Help, I’m falling in love with someone else
Sometimes in life we’re presented with situations that we wouldn’t have predicted in a million years. We’re in love and happy, our relationship is moving along as smoothly as it ever has and then wham, out of nowhere a curve ball lands square in our laps. It can happen when we first fall in love with our partners and also, confusingly, when a new person shows up on the scene.
You may be completely committed to your spouse and have put a lot of time and effort into maintaining the life you’ve built together, so how is it that another person has slowly started to take up space in your heart? How is it even, that it’s hit you like a bolt of lightening? Whatever your personal scenario, it’s extremely important to stay calm in the midst of all the emotions that will surely flood your system.
Temporarily remove the third wheel
When another person is able to affect you and your relationship to such an extent that a breakup is possible, the first port of call is to question what you’d do if this new person disappeared tomorrow. Yes, even if they’ve just arrived in your life, you need to momentarily return your focus back to – and only to – your current partner.
It’s common for people to begin placing all the emphasis and attention on the third party and to base decisions on what that person is doing or saying. What’s more useful however, is to ask yourself this question: ‘if they were suddenly no longer around, would I resume my current relationship, or have I realised that a change needs to happen?’
The reason for this is to work out whether your set back is a foolish blip, or actually an indication of wider issues to be dealt with. Either way, take into consideration that your new love may be a symptom and not the cause of challenges in your relationship.
Find the root cause
Following on from the above, and before you dive into complex and convoluted thoughts about what the best course of action is, try to think in simple terms. Easier said than done, we know.
Think about what’s lacking from your existing relationship and possibly your emotional or physical connection with your partner. What is it that’s left the door to your heart so wide open that someone else is able to walk in? Is there too much of something you’re being given, i.e. stress, pressure, expectation. Or is there too little of what’s crucial to your happiness i.e. sex, appreciation, comfort.
Be aware that the reason you’re open to falling in love with someone else may also have surprisingly little to do with your current partner and more to do with you as an individual. Have you been honest with yourself about your needs? Spend some real time getting down to the basics of why this is happening.
Are you still in love with your current partner?
Assessing your feelings for the person who was there first and with whom you’re still sharing a bed is vital. So, are you still in love with them? The answer shouldn’t be dependant on the new person in your life. Rather, see them as a flashlight, illuminating everything that’s previously been allowed to exist in the shadows of your relationship.
If you’re no longer in love, the presence of someone else is almost a mere detail. If however, you still feel as strongly for your existing partner, then it’s an even trickier conundrum you’re in. As always, start by focusing inwards and not out, this will help inform your decisions.
Remember, you still have a choice
Falling in love with someone else is one thing, forgetting you have a choice about the actions you subsequently take is quite another. Assuming that nothing of the physically intimate variety has already happened, you can still decide to be respectfully honest with your current partner about your intentions and desires with this other person.
There’s no denying this will be an intensely difficult time for the pair of you. Remember though, letting the situation spiral because you’re caught up in emotions and haven’t stopped to engage your brain, is not an excuse to betray someone’s trust. Honour what you currently have and give it the respect it deserves. Remain compassionate and mindful.
You can fall in love with someone and still let them go
Falling in love is romantic. It can and will sweep you off your feet, have you suspended on strings forged from promises and high hopes, but you’re old enough to know that the reality can be tough once the fairy dust settles. Simply because something is new and shiny, does not make it a better option than your life before it arrived. Your existing relationship may also have been, and still be, just as beautiful in its own way.
New people will come and go throughout your life, so be careful not to sway every time the wind blows. Understand what it is that grounds you and hold on to that. Know you can feel deeply for someone, without skipping off into the sunset with them.
Weigh it all up
Ultimately, it’s you who’s going to have to live the life you create for yourself, so spend some serious time weighing it up from both angles. Think about what you’ll gain by leaving your partner and also what you’ll lose. It’s a natural tendency for people to focus on one or the other of these, but you really need both perspectives. Cheating is never something to be condoned so, as it stands, staying with or leaving your existing partner are your two obvious options.
It’s worth noting also, that you can make the decision to stay with neither of these people.
Being alone and taking a relationship break is a great way to assess your real needs, without the pressure of worrying about other people’s.
All enquiries will be handled in the strictest confidence.
Or you prefer rather to call? +41 22 900 11 28