Dear Heart to Heart, I am in a dilemma. Before this Covid-19 situation, one of my neighbours and I had something going on…not a relationship per se but we occasionally got intimate. Now one of my other neighbours recently had a brother visit and turns out the brother likes me and he seems serious and ready to settle. We have been communicating for almost two months now and I feel like I am falling too. On the other hand, Mr Occasional seems to be seeking more than an ‘entanglement’ now. What should I do? Should I open up to each about the situation or leave things as they are? Juliana
Dear Juliana, the scenario you are facing is common with young people, especially when trying to identify a soulmate. This represents a love triangle and being stuck in this situation can turn out to be stressful and painful if you do not stop, think, and do a self-introspection.
This situation can feel like being at crossroads, unsure on how to proceed and can lead to emotional turmoil. The longer you stay in such a situation, the more you behave in a deceitful way and even increase the chances of losing both boyfriends in this case. Your question is what should you do?
Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Here are three questions,
First, in which relationship do you feel most able to express yourself fully and wholeheartedly?
Most cases, when people are caught in a love triangle, they keep comparing the two love options silently. These questions help you to shift perspective and open up a new pathway towards insight and clear reasoning. True love is only tested by time and so at this level, feelings seem to have taken over.
The unfortunate thing with feelings is that they do not last but depend so much on the mood. While it is normal to use the feelings in the initial meeting because they ignite the chemistry and can later lead to a stable relationship, after assessing the person and getting to know them better, these feelings should lead to a commitment which is preceded by a decision to settle down.
A person may feel attracted to many other people but what keeps the relation is the decision to settle down and commitment to the relationship. This can help you address the part of choosing between the two boyfriends.
The second question could be, why can’t I choose? What keeps me from making a choice? Could you be coping with a difficult childhood or shame and blame? Could failure to choose be a sign of hidden fears of rejection? It is good to find out if the love triangle is what protects you from your scare.
Those fears are legitimate and at the same time limiting. Our fears usually stem from our childhood experiences and the only way to overcome them is by reading self-help books and find a therapist near you to help you cope with any toxic childhood memory.
The third question would be, if my best friend was in the same scenario and asked me for guidance, what would I tell them? By helping another person to take good care of themselves, we reap the benefits of deep observation of ourselves and in the long run, improve our own behaviour.
A love triangle can show gaps in integrity, attraction, commitment, and love. The above questions are a pathway to help you access your internal world and find the answers you need.
Evelyn Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, Counselling psychologist
Do not risk your health
Jane Musoke. It is common for someone to find themselves in such a situation but how you get yourself out of it is important. First and foremost, just sleeping around with two men is not only bad for you emotionally but also risky for your health. I doubt you are being careful to check for sexually transmitted infections before all this entanglement. Pull back and make sure that you take time to get to know each man and their intentions towards you.
Focus on your career
David Mukisa. The way you ask this question shows that you are still young and full of energy. However, this is not the right way to use your energy. Focus on say, building a career and as you do this, the right man will approach you. Just sleeping around will just cause you harm in the long run.
Go out on dates
Victor Muzeeyi. Have you thought of what happens if you get pregnant now? Is this the kind of entanglement you want to find yourself in? Step back and start from the beginning. Go out on dates with these men and get to know them on a personal level. By doing this, you will learn who is in for the right reasons.
Follow your heart
Ann Kasozi. Be careful because this usually backfires. However, what does your heart feel for each man? I am sure you know of the two who is worth your love but I guess time will tell. Stop being intimate with them both and go on separate dates with each so that you get to learn their character and traits. Within three months, you will know of the two who is ready to go the extra mile with you.
Quit both, refocus
Phoebe Miriam. I doubt you are ready to settle down. I guess you need to quit both entanglements and rearrange your life so you can see clearly. Just pull back a bit and take a closer look at yourself.
Learn to be truthful
Carol Mukisa Cartnel. In all you do, learn to be candid. The more you hide, the more you lie, the more you mess yourself up. You did not mention how old you are but basically, you need to stop wasting your and others time. The earliest you decide the path to take, the better as long as you are honest.
Pray for a sign
Nanfu Suzie. Pray to God to show you a sign for that right man to move on with. In the meantime, avoid just having sexual relationships with these men. Find something that matters to you and focus on that for now. For example, you could focus on growing your career or family relationships.
Nampa Patience Natie. You need to find out what you feel towards either man. Who do you want to be with? Observe critically what each has in store for you and decide on who to go with.
Absence and abstinence can not only make the heart grow fonder, but in this case, can also make you see clearer. When you take time off from dating the women, you can tell who you crave to meet.