Love Triangle – Why It Happened to You and What to Do?

Relationships A-Z
21 Nov 2023
9 min read
Love Triangle Relationship - How It Works & Who Is Responsible?

A love triangle can be fun or can be tough – depending on where you sit in it. But even if you enjoy it, there’s a high chance it’s still not that easy for you to handle.

If that’s your case, follow this reading to explore your options, engage in some serious self-analysis, and make some relationship decisions. You can master your love triangle – or find the strength to go in a different direction if you feel trapped in it.

Love triangle: How to understand and get out of it

What Is a Love Triangle: 3 Main Types

Every triangle has three points. One point is a person who is in various stages of involvement with two others. The other two points are those who are in a competitive relationship with each other, whether they know it or not. Both are vying for the affections and love of the same person.

Love triangles can look cool when we see them in the movie world. But in real life, it’s a sticky and serious matter, with so many contradictory feelings and drama involved. In the end, it’s not a fantasy: we are talking about relationships and people’s hearts here. That’s why a love triangle relationship is so hard to navigate that it’s hard to make this experience positive for everybody within it.

Based on the prevailing emotion in your love triangle, there are 3 basic types of this relationship: rivalrous, confused, and multiple. Let’s not guess what is what, but explore them all below.

Rivalrous love triangle type

#1 Rivalrous Triangle

In this love triangle type, two people are competing for the love and affection of a third individual. Each of them may not know about the existence of a third party, and this person prefers to wait and remains indecisive, which makes the situation even more dramatic.

One example of this is affairs. These can go on for short periods or years, and this third person has no intention of changing their behaviors. If they get caught, a person may manipulate their primary relationship by insisting the behavior is all in the past and will never happen again. This is not being honest. Finally, the injured individual will have to make a decision – living a life accepting the bad behavior or leaving.

#2 Confused (or The Split Object) Love Triangle

In the case of the split object love triangle, two people are in a solid, monogamous relationship – until one of these partners meets and develops feelings for a third party. And so, they may begin dating this other person to see where things may go in this new relationship. The choice to explore other options can be honest – or it can cause a difficult time for others and become cheating.

There is nothing wrong with a split-object love triangle as long as two people are honest with their primary mate. Making the time not that difficult might be in the form of, “I think we need to start seeing others” or “I know my choice can cause you suffering, but I want to be honest with you.” Yes, it’s painful, but it’s the right thing to do.

Remember, there are three people with their feelings and relationship ideals here, and two of them aren’t yours. Don’t be selfish – there are some others to consider in the world.

Related reading: ENM Relationship: What Is Ethical Non-Monogamy?

#3 The Multiple Triangle Type

The multiple love triangle involves more than three people, which makes it even more complicated to remain ethical. Most likely, dating multiple others requires lying and manipulating them into competing for love and affection.

Dating so many people is not healthy dynamics because it’s hard to focus on anybody, meet their requests, and find an adequate response after dedicating enough quality time to each person.

6 Common Reasons Why Love Triangles Exist

If you don’t like being in a love triangle but cannot get out of it, it’s worth coming back to the basics – and understading why this situation happened to you. For your assistance, we’ve created this list of most frequent reasons for a love triangle relationship:

  1. Security over freedom: Many people in this world choose to stay in a oveless and/or sexless partnership or marriage. They do because they believe it’s safe. Paradoxically, a love triangle can also gives that wrong sense of security.
  2. Mutual agreement: Two people may be cool with an open relationship and enjoy freedom to explore other relationships. No harm here and no foul, as long as everyone is aware and accepting.
  3. Curiosity: Exloring a friend, co-worker, or a stranger can be just interesting to try. We all have thoughts about that, right? Not all of us just go that far to reach that person.
  4. Revenge: When one partner cheats, another person loses trust. And being angry and bitter about betrayal, they may have decided to exact revenge with an affair of their own. Not that pretty, but understandable.
  5. Incompatible libidos: At times, one partner has a much stronger libido than the other person, and establishing a love triangle can work like a compromise. If seeking sexual satisfaction elsewhere is not known, though, that’s obvious cheating.
  6. Falling in love with someone else: It happens in the world – a lot. Nothing is forever, feelings change, and no one’s to blame. This situation is not easy, and it requires making an ethical choice that satisfies both parties involved.

Related reading: How to Build Trust in a Relationship: 15 Tips

Managing your complicated relationship - realize there are other people in the world

When Love Triangle Relationship Is a Problem, or Why You Need to Become a Responsible Person

As you can see in the list of reasons above, not all love triangle situations are monstrous. Sometimes, people just mutually agree to explore others to have a more fulfilling life. This way, they arrange a love triangle as a compromise that works for all the people participating in it.

But remember: it means something bad if that dating and sexual adventure comes without notice. Here, all the confusion, suffering, and even world wars happen.

If you are the one who is going outside of your partnership for love, romance, and sex, it’s important to recognize your responsibility for the events to meet your partner halfway and develop a dig. Here are some considerations for you in this regard.

Related reading: What a Fear of Commitment Does to Your Relationship

1. Recognize Your Actions

A “crush” on someone is not a triangle unless the actual dating occurs. You should recognize this truth to hold responsibility for what you’ve done – and not blame yourself for what you’re not responsible for.

Longing for someone and thinking about dating and an affair with them but not acting upon that longing is not a triangle – it is unrequited love. So don’t call yourself a bad person with bad thoughts and feelings – we’re talking about actions – and actions only.

2. Recognize You’ve Hurt Your SO

Your actions can hurt more than one person. If you are the perpetrator of a triangle, your world could be pretty amazing, and even an adrenaline rush from the excitement. But events have a way of happening, and now you realize how much hurt you’ve caused.

Don’t lock yourself from their pain – be present. That’s part of your responsibility – and a very important thing for their healing. If you’re not there, it will take much longer for them to cure from the wound you’ve caused.

3. Practice Selflessness

Being loved by several people at once satisfies a selfish need or desire of us. If you are the outside person, you are willingly risking the breakup of a partnership. In both of these cases, it doesn’t matter what happens as long as your desires are met, and that’s selfishness.

Switch off that selfish need and try to look at things from a different perspective. Was the triangle pleasant for other people around you? Or are you the only one who benefited from it? Feel the difference by walking in their shoes.

Remember: you cannot change the past – but you can change the course of events in the future.

How Do You Deal With Love Triangle? 3 Action Points

Once you’ve identified your role and feelings about a love triangle, along with reasons and responsbility behind it, you are ready to act upon it. Here are some considerations to help you navigate such relationships – now and forever.

1. Determine the Underlying Purpose

If you keep two or more on a string, you have to think about your reasons. And there may be several. So be honest now: is there a positive answer to any of these questions:

  • Do you just enjoy the thrill of the adventure and the risks of dating more than one without them knowing about it?
  • Do you have some insecurities from the past and need to have options if things don’t work out with one of your competitors?
  • Do you just enjoy all of the attention you are getting from more than one?
  • Do you have no intention of ending this love triangle? Will you just keep them both dangling?

If you still recognize yourself in some questions from the list above and it causes you confusion, you’ll need to see a therapist for more stable progress.

Related reading: Loving More Than One – Is It Possible?

2. Start Talking to Yourself About Your Feelings

You’re not a bad person for getting hooked up with two or more others as long as your motives are not those listed above. This is not a game you are playing for control. You may alternate among guilt, confusion, pressure, and more.

If you are the “victim” of an unfaithful lover or spouse, you will experience a range of emotions – sadness, despair, anger, and more. Embrace those feelings and keep talking to yourself so you can get them out and analyze them.

3. Weigh Your Life Options

One thing you have total control of is taking action when in a love triangle. If you are honest with yourself, you should now understand that they cannot last indefinitely. Unknowing participants will find out; knowing participants will tire or demand that their partner or the object of their love make a choice, or they will leave.

You can stay in a love triangle, even while it fizzles, or even enter a new one. Just remember, the prospects for your future romantic satisfaction will be slim. Relationships are funny that way – if you are looking for permanent love, this is not the answer for all of the reasons already listed.

If you are in a love triangle with two competitors, who do you have a better connection with? Who do you trust to care for your heart more? Who seems to understand you better? It may be difficult, but choose that person and move forward with them. You’ll break a heart, but they’ll still be standing.

If you have been cheated on while you have remained doggedly faithful, you have been betrayed. Analyze how you feel about that. Will you be able to trust again? And especially if they have cheated more than once, is this a pattern? Remember, you have a right to a stable, loving, and loyal mate. As difficult as it may be, and though it will bring you pain in the short term, you may have to end it and move on. there will be a future for you – go find it.

Getting out of a love triange relationship: Open yourself for a brighter future!

You Can Build Better Relationships Than a Love Triangle!

A love triangle is messy, and unless all parties agree to this relationship, it will usually not end well. Before you get into such a situation, think long and hard about the possible consequences for all three of you. Feelings and emotional well-being are at stake.

Here are some final tips for you to support you on the way out of:

  • Deal with pain: The best way to alleviate that love triangle pain is to let your feelings flow, at least in the beginning. Cry, scream, get angry, etc. Getting all of that out feels good.
  • Make a plan: Distract yourself – get out with good friends; take a class; pursue a hobby you’ve always thought about; get outside of yourself by volunteering. All of these outlets will impact your mood and help prepare you for the life you deserve.
  • Don’t ruminate: Don’t spend your energy trying to understand how you got into this love triangle, what’s wrong with your relationships in the first place, how your expectations were so faulty, and why you didn’t notice those obvious signs. This won’t change what happened.
  • Get support: Find a person or two on whom you can rely on. Come to these people to share whatever it is on your mind. Your present is hard, but our next relationship will be better with their help!

We’re a dating app, but if you’ve just left a love triangle relationship, our best recommendation is not to jump into dating immediately. Remember that a love triangle is a complicated relationship with lots of feelings and emotions. Every person who has ever been in one can attest to this reality. If you are now a single one after a love triangle, you are probably experiencing some pain, including feelings of betrayal and loneliness. You are vulnerable for new experiences.

If you begin dating now, you may easily jump into the first relationship that comes along – it’s called a rebound relationship, and it usually doesn’t last long-term. You are setting yourself up for all of those painful feelings you’ve been trying to recover from. It’s important that you take time to heal.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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