Hey PAPA BEAR,
I've been having a lot of issues lately with myself and the stability of my own mental and physical well-being but my question here is something I am sure I am not alone in.
The question would be, “How can someone deal with a love triangle scenario?” To kind of explain what I mean I'd have to give a bit of information on what's going on from my perspective at least.
I have had a past love interest with someone before named Mik (pseudonym). My issue with that is at one point I had a very fond attraction for him and it was nearly mutual till events that both of us are in fault for took place and we lost contact with each other for nearly a year and a half. I had a major downfall during those times of major depression and spells of extreme anger which would bring me to tears from how painful the emotions got. As time went on I slowly started to push my mind and feelings away from the first person I ever fell in love for.
I began dating and when I dated Ane (pseudonym) things turned out a bit well for me since the relationship felt healthy in the most part. It wasn't till Ane came back into contact with Mik that I started to go south in both my mental stability and my emotional progress. For many reasons my feelings for Ane became mixed up as my anger for Mik grew stronger and stronger for leaving me behind for my mistakes. I broke things off with Ane and bellowed my way to being alone.
I had a promiscuous time while I was cooling off and made some regretful decisions however as soon as Mik became more involved with Ane a swell of jealousy started to overwhelm me. I started with a goal of wanting to patch up a friendship between me and Mik and still hold on to what I had left of Ane but what ended up happening was unexpected. I began to fall back into those same feelings I once had for Mik. When I found out Mik and Ane had sexual interactions with one another I lost a part of myself.
The situation I am in right now is that Ane still has great feelings for me yet my feelings are not direct as his are. I have extreme feelings for Mik yet I do not know his true feelings since he only teases me and gives me false hopes that he still holds interests in me as well. Mik now has strong feelings for Ane. Both me and Ane have talked things out constantly and we both know that at one point one of us is going to give up and the triangle we have built ourselves into will exist no more and one of us will be left alone. So far Ane and I have confirmed that these have brought in new hardships and I have resorted to causing personal harm to myself to coup with some of my emotions.
So my question again is ... how or in what way can I or we approach this love triangle that has come into our lives and is causing us hardships?
Linus Lavardo (age 20)
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Let me see if I can summarize this letter into three bullet points:
This is oversimplifying it, but it helps my old brain keep things straight, if you don’t mind.
The weak part of this triangle here—the part I’m not so sure on—is #3: Ane loves Linus. You, Linus, broke it off with Ane and then Ane and Mik had sexual intercourse, so Ane’s love for you seems tenuous at best.
Now, I don’t know what your “mistakes” were that led to the breakup between you and Mik, but it seems Mik had some reason to leave that relationship. But then Mik did something not so cool by taking up a relationship with Ane (if I have this correct) while you and Ane were seeing each other? (I'm a little confused by your statement that "Ane came back into contact with Mik"—as in they new each other before?)
The chronology of what happened here is not very clear from your letter. Were Ane and Mik just friends when you, in a fit of jealousy, broke it off with Ane and THEN Ane and Mik had sex? OR, did Ane and Mik have sex and then you became jealous and broke it off with Ane? OR, were Ane and Mik at least being very amorous, even though they didn’t have sex, thus inspiring your jealousy?
If Ane and Mik were just friends and you broke it off with Ane, then you really have no right to your moral outrage if they later had sex. However, if they had sex first or at least became romantically involved, then you are at least somewhat justified in being angry. In that case, though, why would you want either one as a partner? The triangle is really broken at this point and you should not be under the delusion that there still is one.
If the former is the case, and they only had sex after your broke it off with Ane, then you have no ground to stand on, and if I were Mik or Ane I would wonder why you are so angry when neither one was your boyfriend at the time.
As you can see, love triangles (as opposed to polygamous relationships) are inherently dysfunctional. They are about as stable as an Egyptian pyramid that has been flipped upside down. Let’s look at the possible future scenarios:
Linus, even polyamorous relationships rarely work out because they are simply too complicated and there is too much of a tendency for feelings to get hurt. Love triangles are even worse: they are minefields waiting to explode. Best thing for you and all those involved is to break down this geometric nightmare and try something much more linear.
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