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Ask Jono: I Have Feelings For Two Different Guys

Ask Jono: I Have Feelings For Two Different Guys


Well, to cut to the chase, I have a few problems that has been bothering me for quite awhile now and I could use some expert help. My parents are quite controlling and they don't allow me to have an official "boyfriend" but I'm currently in a complicated sorta kinda not really relationship with one boy who I will call Theo. I've been "dating" Theo for almost a year now, and I am really happy with him.

Because our parents do not allow us to be "together" we decided to ask different people out on casual dates as well. So, I did. I've started to get to know this other boy, I'll call him Park, who I asked out a while ago, and I think I'm starting to fall in love with him. Park knows that Theo is sort of with me, but I still find him flirting with me all the time, and I flirt back! What should I do? I don't want to break anybody's heart, but I don't know what I should do!! Please help.

There are lots of things complicating this situation—the fact that your relationship with Theo is only a sorta-relationship, your parents' unwillingness to let you date more seriously—but a love triangle is still a love triangle, regardless of the other details. You could have written in telling me that you lived on a space station and your boyfriend was an astronaut and you were falling in love with a moon alien, and I would still tell you that, ultimately, you're going to have to break someone's heart or silicon-based goo valve (assuming this is what moon aliens have).

My first reaction was that you should value an established relationship more than a recent attraction, but then again, I'm not sure what either of these relationships actually entails. On top of that, I notice that you used the words "in love" for Park and "really happy" for Theo. "Really happy" is how I would describe my affection for a particularly good hamburger. (Actually I have probably claimed to be in love with a hamburger more than once, but that's neither here nor there.) My point is that I don't know enough about how you feel for these guys, aside from the few clues you've given me. If you were stuck in a comfortable but loveless relationship, I'd tell you to gracefully end it in favor of one that really means something, but I don't know if you feel that way (and I'm not sure you know how you feel).

You do have to choose one of them, though, or at least let them both know where they stand. I tend to criticize FWB relationships not because I'm a stuffy grouch, but because I don't think most teens (or people, period) are able to share somebody without eventually going crazy. For example, imagine Theo sitting across from some girl in a coffee shop, swooning all over her and telling her she's sooo interesting, even if she's actually as interesting a barge. If imagining that kind of sappy flirting gives you an anime forehead vein, then you must realize that it wouldn't be fair to let this situation continue as-is. This is a bit different from a FWB scenario—in your case, it's emotional intimacy, not physical intimacy—but one of these guys is still going to be jealous of your relationship with the other, and if you play your cards wrong, you might go from two boys to zero boys. Even if you're not officially dating either of them, you can't just carry on an open non-lationship unless they both understand that's what this is.

I can't tell you to pick one specific guy; all I can tell you is to consider if one relationship has more of a future, and more of a foundation. You obviously know Theo very well if you've been close to him for a year; do you know enough about Park to feel that you two have a similar foundation of common interests, or are you swept up in a passing attraction that might not last? I don't know when, or if, you'll be allowed to for-realsies date one of them, but is it easier to imagine a serious relationship with one guy than with the other? Eventually, you're either going to have to pick one of them or let them both understand that you can't commit to anybody until you have more control over your dating life. You can keep sorta-kinda-dating them both, but only if you all follow the same rules, or lack of rules, about seeing other people. Either way, at some point, both guys need to know just where they stand with you.

Topics: Life
Tags: dating, crushes, advice, guys, ask jono

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