“Choose your love. Love your choice.”
~ Thomas S. Monson
What a lovely “problem” to have, two Suitors at the same time.
Sadly, most early romance flames burn out. I know, so sad, but it’s true. And sometimes you’re hot — attracting more than one viable candidate at the same time. Fan BOTH flames, be receptive and enthusiastic with both. May the best man win. Take your time, be responsive, be thoroughly present on your dates and see how it feels being with this particular man.
Take your time before diving too deeply into intimacy, meaning … keep your pants on, ladies, until you’ve identified the one you’d like to stick with, and don’t let the clothes start flying until you’ve both verbalized that you’ve carved each other out of the herd, and want to date each other exclusively.
When in doubt, keep saying Yes to both Suitors, trying on both hats, over time, to see which one really fits best.
To extend the courtship phase, practice open, honest communication and be generous — don’t expect him and don’t make him do all of the heavy lifting. You be the one to drive to his neck of the woods sometimes, you be the one to bring the picnic for the hike or have him over to cook a meal together.
A good man WILL stick around and he WILL be happy to or at least willing to wait for sex, if he can tell that she’s sincerely interested in him.
Julie Ferman, Matchmaker – www.julieferman.com
This may not seem a problem to many relationship seekers who can’t find one just-right partner. Yet, there are times when a woman finds herself with two very different potential partners to choose from, and neither is just right by himself. “I wish I could just blend them together and I’d have found the perfect guy.”
Many women, and men as well, are drawn towards people who are very compatible in some ways but not in others.
That common challenge is totally understandable and requires prioritizing what is truly important to each person to make a relationship work. It is, however, a more unique situation if a woman finds herself repeating a pattern of being attracted to the same two, and wholly different, personality types, especially when they present themselves at the same time in her life. She is likely to feel a deeper conflict inside that may represent two parts of herself that are unintegrated.
In my four decades of working with individuals and couples, I have found that many women are internally conflicted this way, and may unconsciously be drawn to a different man who satisfies one part of her but not the other.
What I’ve heard most often from my female patients is that one side is the hot woman who is in touch with her own sexiness and loves her abandoned capability to express it. The other is the intuitive, caring, accommodating, sweet, friendly, and supportive woman who makes sure the man she’s with wants for nothing.
The novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey” though many have decried its pink porn literary form, has sold millions of copies, primarily to women, and to women of all ages. That is primarily because it talks to those two sides that so many women share.
That does not mean that women secretly want to be ravished and owned by wealthy, handsome, needing-to-be-rescued, highly sexed men who treasure them above all others. Or that they must maintain their innocence until it is released by the perfect lover. It may just simply mean that the integration of those two dissimilar parts of many women are not fully intertwined and ache to be.
Most romance novels are based upon that theme.
The “bad boy” seducer must have a dark past, have choice of any woman he wants, be seeking an innocent who has not found her own deep sexual hunger, and who he then treasures above all others. Maybe, he will suddenly realize that she is the one they have been looking for all along, and now want to stay with her forever, knowing finally that there will never be another better partner for him. Sadly, that doesn’t tend to happen very often, and the ride had better be worth the predictable hit-and-run aftermath.
So who is the other guy in this balancing act?
There are actually two personality types in this category.
The first is the wonderful, kind, respectful, supportive, caring, and sweetheart of a man who doesn’t appear to be looking for sex as his primary goal, but wants to create a loving relationship that includes it.
He usually makes a great long-time partner, doesn’t mess around, doesn’t demand center-stage, and doesn’t flaunt his peacock feathers for attention. He is wonderfully secure and trustworthy but just maybe doesn’t have enough self-centeredness in him to be a little out-of-reach, which many women find more arousing. (See my article on “Why Great Husbands are Being Abandoned,” on Psychology Today Blogs.)
The second is often referred to as the “rescuer.”
He usually emerges on the scene when a woman is grieving from the abandonment of the sexy, temporary chaser. He makes her feel worthwhile again, reminds her of how valuable she is, and looks a lot better than the guy who is now “ghosting” her.
He wants her to realize how much better a catch he is by being there to support her in her time of crisis. He is usually welcomed and appreciated for some period of time but can, unfortunately, lock himself into that eventually-limiting role so that he doesn’t take the chance of revealing any similarly ignoble intentions as the one who caused the heartbreak.
Though these descriptions may seem like too-simple parodies, they are not without substance in the dating world.
Many of the women I deal with can relate to the pattern of bouncing from one type of man to the other and wondering if they’ll ever find a “sexy saint” that can simultaneously handle their disparate parts. (By the way, many men often have their own bounce pattern between two distinctly different types of women.)
There is an answer.
When each woman individually explores, acknowledges, and accepts all parts of her needs, wants, and what she has to offer, she can begin the process of her own integration.
The more deeply she knows what she’s like when all dimensions are present and accounted for, the better she will be at choosing the right counterpart. The trick, then, is to find men who appreciate the kind of full-range woman who comes pre-packaged in her own self-created wholeness.
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
It’s challenging enough as it is to have feelings for one; but two! What’s a girl to do?
Emotions can get you in deep trouble when you’re not paying attention to them and what’s going on within. The moment you sense yourself having feelings for someone and you’re not in a relationship with them, put those feelings in check.
The way you do this is through awareness.
Just be aware. Don’t ignore the feelings. Let those feelings know that you’re not ignoring them, that you hear and feel them, and that you’re conscious of what’s happening.
Check in by asking yourself some questions:
- When did you first notice the feelings? What was going on?
- Where are these feelings coming from? Did they just come out of the blue, or is it something you’ve noticed over a period of time?
- What type of feelings are they (physical, emotional, mental, sexual, etc.)?
- Are these feelings based on a need you may have?
- Are the feelings controllable or out of control?
- How are you coping with the feelings?
- Are your feelings obvious to others, or is it just all in your head?
- What are you telling yourself about the feelings? How you talk to yourself does matter.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but something to get you going in a conversation with yourself about what’s going on without pretending nothing is happening.
Determining the type of feelings you might be experiencing for or towards someone could helpful.
For example, if it’s been a while since you’ve been intimate with someone and you want to be, or you might be ovulating, or having a physical attraction or reaction toward someone, could indicate to you where the feelings may be coming from.
With any of these, you can simply talk yourself through this rough period without getting yourself into a sticky situation, such as something you may regret later. Instead, just be aware and answer the above questions. The answers will lead you from there as to what to do next.
Remember, feelings change all the time.
They are not always reliable. If you’ve been in a relationship with someone before, and that person wants you back and you find yourself feeling stuck; reflect back on why that relationship didn’t work out the last time before you risk changing things around to give them a second chance. Don’t let your feelings be in control here. You take control of those feelings with reasoning and rationale.
Think. Think. And think again.
I’m sure after you’ve thought through your current emotional situation, you’ll come to the best solution for you in this moment. Trust that.
Barbara Ann Williams, LPC, MS – www.barbaraannwilliams.com
When we have feelings for more than one person, it means different parts of us are trying to evolve… different parts that are awakened, fed, or stimulated by these two different people, whether they become lovers/partners or not.
Relationships allow us to grow: they are HOW we grow.
But in the midst of this confusion, we feel anxious and torn.
We think, “I must be pretty shallow to love two different people at the same time.” We have trouble being truly present with either person – because our inner critic screams that we’re doing something wrong – or just being wrong.
I’m terrible. I’m selfish. I’m a born cheater. I can’t settle down. I’ll never get married. I’ll always flit from partner to partner…….
None of these things is true. So let’s take a moment to re-ground.
- Find a comfortable seated position, preferably on the floor.
- Take several deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Feel your sit-bones making contact with the floor. Look around the area and notice the colors and shapes.
- Say these things out loud: The date is ____. I am ____ years old. I live at ____. My good friend is ____. I work at ____.
- Look at the palm of your hand and remember you’re still you, no matter who else is in your life. Say this aloud.
Another way to re-ground and explore what’s happening in your inner life is to write about it.
I recommend life-writing to most of my clients, especially when they’re caught in dilemmas of the heart. Get your notebook and pen. Lay it all on the page, without censoring yourself. Write about both people: what you admire and dislike about each, how you feel with each, what old memories are triggered by each.
Think about the parts of you that are trying to grow in these relationships:
Your artistic part?
Your disciplined part?
Your carefree part?
the part of you that wants to have a family and sink some roots?
As you write, remember that this kind of triangle happens to EVERYONE at some point in life, probably more than once. It probably even happened to your grandmother. Ask her about it!
Dr. Deborah Cox – www.deborahlcox.com
Dating will sometimes put you in a situation where you like two guys at the same time.
Sometimes it could be a new guy and an old male friend. Sometimes you still have feelings for your ex. Sometimes you may be interested in two guys you just met and are dating them both. The problem is that at some point you will have to decide and pick just one.
How do you do that? Here are some suggestions:
Know what you are looking for in a committed relationship.
- Does he have to make you laugh?
- Should he be the same religion as you?
- Can he be divorced with small kids?
- Must he have a college degree?
- Should he be openly affectionate?
Make a list of all the things you would like in your partner and decide which guy comes closest to meeting your desires. This will help make your decision somewhat easier.
Be sure you introduce both guys to friends and get their general opinions.
This is important since they can be more objective than you and see “red flags” easier. Of course, you must be able to trust that your friends have your best interest in mind and are not commenting out of jealously or spite.
- Who do you feel most comfortable with?
- Which guy is easier to be around, in terms of having less drama or misunderstandings?
- In other words, can you be yourself around him and stay authentic, yet not too vulnerable?
- Who do you think about most?
- Who are you most physically attractive to?
- Who treats you best?
Remember that you are probably still in the honeymoon phase of the relationships, so things should be going well with both guys. But after a few weeks of dating, one should be standing out more than the other. Trust your gut, but don’t be swept off your feet by charmers, smooth talkers or guys a little too cocky and sure of themselves.
Often times you could “blow” a great thing with a new guy just because you hope someone from your past will come forward again.
Understand this and use the criteria above to decide if you are being rational, realistic or just plain foolish. The important thing to consider is how much you are losing if you let one guy go in pursuit of another.
So put on your objective thinking cap, look at all the angles, talk to trustworthy friends and make a decision based on your needs, wants and common goals. The decision won’t be that difficult if you take all these things into consideration.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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