One person can have more than one loved one

In love with two people: what should I do?

In love with two people - that can't really work, most say. Real life shows again and again that it happens anyway. And then it quickly becomes problematic. Because our society regards monogamous relationships as "normal" and everything else is viewed with suspicion.

As open as you are today when it comes to diversity and sexuality, love for more than one partner remains a no-go. Polyamorous and open relationships are often dismissed as a "phase", at best as an experiment that will ultimately fail and end in a monogamous partnership - at least that's what many think.

Video: Can an Open Relationship Work? That's what the expert says

Video from the editorial team

Make a decision! We put the pressure on ourselves

If you fall in love with two people at the same time, that's exactly what you feel. The question immediately arises as to which of the two you will choose. Everything else is out of the question. How far this thinking goes is also shown by the fact that as a single you are already considered dubious if you date several guys at the same time on Tinder.

And the bad thing is: we've already internalized it so much that we put the most pressure on ourselves. We find love tormenting two people and therefore try to make a decision as quickly as possible - for one person and against a person.

We are shaped by the relationship model that prevails in our society: You live together as a couple, you only love your partner and, at best, start a family together. That's the common plot.

Also read: Open Relationship: Total Trust or License to Cheat?

The reasons: It's not always the broken relationship

Markus Ernst is a psychologist and in his practice advises more often people whose love life is chaotic. He has often come across someone who has feelings for two people at the same time. However, he considers falling in love with two people at the same time to be rather unrealistic: "Being in love takes up so much space, head and stomach, in my opinion it's difficult to experience that with two people at the same time."

He also advocates the thesis that people who are in a relationship usually fall in love with someone new when something is wrong in their relationship. "When feelings for a second person arise, you have to look carefully, whether this is a real infatuation or rather a compensation of the kind 'The other gives me what my partner cannot give me'acts ", says the expert.

And it's a shame that this is exactly the kind of thinking that predominates in most people. If someone falls in love with someone else, then something is missing in the relationship or it was already broken anyway. But is that really always the case? Does "falling in love with someone else" always automatically mean declaring the existing relationship bankrupt? And I am of the opinion that exactly that is not the case.

Also read: Platonic Love: Can It Really Work?

More reasons to fall in love with someone

The crux of the whole thing is: The existing partnership does not necessarily have to be broken in order to be receptive to the charms of others. You can't put on blinkers just because you're in a relationship and spend the rest of your days only with this specimen of man or woman.

There are billions of people out there and many of them speak to us emotionally. It is quite normal for other people to touch us, bewitch us, irritate us - whatever. Regardless of whether we are single or not. The only question is: How far do we allow this external stimulus?

Also read: Polyamory: Can you love several people at the same time?

What to do? Open cards or stealth?

There are couples who are open about it. They exchange ideas about what they feel and what is ok and what is not outside of the partnership. However, this is not the norm. In monogamous relationships, the great chaos usually begins as soon as feelings for a third party arise.

And quite a few say very clearly: If you have feelings for someone else, you have to part. But is that so? Do you have to give up your intact relationship just because you've met someone you're drawn to? To what extent do feelings have to be exclusive?

It gets really complicated when everything happens secretly and without the partner's knowledge. When you hide your feelings from your partner for fear of losing them. That makes things worse. Because you despise yourself for lying and betraying your loved one.

Also read: It's complicated: Why the relationship status is not always clearly defined

In love with two: The usual tips

So what to do if you don't want to have a three-way relationship? The usual advice from outsiders usually sounds very logical: Listen to your heart. But what if you listen but your heart says nothing? The second most frequent sentence that people are allowed to listen to in this situation is certainly: "That can't be. Now get a clear head, then you will quickly know what to do."

Expert Markus Ernst also says: "I think that after a while you will realize on your own who your heart beats more for." His tip: In such a situation, withdraw first, keep your distance from both of them and give yourself a little time. To be able to be clear about your own feelings at all. And to understand what the heart really wants.

Also read: The best of two worlds? Relationship status "Mingle" & what's behind it

Find your own way

I would go one step further: you should think about how you would like to design your construct of partnership. And sometimes quite freely and without paying attention to the expectations of others or social expectations. Maybe you love differently than others. The structure "monogamous relationship" has existed for a long time, but does that mean that it is the sole right to exist?

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Take the British actress Tilda Swinton, for example. She has a polyamorous relationship, which means: She is married and has been with another man for years. Everyone involved knows one another, nobody is being cheated or deceived.

As wonderful as monogamous relationships and the exclusivity of feelings are: We shouldn't rashly judge other relationship models. Why not look to the right and left of the "normal route"? Or at least think through new models? No matter what you do: The only important thing should be: EVERYONE involved must be happy with it. Acting out at the expense of others is definitely not OK.