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I love both my girlfriend and our best friend

Hi all, I have never been a great writer so I apologise if it is a bit scattered.

There is a few things I would like to lay out first. I love my girlfriend, she is one of the most amazing and beautiful people I know and we are pretty much a perfect match in terms of our interests, values and love for each other, but this came with time and learning as we grew up together as young adults. This post is more so a means to work through my emotions than an ask for help. So Id like to begin with a bit of context to our relationship before I begin my explaining my predicament.

Back story: My girlfriend and I have been together, on and off, for 6 years, we started dating when I was 17 and she was 18. Our relationship took an unusual trajectory, we had a fairly rocky start to our relationship, she was dealing with depression and anxiety, and I was overwhelmed with learning to deal with another persons problems. We were both heavy pot smokers back then which did not help one bit (No hate on cannabis but it wasn't for us). For me this drastically affected my ability to empathize with her situation and for her, it reduced her ability to work through her problems on her own, which meant she put a lot of pressure on me to help her.

It was a pretty vicious cycle, I couldn't be 'bothered' to help and she couldnt accept that I cant fix her. This escalated and ended up with me making a huge mistake and sleeping with another woman. I broke up with her the next day, and she found out a week later. Pretty shitty choices from my end I know. After she found out, things got very messy, as expected, however through more so a sense of guilt I tried my hardest to get her back. she still loved me and at that point I thought I loved her back, it was more a decision to 'love' here rather than coming from the feeling it self. I had never loved a woman before so I didn't know what it truly felt like, only infatuation.

We ended up getting back together after some time, it was tough for about a year, she expected a lot from me and constantly held it over my head, and I didn't blame her, I had fucked up and I was working to make up for my mistake. However it got to a point where it was far too much, I couldnt talk too or be around any other girl without their being an argument about me being interested in them, with no real reason to be suspicious other than personal hurt mixed with low self-esteem and bad body image problems. We were both very unskilled in the ways of communication and reconciliation. At that point in my life all I wanted was to have fun with her and my friends. So that summer I broke up with her, I explained my reasons and she was receptive, but heart broken.

We both live in a small town, which meant that eventually most of our friends went to university, I went into a trade and she went into online study. As we were the only two in the area at the time, it made it very hard to keep our distance and after 2 months of being apart and on our own, we ended re-uniting, and I have never been more happy about a decision in my life. Once we were back together, all problems of before were gone, we both drastically matured, we had both quit smoking pot, we were honest and receptive of each others feelings and willing to adjust to make it work for each other. So I am proud say we were both happy and that I had finally realised what it felt like to truly love someone. We have now have had 4 solid years in a strong and loving relationship.

Now to the problem at hand. My girlfriends best friend moved back into town for a year during our 4th year of being together, so roughly 2 years ago. This friend is coincidentally one one of my exes from way back, prior too my girlfriend and her meeting. it was silly highschool dating and nothing serious, but I have always been her friend since then. Anyway, at first it was just fun to have a friend that's a girl who both my girlfriend and I really got along with, we spent a lot of time together as a plutonic threesome, and it was great!

However, I have always been a very sexually interested person, with both genders and different situations. my girlfriend isnt on the same level as I am although she has always been open minded and willing to listen without blaming, well at least since we got back together the last time. So at some point prior to our friend coming back into our lives, I told her I had always been interested in trying a threesome, and that it doesn't matter what gender or who with, just that it was an interest of mine. She said that she would be keen but is not ready yet and not sure who it could be with or how the situation would arise.

So after a while I proposed the idea to my girlfriend of the three of us having some fun together, stating that I had no feelings for our friend but since we had become so comfortable around each other, and it seemed like it might be a and good option for it to be fun and functional. She wasnt very keen, which internally I admit I was gutted but I respected her position and pushed it no further.

Our friend is pretty much a copy of my girlfriend, but more active, sporty and a bit more sound minded if I'm honest, so more similar to me in that sense. About 9 months later we went to a festival together and over that week it was like a switch flipped. I found I would get jealous and almost protective of our friend, and it really plauged on my mind, I still loved my girlfriend just as much but I would find my self thinking about what it would be like with her, which brought on a mixture of excitement over the fantasy, guilt that I was feeling like this for another woman and sadness because I knew there would be pretty much no chance of it ever happening. It also seemed like our friend felt the same way towards me but on later speculation, I think she was more jealous of what my girlfriend and I had.

I ended up telling my girlfriend how I felt about our friend and she was super understanding, which if I'm honest, was really supprising. She understood why I could feel that way towards our friend, and that she would feel the same way if she was a guy, and valued that fact that I was honest to her more than being concerned that I felt that way. This only fueled the love for each other and it made if far easier to deal with.

Our friend moved out of town that year and started dating someone. The feelings for her never really left but once I wasn't around her as much and I knew that she was with a really good guy who I actually ended up becoming friends with as well, I found I could focus on loving the girlfriend who I had been through so much with and loved being with already. So It was great once again for a year and a half.

Now our friend has split up with her boyfriend and we are going to the same festival with her, and all those feelings have come back strong, and from hanging our with her, I can definitely feel that she has some feelings towards me. But she is a super strong on loyal person and I know that she would never betray my girlfriend in that way, and please don't get me wrong I would never want to betray my girlfriend in that way either and the last thing I want is to hurt her again. It is more a feeling that in another life we would be such a good match, which is a damn hard feeling to work through. I love the both of them, except one has been experienced and there other is in the unknown, and I have always been drawn the unknown. So this time, it has brought on a new feeling that I might need some time being single. Its has been a tough thought because we have built such an amazing life and group of friends together and the feeling of throwing all that away for.. well nothing, I guess, is super scary. But the thought of being together for longer or even the rest of our lives and never experiencing what it's like to be single as an adult is just as scary. I know I will have regrets either way, It's just a whole lot to process.

One thing that I yearn to do it's to tell our friend what Im feeling towards her but I really don't want to jeopardize our friendship as it is, as well as make it awkward for all three of us to be around each other. It's also really hard to let my girlfriend know this time, I really don't want to have her worry whilst we are away together, because as much as she is accepting I know it play on her mind and it will be easier for everyone if I just hold it in, even though it weighs heavy on my mind.

So I can't have both, I can't have the other, I can't be truly happy the current whilst wanting the other. so I'm a bit stuck.. I can either continue trying to work past these feeling and continue the relationship that I have loved and cherished, with the risk of it all turning to into a big mess. Or I can end the relationship and try my luck with our friend and definitely make whole massive mess of things. Or I can do what know is 'right', and end it with my girlfriend before things might get messy, work towards becoming friends and try my best to work past the feelings towards our friend and keep that friendship alive as well. But it's going to be tough, it will mean losing the chance for intimate connection with the two most beautiful and amazing women in my life. It will suck but persuing either way will end in hurt and anger just because I was being selfish.

Im hoping it will work out and that I will find the right one again after being able to experience and explore. It's damn frightening but it will be for the best, I hope..

If you made it this far through, I really appreciate the commitment, this is my way to clear my mind and If you have any comments, recommendations or personal experiences I would highly appreciate. Thanks

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