I am in love with two women. Each has different qualities that I value and want in a partner. I have never been able to find one woman with all that I want. I have a relationship with both women, but they don’t know about each other. I do enjoy it, but I wish I didn’t have to juggle. I want to tell them about each other, and although I wish I could keep seeing both, I am ready to choose. I just don’t know how.
Start by being real: You can develop strong feelings of caring and affection for both women, that’s true. You can also grow attached to each one. But it’s impossible to have a full loving relationship with both. Real love requires commitment. You are not truly committed to one person if you are giving yourself to someone else. Real love also demands that you are available. You must have time to invest in the relationship and be emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically present to connect with your partner. If you are distracted by your attraction to someone else, your relationships may be romantic, but they will also be superficial. Eventually, you will seek opportunities to get caught or to start yet another flirtation, just to up the adrenaline so you can actually feel something again. (Yes, all of those feelings of excitement you have are sparked by the illicitness of two relationships, the high of being desired and the potential danger of being caught, not by the relationships themselves.)
People who cheat often lack courage and determination. They are afraid to slog through the inevitable arguments that occur in relationships without having the option of sneaking off into another’s embrace to avoid facing themselves and the challenges of intimacy. And, as you have probably discovered, while your ego basks in the experience of being desired by more than one woman, the balancing act of being involved with two different women can provoke anger, hurt, confusion and moral dilemmas.
So how do you choose the right partner? Think of the qualities that you need in a mate: honesty, trustworthiness, the ability to make and keep commitments, shared interests, shared values, someone you cherish and who cherishes you, the opportunity for spiritual growth together, the ability to communicate well and work through difficulties, plus the capacity to play and laugh together. If neither woman is the obvious choice, I suggest you end both relationships and spend some time becoming the person who would attract the partner you desire.
My Buddhist boyfriend is always talking about living in the moment, and when I bring up (after four years together) the possibility of a long-term future, he launches into a speech about, “This is right for right now,” blah, blah, blah. Am I a fool for staying with him? I do love him and know that he loves me, but I want to get married and have children.
There are plenty of married Buddhists in this world, so it’s likely that your man has commitment issues. After all, a good love relationship includes a meaningful discussion about the future. And as I have stated many times, the moment is a continuum, not a container. Each moment surrenders itself to the next, so we are always here and in the future. If your boyfriend was truly present in the moment, he would be aware, internally, of his mental and emotional obstacles to commitment. If he treasured his relationship with you he would work through those fears, instead of manipulating valuable spiritual guidance into a self-protective platitude.