I’m In Love With Two People: How Can I Proceed?

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Being in love with two people may be more common than some think. Studies show that many individuals worldwide identify as polyamorous, meaning they partake in a romantic relationship with or feel attracted to more than one individual at a time. In the study, the researchers found that one out of 6 individuals desired a non-monogamous relationship, and one in 15 had already consensually engaged in polyamory. 

Being in love with two people may not mean you desire to be in multiple romantic relationships or want to try non-monogamy. However, polyamory can be an option if all parties consent and are open to the dynamic. In some cases, being in love with two people may cause relationship conflicts, fear, or other stressors. Knowing how you might proceed in varying situations could help you choose how to move forward with your love interests.

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I’m in love with my partner and someone else do I do?

If you’re currently in a monogamous relationship with a partner and have found yourself developing romantic feelings for a new person outside your relationship, it may cause conflicting emotions to arise. There are a few ways you might choose to handle this situation.

Talk to your partner

Although it could feel scary, consider discussing your feelings with your partner. If you are in love with someone else and are seriously considering leaving your partner or proposing a non-monogamous relationship, your partner may want to know. They might not be comfortable with non-monogamy or prefer to break up if you have feelings for someone else. 

You might find that your partner is open to discussing the situation. Try to actively listen to how they feel by nodding as they speak, repeating what you don’t understand, and waiting to validate your partner before you talk about your own experiences. 

If your partner is not comfortable with the situation, you could decide to attend couples therapy together with a relationship expert or relationship coach to strengthen your bond and potentially distance yourself from the other person. Or, you might decide to break up to pursue the other connection. However, your partner may experience a grieving process or feel angry about your choice. 

Suppose your partner is open to non-monogamy or is comfortable with you pursuing the connection while they remain monogamous. In that case, this could be a chance for you to explore your feelings for the other individual healthily and consensually.

Create a pros and cons chart

You might feel conflicted about whether to stay in your relationship, pursue polyamory, or leave your relationship and connect with the other individual in your life. Creating a pros and cons chart might help you decide. Try creating a chart based on the following titles: 

  • Pros of leaving my relationship
  • Cons of leaving my relationship
  • Pros of opening our relationship
  • Cons of opening our relationship
  • Pros of breaking up and pursuing a new relationship
  • Cons of breaking up and pursuing a new relationship

If you and your partner decide to pursue non-monogamy together, you might create a list of pros and cons with them and discuss any potential roadblocks you may face before they occur. You could also bring your list to a therapist to find healthy ways to break down each positive and negative impact of your decisions. 

Consider non-monogamy 

Non-monogamy works for some relationships. However, even if you desire a non-monogamous connection, your partner might not. Bring up the subject once and allow your partner time to consider their opinion. If they tell you they’re uncomfortable or do not want you to pursue another relationship, respect their decision. 

Your partner may feel distressed or pressured if you bring up the idea of non-monogamy more than once. You might consider having your initial conversation with a couples therapist that serves as a neutral third person as you and your partner converse about your options. 

If your partner agrees, it may still take some time and effort before you can have two healthy relationships. The other person you’re in love with may not want a non-monogamous relationship, or they might feel uncomfortable with your current relationship. 

Non-monogamy can take a high level of open and direct communication between all parties. You might also have to consider the following: 

  • Any common children or assets
  • Sexual contraception and STI testing 
  • Pregnancy
  • Date nights
  • Time spent with each partner
  • Living arrangements
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Whether your partner wants also to practice polyamory
  • Financial responsibilities
  • Split chores 
  • Each of your partner’s feelings

Jealousy may arise in these types of connections for all parties. In these cases, a polyamorous-friendly therapist may be open to meeting with all of you when you discuss the emotions arising in your relationships. 

Consider leaving your relationship 

If your emotions feel so conflicting or distressing that you no longer wish to stay in your primary relationship, it may mean breaking up or taking a break could be healthiest. Although you might love both individuals, try not to jump from one relationship to another quickly.

Breakups can be painful and cause grief. Process your emotions about the situation and allow your partner time to process theirs. If you are married, you might have to consider legal matters like divorce, child custody, or asset division. 

I’m in love with two people; how do I choose?

If you are not currently in a relationship and feel love for two or more individuals, you might feel the urge to choose between them, which could cause conflicting feelings. Below are some ideas for how to proceed in this situation. 

Go on dates with each

While getting to know people, you might decide to go on dates to learn more about each one. You could find over time that one person is more compatible with you or meets your expectations more readily than the other. Often, relationships can differ in many aspects. You might feel more physical or romantic attraction for one person over the other. Or, perhaps you enjoy one partner’s humor and the other partner’s intelligence. 

As you go on dates, consider journaling about the aspects you enjoyed from both dates. Be open about your expectations and let both individuals know that you’re not sure what type of relationship you’re looking for yet, but that you’re enjoying your time together. Casual dating can be a healthy choice if you want a monogamous connection. 

Consider dating both, if everyone consents

If you’re in love with two people and everyone in the situation would be open to non-monogamy, consider dating both. It may take adjusting if you haven’t been in a polyamorous relationship before, but it could be possible. Typical forms of non-monogamy include: 

  • Triads: Everyone in the relationship is dating each other equally 
  • Vees (Vs): Two individuals are dating the same individual but not each other
  • Hierarchical Polyamory: Two individuals are in a “traditional” relationship with norms, and one may be a more casual partner of both or one of them  
  • Solo Polyamory: One individual dates others individually but does not form serious or “traditional” relationships with any

If both partners do not consent to polyamory, you may decide to move on or date one or the other. 

Give yourself time to decide 

Deciding who to spend time with and form a relationship with can be a highly personal decision. Give yourself time to choose, and try not to pressure yourself. You might find that neither relationship feels comfortable after considering your options. 

Be open with them

Try to keep communication open with both parties. If you’re interested in more than one potential love interest, let everyone know that you’re still going on dates and haven’t decided yet. If you’re strictly seeking non-monogamy, try to communicate that on the first date, as many individuals may not be. 

Open communication could make your decision easier, allowing others to make healthy and informed choices for themselves. If everyone knows what is going on, they may be able to better consent to any relationship dynamic you propose. 

Support for conflicting emotions 

If you are still experiencing conflicting emotions after trying several methods of moving forward with your desires, you might benefit from therapy. A therapist can act as a neutral third person to help you decide the healthiest form of action. Additionally, couples therapy could allow you and your partner or partners to discuss your relationship in a therapeutic environment. 

If you are navigating several schedules and struggle to find the time to commute to an office or meet with an in-person counselor, consider online therapy. With online therapy, you and your partners may choose a time that works best for you, and you can choose between video, phone, or live chat sessions with your licensed therapist. Additionally, studies indicate that internet-based couples counseling can be as effective as in-person therapy. Couples in this form of counseling noticed positive perceived changes after talking to their therapist. 

You may find therapy online on platforms like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples. Many platforms offer a vast network of qualified licensed professionals to offer advice on topics from depression to relationship conflicts.  

Contact BetterHelp 

For more information on where to find a therapist who can help, you can reach out to contact@betterhelp.com. You can also find us on LinkedInTwitterInstagramFacebook, & YouTube.

Takeaway

If you are in love with more than one person, it could cause conflicting feelings for you, your partner, or your love interests. Consider reaching out to an individual or couples counselor to dissect your thoughts and emotions further and find the healthiest way to proceed. 

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