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How to deal with a love triangle

As the characters from The Hunger Games have shown us, a love triangle can affect almost anyone. What happens when one person who loves another suddenly finds they have feelings for someone else? What happens to everyone involved?

The love triangle in The Hunger Games

In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen became part of an unexpected love triangle when her unexplored feelings toward Gale, her friend and confidante, became contradictory to her blossoming feelings for her fellow contestant and admirer, Peeta. Have you been affected by a love triangle in your life? Here’s some advice to help navigate the situation and arrive at the best solution for you.

What are your priorities?

Are you looking for real love, or are you consumed by lust? What do you want out of your relationships? Emotional support? Physical satisfaction? No-strings-attached fun? Maybe the whole package? Many love triangles begin because one of the people involved is unsure of what they want or hasn’t fully committed to their current relationship. Being in a committed relationship can be a wonderful opportunity to find deeper fulfillment with love, but at the same time, it can be a hindrance if that’s not what you are ready for or actively looking for. If you are the third party in a love triangle, you need to consider your place, where you stand and if you’re comfortable being the third wheel, because the situation may never change.

Consider everyone’s emotional well-being

If you are a woman who finds herself in love with two men, you have to consider the repercussions of your choices. A polyamorous lifestyle may be acceptable to some, but to the majority of society, romantic love is generally considered to be based on the love between two people only. Whether you are one of the key players in the triangle or the third person, keep in mind that eventually a choice will need to be made, and someone will have their heart broken — and sadly, it may be you.

Be honest

Regardless of your place in the love triangle, be honest with yourself and with the other parties involved. Sometimes it can be easy to declare your eternal love, but consider what purpose that would serve. Be honest with your lover and yourself, whether you are the primary person in the triangle or not. If you feel an overwhelming desire and attraction to your new love interest, accept your feelings and be willing to share that with the other two. Take a minute to picture your life a few years from now — will you still be part of this triangle, or not? If you can’t imagine the situation going beyond what is happening at the moment, it’s probably time to be honest with yourself again and move on with your life.

Photo courtesy of Nikki Nelson /

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