Janet in Toronto writes:
Rick was my high school sweetheart, born January 27, 1947, and we reconnected two or three years ago – and felt we were soulmates. We live in different cities and he has been in a long-term relationship with another woman who is much older than him, plus he wants to retire before he moves here or I move there. Before we reconnected, I became involved in an Internet relationship with a man in California, born August 31, 1957. The relationship did not go any further only because he is an alcoholic. The last couple of years he has done a tremendous amount of work on himself and his life including attending treatment programs and getting professional help. Red, I feel that both of these men love me, and that in one way or another I love both of them. Is there a future with either of these men?
There are several levels of love that flow through the triangle you have outlined, but you have some tough choices to make. Yes, both men do have love for you, but neither one of them seem to be ultimately capable of giving you the kind of relationship you yearn for.
There is a powerful connection between you and your high school sweetie, but he will have reason after reason as to why any serious future plans with you must be put on hold. It isn’t a lack of love or respect for you on his part. He seems to currently fall a bit short on the inner strength needed to start a fresh life with you.
Your “Cali” man is definitely willing to put forth the energy and effort to continue his quest to better himself, and to try and prove that he has what it takes to be worthy of you. However, you do not seem to be head-over-heals in love with him, and he does come with baggage and troubles that will take a lifetime to work through.
In the grand scheme of things, these are both good guys, but also both broken – just in different ways. Either choice is going to come with sacrifices of how you want life to be… sacrifices I don’t see you as wanting to make.
There is a big difference between being loved and being in love. Should you decide that just being loved is enough for you, your Cali man is ready to move things forward as soon as you say the word. Your high school honey will eventually get it together, but there is a fairly significant span of time between now and then – time I’m not certain you’re willing to invest by waiting.
The truth is, you can have a future with either one of these men, if that is what you choose. However, your greatest chance for relationship bliss doesn’t come from the men you know, but rather from someone new.