‘I’m seeing two women. The problem is I can’t choose between them’

Tell Me About It: Both are attractive to me but I know I have to commit to one of them

Exclusive relationships: We all take a risk getting into relationships, of knowing it might not work out but we are responsible for this risk. Photograph: Getty

Exclusive relationships: We all take a risk getting into relationships, of knowing it might not work out but we are responsible for this risk. Photograph: Getty

 

I’m a 26-year-old lad working in America and for a while I had a strong relationship with someone, who is still dear to my heart. However, we broke up and, after a couple years, I finally felt ready to get back on the dating scene. I created profiles on various dating apps and, on Bumble, I got two matches and two mobile numbers from them. Both girls are looking for something that will last, as am I. One is a school teacher and the other is working on her master’s degree.

They’ve both got amazing emotional qualities, which is what I really look for, but both are also attractive to me in their own right physically but I’m going to have to commit to one of them.

I’m writing because they’d both be a great fit, but inevitably I’m going to have to choose, and I feel guilty for eventually having to tell one of them that I’ve found someone. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to gently do it because it is people’s feelings I’m dealing with and they are both amazingly sound people. I guess what I’m getting at is that, in general, I’m an amorous person and want guidance on what to do so that nobody gets hurt, because it’s hard to put your heart on the line and then have it shut down.

They are both relationship material, but I do have to choose, so one is going to be let down. I just don’t want to be a p***k in this situation, because I want to absolutely commit to one, but also the idea of having to say “sorry, I’m interested in someone else” weighs on my heart and I’d feel so guilty.

You are in the lucky situation of finding the possibility of love in your life, but, of course, along with this comes the responsibility to both women. You don’t say if they are aware of each other and, if this is the situation, I wonder how long this has been going on. They are adults and if either is being asked to make a life decision about having you as a partner, they deserve to make this in full knowledge of all the facts.

If, on the other hand, they both know that this has not been an exclusive relationship then you must allow them to carry the risk of this – we all take a risk getting into relationships, of knowing it might not work out but we are responsible for this risk. In this situation, someone is going to get rejected and hurt and the most respectful way of ending it is to do it with as much honesty as you can. This will mean that the rejected person is not left in ignorance of the cause of the break-up and are allowed the dignity of knowing the truth.

You have had some time where you have had two lovers in your life, and the feeling of being adored by two people could be hard to let go of

When you have done this and offered commitment to the other person, it is very important that you put your whole self behind this. The danger is that we take one path and constantly wonder where the other path might have led. You have had some time where you have had two lovers in your life, and the feeling of being adored by two people could be hard to let go of.

If you have kept the existence of each one away from the other, you may find that a pattern of deceit has entered your behaviour. You will need to be very aware of this as you have already mentioned a fear of causing hurt to others. This fear can justify lying and deceit in the future and you will need to be courageous in tackling it.

You say you are an amorous person and I wonder if that means that in the moment you are in love with the person in front of you and can block out all other realities?

Being an adult means taking responsibility for our actions and understanding the consequences of our behaviour. You are now faced with a choice and it seems that you would find either woman a suitable partner for a lasting relationship. My guess is that, if you are honest with both women, you will find that the choice will be made for you. Both might reject you or one might be tempted to take on this relationship, but I expect they might have some caveats, such as you proving your capacity to be loyal and true over a period of time.

If you get offered this opportunity, the need will be to meet your partner’s need for reassurance and security.

The time to face this is situation is now and delaying the choice knowingly leaves you guilty of deliberate deceit.

You can submit your question for Trish here, or email tellmeaboutit@irishtimes.com

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