DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in love with two men at the same time. One is my long-term boyfriend. We met at work, started dating and eventually moved in together. The other man is a childhood friend that I have known my whole life. He has always been there for me. Both of our families are so close, it's like we are one big family. My friend is also dating someone else. This is the first time both of us have been in relationships at the same time. So seeing both of us with other people makes me feel like we are living a fairy tale.
For the first time ever, I am beginning to wonder why we never got together, and it actually makes me scared to think we might go separate ways in life. I don’t ever want to lose him, and I realize now that I love him. My boyfriend is great, and he is everything I want. How do I begin to decide who I should be with? -- In Love With Both
DEAR IN LOVE WITH BOTH: Step back and survey your life. What do you like about it? What bothers you? What is fulfilling, and what is not? How does each of these men figure into your happiness? Could it be that you are confusing the love of friendship with romantic love? Pay close attention to what each of these relationships means to you and how each plays out.
The fantasy of “what ifs” can be debilitating for a person, and you could easily lose both of these men. You have to decide first if you still want to be with your boyfriend. What do you enjoy about being with him? Do you share values, hopes and dreams? Do you want to spend your life with him? If you are unsure, then he may not be the one for you.
Assess your childhood friend. What do you love about him platonically? What do you think you love about him as a partner? Could your jealous stirrings be simply because he has a girlfriend, or is it deeper than that? Sit with your questions and feelings and do your best to determine an honorable way to move forward. Do not try to have them both as lovers. That will end in disaster.