A relationship guru has shared her expert advice on what to do if you find yourself in a love triangle.
Kate Mansfield, a UK-based dating and relationship coach, told FEMAIL that most of the time, the love triangle scenario says a lot about a person’s self-worth.
Describing the situation as a ‘world of pain’ for almost everyone involved, Kate said it’s best to nip a love triangle in the bud before it causes too much damage.
She explained it rarely has a happy ending – and the best thing to do is get out before someone gets hurt.
Relationship expert Kate Mansfield describes love triangles as ‘a world of pain’ for people involved and has shared her top tips on getting out of them for good (stock image)
Why do we end up in love triangles?
According to Kate, it’s actually unlikely that people ‘end up’ in a love triangle at random, and very often it is a deep-rooted insecurity playing out in their love life.
She said: ‘People who “find themselves” in any kind of unhappy relationship scenario, especially a love triangle, need to get help to learn how to consciously create the kind of love life that would really make them happy.’
Describing the love triangle as ‘a world of pain, longing and drama’, Kate added that looking within can often explain why a person is in such a situation.
‘It’s usually a sign of unavailability in yourself and the other person, and a fear of commitment on both sides too,’ she explained.
Kate added: ‘Love triangles often form between two people who are mirroring some kind of emotional dysfunction or unresolved trauma.’
Can you ever have a happy relationship after a love triangle?
For those in a love triangle, Kate has some bad news – it is very unlikely you will get the outcome you think you want.
Kate said: ‘On some very rare occasions they can turn into a lasting relationship, but this is a painful and difficult road to love. I wouldn’t advise it.’
She added: ‘However powerful the connection feels I would never advise getting involved in a love triangle, I would always just get on with your life and find someone else.’
She added that, for the person who feels they are in love with two people, this is very likely a sign of an intimacy problem which won’t be solved by picking one of the two people to form a relationship with.
‘You could just be in the wrong relationship, but to make a good, sound decision it’s probably best to be alone for a while, to see clearly which person is a better fit for you,’ Kate advised.
What should you do if you’re stuck in a love triangle?
For Kate, the answer is simple: focus on yourself.
‘Start to really invest in your own personal development. Get professional help to explore why you might be drawn to such a difficult and painful situation,’ she said.
Kate (pictured) says people in love triangles are usually emotionally unavailable in some way, and stressed the situation rarely has a happy ending for anyone involved
‘If you find yourself competing for someone who is already married or attached, ask yourself: Is this a pattern? Why don’t I believe that I truly deserve love and commitment?
‘This is a form of self-abandonment and is always a choice, not something that you just happen to find yourself in.’
Kate added she never advises people to wait for another person, as this could end up leading to heartbreak.
She said: ‘If it’s meant to be you’ll end up together when the time is right.’
Often love triangles can form at the dating stage when none of the people within the triangle are in a committed relationship.
But sometimes the situation can present as an extramarital affair, when one person is cheating on their partner with someone else.
For people in this situation, Kate’s advice is clear.
She said: ‘It’s possible for an affair to become a serious relationship, but it’s rare and do you really want that on your conscience? Could you ever trust your partner in the future knowing that they are willing to cheat?
‘Don’t kid yourself that it’s a one off, it’s a sign about the character of that person. Beware!’
She added that only 1% of affairs actually result in a marriage – so bear that in mind of you find yourself falling for someone who is already taken.
‘The odds aren’t great,’ Kate said.
How do you move on from a love triangle?
‘There’s no shortage of great singles out there,’ Kate said, advising people to date and explore after leaving a love triangle situation.
She added that, for people who are struggling with making unhealthy choices in their love life, there is no shame in getting professional help to understand why they do so.
Most importantly, Kate wants people to reflect on how they came to be in the situation in the first place.
‘If you did get caught up in a love triangle, try to forgive yourself and the other person and take an honest look at yourself and why you chose this,’ she said.
Kate added: ‘We can often feel as if love isn’t a choice, but a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.
‘If this is the case then you would benefit from learning about your own unconscious patterns and what a healthy relationship is.’
She said there is hope on the horizon for people coming out of a love triangle, who are perfectly capable of finding happy and loving relationships.
Kate said: ‘Start with you, work on living yourself fully and having boundaries.’