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Teen Talk: caught in uneasy triangle; can it be love?

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

DEAR KELLY: I am in my senior year in high school and in an absolute romance predicament.

Around February this year, I thought I was in love with a boy, Michael, I had been dating for well over a year. However, at the same time, I started developing feelings for his friend Will.

I kept my feelings for Will to myself, knowing that my feelings were greater for my boyfriend, that telling anyone would only get me into a sticky situation and figuring that those feelings would just go away if I ignored them.

But they didn't go away as I had planned, and I found myself starting to wonder if Will liked me, too. Around April, Will started dating one of my closest friends, Rachel. At that point I figured he didn't feel the same, and decided to concentrate on Michael. Yet I still couldn't ignore my feelings.

As summer rolled around, Michael and I grew apart and broke up. However, I kept my feelings for him. Following the breakup I found myself talking to Will more and more. We really began to connect, more than we had in our years of knowing each other. Summer ended in August, my senior year started and I found myself in just the sticky situation I wanted to avoid.

I still had feelings for Michael, but I also had feelings for Will, who was still in a relationship with Rachel.

Things managed to get more complicated. Rachel came to me saying that she wasn't sure she and Will even had feelings for each other, and soon after, the two of them broke up. One night I was text-messaging Will and we got into talking about how much we appreciated each other's friendship, and then he asked me if I loved him.

I was completely taken aback and though I knew I had feelings for him, I wasn't sure if they were love. But I made a mistake, got caught up in the moment and called it love.

He went on to confess that he had liked me for an extremely long time and had fallen in love with me. Now I was really in a sticky situation, even greater and more complex.

After a couple of weeks of not exactly dating, Will and I decided it was time to tell our friends and both of them responded positively. So we began a sort of dating relationship but I knew I still had some feelings left for Michael, and was unsure of whether my feelings for Will could be called "love."

Now, over a month since Will and I confessed our feelings for each other, Will is starting to get quite serious about our relationship.

I'm not over Michael yet, nor do I know if I love Will. What should I do? Is this just me rebounding? Also, is it possible to love two people at the same time? And finally, is it even possible to find love in high school?

– Miss Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: You are caught in romantic triangle that has gone on for too long. The answer is simple but you have to be willing to be honest with yourself, as well as with Will.

It's time to take your "love fogged" glasses off and make clearer decisions that take you out of the middle.

It seems like you want the guy you don't have instead of being happy with the guy you do have. When you were together with Michael, you wanted Will and now that you are with Will, you question if you are over Michael. It feels a little like a game, and you need to stop and regroup emotionally before you hurt both boys and potentially damage their friendship.

Will sounds like he is all in on a relationship and is going too fast for you. You aren't even sure if you feel the same about him.

It's not a question of rebounding as much as it is timing. If you aren't over Michael, then you should not be in a relationship.

True lasting love can be found in high school, but is pretty rare. Most people need to mature before they can be open to finding someone they fall in love with and can stay with for a long time. It is common, though, for high-schoolers to experience the feeling of being in love for the first time. In fact, a large percentage of people will say their first love was a high school love, but the majority of those first relationships last longer than high school.

Regarding your question about loving two people at one time, I think that is possible – but it is not the case for you. You don't love either of them – you like them and the feelings you get from them, but it is very clearly not love.

Love is not something you feel just because you can finally be together after liking each other from afar for so long. You seem to like both boys, and that's where the predicament lies. But to answer your question, you are not in love with either.

Break up and figure yourself out before you try to be in the middle of a triangle between two guys. Perhaps a little time being single will help you see things clearer and make the decision process easier and less stressful.

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