How to End a Love Triangle

As if dating isn't hard enough, what happens when you find out you are stuck in a love triangle? 

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #394

Let me start out by saying there is nothing OK about a love triangle. I mean, the essence of a love triangle is one person controlling two people in a hopes of having their cake and eating it too. And if you tolerate being in a love triangle, you are allowing yourself to be played in an embarrassing manner.

However, for those that find themselves in a love triangle and realize it’s time to exit, you can’t approach this scenario the same way you would a “normal” breakup.  So before you feel like your love life is turning into The Bermuda Triangle, check out my top three tips for exiting a love triangle:

Tip #1: Be Blunt

Being a happily married man of ten years, I'm not well-versed in the trials and tribulations of love triangles. However, like a doctor who never had to suffer from a broken leg, I can easily look at situation, and offer a way to fix it. See, as a manners expert, I can usually suss out any and all unmannerly issues, and a love triangle is surely a breeding ground for rude behavior. Yet even with my astute ability to call bulls—t on jerks of the world, a love triangle is not something that should be tolerated by either parties. See, unlike realizing it’s time to end a normal relationship and may teeter between whether it’s right or wrong, when you’re stuck in a love triangle, there is no debate. The person in question may be the man or woman of your dreams on paper, but the reality of your relationship is more like a sheet of flypaper lit up and disappearing into the ether. With that, it’s only proper to be direct, blunt, and not beat around the bush.

Take Henry, from New Mexico who realized that one of his fellow law school classmates was also dating his “girlfriend,” Emily. Ironically, they found out when she invited both of them (and other friends) to a large study group. Things got hairy when both wanted to kiss her hello. Needless to say, some eyebrows were raised at the awkward encounter and it was obvious Emily wasn’t being totally honest. So, being a gentleman (which is the FIRST key factor to keep in mind), Henry packed his things up and left. The next day, he called Emily to cut things off. He didn’t give her a chance to “explain herself,” despite her crying. In fact, to his credit, Henry didn’t go ballistic (even though he had the right to)), nor did he point fingers—he simply let her know it was over. He was blunt, straightforward and left it at that. Emily knew what she did, so why was there a need for further explanation? What was she going to say? "Well, the thing is... See, what really happened was..." I don't think so.  Why do you get to rip into someone for lying to you? Sure, you’re entitled to but you’ll only sink to their level. When you yell back at a yeller, you’re saying there is a debate—as if you may, in fact, be even remotely in the wrong. You can’t allow it and you can’t tolerate. Keep calm, and simply cut them out of your life forever.  

Tip #2: Meet Your Frenemy

As I said above, I’m a firm believer in NOT tolerating love triangles. Don’t give me the old, “But I love them and they love me! We can work it out,” because they don’t love you. Like, at all! They’re playing you and will as long as you let them. When you allow someone to pull you along, it will only make them stray farther and your chances of making it as a couple seem less likely than the New Orleans Pelicans winning the NBA title next year. It’s like telling a child, “OK, OK, I was really upset at you for eating that cookie when I asked you not to… But here’s money to go buy an entire box.” With that, as I said above, you can’t even give your love triangle an ounce of patience. However, even though you wish nothing but bad things to happen to Mr./Mrs. Wonderful, you have to remember the third party in this relationship. So, I recommend engaging that third party, and not the ex. Allow me to explain.