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Ask Ogonna: Square up in a love triangle

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Have a problem with love or life in general? Send Ogonna your questions at askogonna@gmail.com and get them answered here in her column. You can also tweet her at @askogonna or ask her at ask.fm/askogonna


Reader: I’ve found myself in that ugly part of a love triangle where my crush likes my friend who might like her back, but no one is saying how he or she really feels. The two of them aren’t official, but it just sucks to see them always flirting in front of me.

Ogonna: The classic love triangle, a bittersweet shape created when three people have some type of relationship to one another and at least two parties have romantic feelings toward each other. If you realize that you are that angle of the triangle that is left pining after your friend’s crush, you need to do everything you can to get out of that position. It’s so hard to see that things might not work out in your favor, especially if the three of you are all friends, but this will only cause the heartbreak to last longer than needed.

I don’t know why it is so hard for us to admit that we are hurt, even if it’s just admitting it to ourselves. I suppose we’ve been conditioned to view pain as a weakness, but it’s only human for us to have and feel emotions, so why not own up to them and let it ride out?

Let yourself have a broken heart, but just for a little while. Even if the involved parties, meaning your friend and your crush, don’t realize they affected your feelings or intentionally meant to, you still feel hurt. That is OK. You deserve the right to your own emotions, and you have a right to be upset when you get hurt. Of course, you shouldn’t be upset with your friends for their emotions and liking each other, but you can be upset that you got hurt in the crossfire and that things didn’t work out in your favor.

Minimalize the time you spend with the two of your friends together so that you don’t have to feel jealous watching them flirt. You can even play it off as wanting the two of them to have more alone time so they are forced to confront their feelings. Make sure to take time for yourself, too. While allowing sadness is a go-to for sore hearts, perhaps you should switch out ice cream and sad movies with ice cream and happy movies. Don’t be too down on yourself if things don’t work out.

The best way to avoid a love triangle is to avoid putting yourself in a position to compete with others in general. What I mean by this is, when you first start to develop feelings for another person, you have to understand the position you are getting into. Is this person available? Are you available? What are the other parties that you know of that might also have a stake in this? If you find that you’re put in a position where you have to fight for your crush’s attention and reciprocated feelings, you have to decide whether it’s worth the fight. The best determining factor of this, however, is whether your crush is willing to fight for you back.

This might sound cheesy, but I think the best way to cope with a broken heart from a love triangle is by appreciating the little things you do have to make your heart whole again. Doing something as simple as redecorating your room for the holiday season with friends could be just what you need. By surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones outside of this triangle, you realize how happy you can be with those who love you for who you are right here, right now.

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