Relationships: How do you choose between two perfectly amazing people?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Some context: I am not a "sport-dater". Especially as I've gotten older, I am more relationship-minded, hoping for longer-term, substantial partners that could someday lead to marriage. I've had an appropriate number of girlfriends for my age, but am not a womanizer or looking to add notches to my belt. That said, I've made some life changes in the past year (the most notable being losing a significant amount of weight) that seems to have had a positive impact on my social/dating life. And so I've found myself with a particular predicament that I am unfamiliar with handling:
About 7 weeks ago, I met someone via an online personal ad. There were no expectations from either side going into it, but she turned out to be fabulous. There is almost literally nothing wrong with her, and she seems enamored of me in return (which is nice). We had a great rapport early on, she has a good sense of humor, is grounded, sweet, thoughtful, intelligent, mature, an open communicator, is very beautiful, and we are sexually compatible. Although we don't have an incredible amount of things in common (which is always understandable from my perspective), we seem to share many long-term goals, and are looking forward to seeing the relationship develop into something formal. When we first met, we both were up-front about the fact that we are dating people, and that since we had just met, the implication was that we were not exclusive. But over the last month or so, it's becoming obvious that we are headed towards a more formal boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. We've been introduced to several of each other's friends, but have not met any family yet. Neither of us are sleeping with anyone else, and she's told me she hasn't been looking for any new dates, but it is still ambiguous (out of respect for her privacy) whether she cut off her dating with anyone else she was already seeing at some point in the last 7 weeks. I definitely get the feeling I am the only one she's seeing, if for no other reason we spend enough time together that it would be almost impossible for her to be seeing anyone else. We've made tentative plans to spend a week together on vacation in March, during which time we would begin to meet each other's families. This relationship is off to a perfect start.
And then... I happened to meet someone else.
Quite honestly I was not looking, being more than content in the blossoming relationship with Person #1.
Person #2, who I met about 4 weeks ago, is also amazing. Someone I would describe as "my type", even though I didn't think I had one. She's also very intelligent, creative, fun, passionate, severely attractive, and also seems to be very interested in me (which is quite flattering). We both felt an immediate and strong connection to each other, and have a great pseudo-feisty banter/rapport. We've gone out socially in groups a couple of times (and ended the evening alone with each other) and while there have been some physical "interactions", we have not slept together. Last night I told her that I wanted to let her know that while I am single, I have been dating, and dating one person in particular for about 7 weeks. She said her stomach dropped at that news, but seems confident that we have a great connection, and I cannot deny that. She then told me that she definitely sees the potential for this to become a relationship if I were interested. There is, however, a not-insignificant factor to consider with Person #2: We work together. And have, by definition, a fairly close working relationship. Technically I am also in a "supervisory" role in my office and she is not, and while we are more like peers and working partners to one another, there is technically a title difference that my office might find troubling when (not if) they find out that we are dating. We have both agreed that we are at a point in our lives where a relationship is more important to us than "office rules" or adhering to the common wisdom of not dating someone you work with, and that we are mature enough to deal with the work situation, even if things didn't work out romantically. While working together may be a red flag for some people, I consider it a good thing: I've always wanted to date someone within my industry, to share that common bond, and am very excited about that prospect.
So... I don't know what to do. If either one of these people existed without the other, I would be completely thrilled and could definitely see a happy, healthy long-term relationship with either one. But I feel, because I have historically been a serial monogamist, a bit out of my element being in this position. It has never happened to me before and I don't know how to move forward.
I think my next step is finding some way of telling Person #1 about Person #2, but I'm not sure to what end or how to broach the subject in the most tactful way to minimize the surprise (and potentially insult). I'm sure she will be very disappointed to hear about it, and I can't imagine the reaction will be good in any way. Alternatively, I could decide to stay with Person #1, and tell Person #2 that I've made that decision.
I also know that sooner than later I will inevitably have to choose between the two, and that gets back to the crux of my question: I don't know how to do that. They are both, at least at this early stage in the respective relationships, perfect. I have NO complaints or significant "concerns" about either of them, and I simply cannot fathom choosing one over the other, because I wouldn't be able to tell the other person why: neither has done anything even remotely "wrong" so far in the courting process, and the potential is strong for a long-term relationship with either one. I also don't even know how to go about deciding who to "choose". Do I make a Pro/Con list? Go with gut instinct? (even that sounds impossible) Flip a coin? Pick the one who is marginally (at best) more attractive? Financially successful? Try to guess who would be a better fit in a long-term relationship? (either one would seem fantastic.) They both give me butterflies.
I know: this is a "good" problem to have in the grand scheme of things, but I'm starting to feel sick even thinking about it, knowing that either Person #1 or #2 is going to be potentially heartbroken and I am going to lose one of them... and for seemingly no good reason at all. I recognize that either way, a decision must be made sooner than later to minimize heartache for everyone involved.