if you’re actually just looking for an escape.
As we’ve mentioned above – some feelings we develop for people are based on the idea of them, not the actual person.
This often happens when we are feeling lonely or sad, or maybe when we’re in an unfulfilling relationship.
We look to someone else to fill the void and accommodate what is ‘missing.’
If you often find yourself experiencing feelings for people that aren’t your partner, it might be because you are looking for an excuse to leave.
If you are regularly looking elsewhere, including in emotional (or physical) affairs, you might be trying to find a reason to break things off with your partner.
Maybe you want them to catch you having feelings for someone else so that it is their decision to end things. Either way, it’s something to consider.
At the end of the day, we can only give you so much advice – you need to make a decision for yourself.
Using articles like this for self-reflection, talking to loved ones you trust, and considering counseling for an objective opinion are all options to consider.
Prioritize yourself and trust your gut – you already know what the answer is.
Still not sure what to do about your feelings or who you should choose? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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- If You’re In A Relationship But Have Feelings For Someone Else, Do This
- Married But In Love With Someone Else: Why And What To Do
- How To Choose Between Two Guys: 19 Ways To Make The Right Decision
- 6 Key Differences Between Loving Someone And Being In Love
- How Important Is Physical Attraction In A Relationship? 7 Things To Consider.
- How To End An Affair: The Only 4 Steps You Need To Take