Carolyn Hax: Torn between 2 lovers, on 2 coasts

The Washington PostJuly 15, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: I'm dating two different women. One lives near me in Virginia and one is on the other coast. They both know about the other but neither of them likes it. Virginia girl wants an exclusive relationship. West Coast girl doesn't seem to care.

I know deep down that Virginia girl is better for me. She's almost perfect intellectually, spiritually, interest-wise, except I have very little physical attraction to her. On the other hand, the chemistry with West Coast girl is off the charts.

As long as they both know about each other, is it OK to go on like this? And not that it matters, but I'm not a 20-something guy. I'm an older woman. Does that change the dynamic?

COMPATIBLE?

No, because the dynamic is that you're with two wrong people instead of two potentially right ones.

This is still not about choosing, though - it's about how long you're willing to find happiness in two people (who provide it grudgingly, it seems) because neither one really fits.

You've been honest, so I can argue that you don't need to choose for their sakes; they can act in their own interests. If you'd prefer monogamy, then that's an argument for ending this arrangement for your own sake.

Thinking in either-or terms is so limiting. There are more than two women on earth.

Re: Compatibility: I have a related question. I'm in my late 30s, single and still looking for a partner. I've noticed a pattern: The people I feel most alive around and most enjoy are often not available. On the other hand are the people I meet who are constant and reliable, which I value, but feel less alive around.

ANONYMOUS

You haven't said anything about personalities, just available and un-. If that indeed is the only difference, then I'd guess you only fully let your guard down around people you already know you can't have.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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