Love Triangle: Why It’s Sexy, Fun, Painful & Complicated All At Once

A love triangle is a sticky situation to be in. Depending on which role you are playing, it can affect you in different ways. Here’s how to deal with it.

love triangle

Have you ever been in love with someone who’s already in love with someone else? Or are you in love with someone right now, but find yourself falling for someone else at the same time? Well, you’re just living the perfect love triangle life!

What is a love triangle?

A love triangle is a complicated dating scenario where there’s love in the air, but there are more than two people secretly involved.

When love is mutual and shared between two people, everything is perfect, simple, and easy.

But when a third person enters the picture, everything changes just like that. In come the complications and the frustrations, laced with intense happiness and a flow of bitterness. [Read: 18 signs you’re having an emotional affair and don’t know it yourself]

The two types of love triangles

There are two primary types of love triangles. There are many complicated love triangles as well, but they always find a way to fit into these two scenarios.

1. Two people trying to win one person’s affection.

2. One person who’s in love with one person but likes someone else at the same time.

[Read: What should you do when you start falling for someone else?]

How would you find yourself in a love triangle?

If you have a crush on someone who’s already in a relationship, that doesn’t become a love triangle. It stays as a crush.

And if you’re in a perfectly happy relationship and your friend tells you they’re in love with you, that’s not a love triangle either, because your friend just has a crush on you and you’re not reciprocating their feelings. [Read: How to handle a crush when you’re in a relationship with someone else]

How to deal with a love triangle

When you are in a love triangle, you can be in different roles. So, before you try to decide how you should deal with it, you should be honest with yourself and try to come to terms with the fact that you are actually caught up in this situation.

One role you could find yourself in is someone who wants to be with someone, but they are already involved in a romantic relationship. [Read: Right person, wrong time? How to learn to time things right in love]

Another role you could be playing is the opposite of that. You are already in a relationship, but you are interested in another person who isn’t your partner.

Finally, your partner could have their attention on another person, and not you. [Read: 16 warnings signs your partner is slowly falling in love with someone else]

Regardless of which role you are playing in the love triangle, it can happen to all of us. In fact, a LOT of people have been in these love triangles at one point in their lives.

When this happens, most people have a lot of guilt or shame, especially if they are the one who is looking outside their relationship. Because, of course, that can lead to full-out cheating. These feelings can lead to even worse ones such as depression, anxiety, or even problems with your health.

So, you need to analyze the love triangle situation you find yourself in, because you will need to find some sort of resolution.

After you have done this, you will need to figure out whether you are going to continue the love triangle or end it. Everyone we meet can have a profound impact on our lives, so you need to reflect on how you found yourself in this sticky situation.

You are probably looking for ways to solve the love triangle, so you need to ask yourself some hard questions such as, what are you getting out of it? Are you getting attention, affirmation, or validation of some sort?

Whatever you decide to do, you need to be very conscious of your decisions and how they affect other people. When you do that, you will have fewer regrets as time goes on. [Read: In a relationship but like someone else? Here’s what you must know right this moment]

A love triangle starts only when there is reciprocation

When a single person starts to feel a reciprocating connection with someone who’s already dating, or if you’re in a relationship with one person and start loving someone else who reciprocates your love, it has the perfect recipe for a love triangle.

Only with reciprocation does a motive to pursue arise. After all, if you liked someone and that person didn’t care about you, there’s nothing at all that you can do, is there?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or you’re single, what you need to realize is that love triangles can never ever be created because of one person’s weak moment. It always takes two people to start the complication while the third person suffers for no fault of theirs.

No one wants to be in a love triangle

And yet, almost all of us end up in one. A love triangle may start off as an interesting distraction at first, which then unexpectedly turns into love. And this can lead to sticky love triangles where one person could be in love with two people at the same time. [Read: Are you truly in love with two people at the same time?]

When you don’t want to take a step ahead, nor do you want to take a step back and stay happy in your own relationship, a love triangle starts to form even if you try your best to avoid it.

Love triangles always affect a relationship negatively

For the person who’s single, it’s simple. All they need to do is steal the person who’s already in the relationship.

If you’re single and trying to steal someone who’s in an unhappy relationship, it’s really easy. But what do you do if they’re with someone they really love? They may love you or be infatuated by you and yet, they may not want to lose their own partner.

You may be able to steal a few happy moments of love and lust, but if nothing really works out, you can still walk away with your share of pain and helplessness. [Confession: I had an affair with a married man]

On the other hand, a person who loves two people will want the best of both people, and the worst of none. They’d start picking flaws in their partner, and creating false reasons to justify why they’re cheating.

They need a reason to convince themselves that they’re not happy in the relationship, and that’s the only reason they’re falling for someone else or getting involved in a love triangle.

But even when the third person walks away from their life someday, can they ever overcome all the flaws they’ve picked in their relationship?

Unless there’s a lot of love and bonding in the relationship, a love triangle always leaves a deep scar that tests the person’s faith in the relationship.

And almost always, a relationship that is put through the test of a love triangle fails or never regains its former glory. [Read: Torn between two lovers? 16 criteria to pick one who’s right for you]

Love triangles are painfully fun

If you’re involved in a love triangle right now, you would know this. A love triangle is a lot of fun for the cheating partner and the third person, because it’s so exciting and risky. When you enjoy the pleasures of a love triangle, it’s always fun.

But for your partner who’s in the dark, it may be a very miserable time because you’re ignoring them, detaching yourself emotionally from them, and completely avoiding them. [Read: Should you ever confess to cheating on your partner?]

And once the fire and the passion of your secret affair starts to die down and you realize that you still love your partner and not this third person *which almost always happens*, you’d start to feel the pain too.

So what do you really get out of a love triangle? Nothing but pain, even if it feels like fun while it lasts.

Love triangles are selfish

You may think it’s acceptable for you to love someone else behind your lover’s back. But would you be fine if your partner behaved exactly like you, used the same flirty words you use with your adulterous lover, with someone they like? If that bothers you, you’re being very unfair to your partner and you’re being selfish.

I know you feel helpless, but you really need to keep this in mind. Most lovers who are stuck in love triangles forget to think from their partner’s point of view now and then.

By keeping your partner in mind, even if you do fall for someone else, you’ll always know who’s more important at the back of your mind. And that guilt will help give you the strength to walk away even if you’ve rolled in the hay with someone else for a few weeks. [Read: How to end an affair and get over it completely]

Love triangles are inevitable

Let’s face it. We can’t always stop ourselves from appreciating someone else, or falling for someone else helplessly. But a love triangle is best avoided.

It can happen when you least expect it. You may just enjoy a conversation with someone, and without realizing it, a few weeks later, you may be in love with them because they excite you and have infatuated you. Don’t hate yourself if that happens to you. Just learn to do the right thing. [Confession: I cheated on my boyfriend and feel so much better!]

But if you ever do experience a love triangle, instead of picking flaws in your own relationship, ask yourself whom you’d really choose, and who you want to be with. Just one answer.

Don’t try to push that thought away. You have no choice, because someday you’re going to have to decide on that. And the earlier you make up your mind, the less painful it’ll be for everyone involved.

A love triangle starts only when you’re confused over your emotions for your partner. If you’re certain about who you’re truly in love with, you’ll never have a weak moment even if you just enjoy a flirty conversation with a flirty someone outside your relationship. [Read: Is flirting really cheating if you’re already in a relationship?]

You don’t need to be wary of everyone you talk to, or avoid ever getting friendly with anyone of the opposite sex. All you need to remember is how happy you already are in your perfect relationship. Just keeping that in mind will safeguard you from ever sliding down the exciting and dark hole of love triangles. [Read: Choosing between two guys – 20 important questions to help you choose]

Make a choice

At some point, you are going to have to make a choice. You can’t go on in the love triangle forever.

But what is the right choice? Well, you have to do what feels right to you. If you didn’t start the love triangle, you probably feel like a victim. But if you keep this mindset, it will eventually hurt you and not help you. [Read: 14 side chick rules to be a happy mistress – minus the drama]

If you keep the victim mentality, then you always thinking of “rights” and “wrongs.” For example, “It wasn’t right that he asked her to lunch because he knew she was married.”  There are a lot of explanations for what should have happened, but what actions are right and wrong are sometimes subjective, and not objective.

Love isn’t logical. We should follow certain rules, but sometimes we don’t.

Getting out of a love triangle isn’t always easy because there are always reasons for staying. It could be finances, disapproval from your family, or cultural traditions. So, even if you know what you should do, it’s sometimes not easy.

If you can’t decide what to do, you should talk it out with someone, whether it’s a trusted friend or a professional. They can help you get an objective view from an outsider’s perspective so you can see it more clearly.

 [Read: 20 reasons why you’re so bored with your relationship and looking elsewhere]

If you’re experiencing a love triangle or wondering how to get over one, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It only makes you human. But at this point, the only thing that matters is, which one of you three is going to get hurt and walk away? That’s something you need to decide right now.

[Read: Open relationships and why so many couples find it perfect!]

[Read: Non-monogamy and how to know if you and your partner are ready for it]

[Read: Throuple relationships, how to have one and the must-follow rules you shouldn’t ignore]

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Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva sometimes feels like she’s an 80-year-old woman trapped in a 29-year-old body. She loves buying makeup and ends up not wearing them most of th...
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