The Dos and Donts of Choosing Between Two People You Loveby Marla Pachter on September 25, 2013
Last week on “New Girl,” Schmidt had to choose between two awesome ladies, Cece and Elizabeth. Honestly, these girls are such great characters in completely different ways, that it can be hard even as a viewer to decide who you want Schmidt to be with. But he has to decide. These are not two girls he’s just been on a couple of dates with who don’t know if they’re exclusive yet. These are two girls he’s previously had serious relationships with, who know about each other.
While this isn’t something that happens every day, there may come a time in your life when you do have to choose between two equally cool people, both of whom you could see yourself dating for many years. It can feel like the biggest decision of your life. Choose right, and you’ll be in a healthy, happy, long-lasting relationship. Choose wrong, and you’ve basically lost both of them. While nothing in love or life is surefire, here are some tips on how to navigate these waters, and come out with a decision you feel confident in.
DO Make a Pros and Cons list
I’m not telling you to do that cheesy thing that they do in sitcoms where you write out an actual pros and cons list and tally them up and the number you get at the end should be your indicator. That’s not real, and all that’s doing is cheapening how you feel about the two people you’re in love with.
But it does help to make a pros and cons list. Schmidt rushed his decision. He said two things out loud: He has great sex with Cece, and he dated Elizabeth first. He then decided that was all it took: Elizabeth was there first, so she gets him. We all know he didn’t follow through with that. If he had taken the time to think about all the things he loves about each of them, and all the things that drive him crazy about each of them, he might have actually realized naturally who he wants to be with.
A snap decision is only going to end in disaster and regret. Figure out why you like these two people, what purpose they serve for you, and that will help you realize what’s more important in the scheme of your life.
DON’T Let the Pressure Get to You
This can feel like a high pressure situation. What if you choose the wrong person and you end up breaking up in two weeks? Now the “right” person hates you forever. You need to be clear-headed and take the time to actually make a decision. Or you’ll end up not really thinking about it and accidentally turning into a two-timing scumbag like Schmidt did last night.
So, relax. Take a spa day when the pressure is getting to you. Or, if you’re a Type A personality, keep working on that Pros and Cons list!
DO Talk It Out With Friends
You don’t have to make your decision alone, and you probably shouldn’t. When it comes to love, we don’t always think clearly. Friends and family can help you remember some helpful things about your relationship with each person, like how Cece always criticizes the way you dress, or how Elizabeth often cancels on you last minute (I made these up, of course. Let’s be honest, these two characters are perfect and I love them). Sometimes we forget the bad things when we’re all moony and in love.
DON’T Keep Seeing Them While You’re Making a Decision
Space is important. It would be impossible to choose between two people you already love if you keep seeing them. When you take time apart, you get clarity and you remember all the good things and the bad things. When you keep seeing someone you’ll keep being reminded of how much you’ll miss them. Just take a few days to yourself. Plus, you’ll feel much less pressured to make a choice if you’re not constantly talking to the two people in question.
DO Remember, There Is No Right Or Wrong
Is there a possibility that one person is REALLY wrong for you? Of course there is. That’s why you talk to your friends, who will gladly smack you over the head with that fact. But in most cases, like in Schmidt’s case, you would be happy ending up with either of them. Keep that in mind. This is not a “right” vs “wrong” scenario. They’re just different, and they probably make you happy in different ways.
So, stop thinking so much. Stop worrying about regret. Chances are, you will have nothing to regret, no matter who you choose.
DON’T Think You Can Keep Everyone Happy
You’re going to hurt one of these people who you love. Love hurts sometimes, it’s a fact of life. There is no way around it. Don’t be like Schmidt. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth.
Once you choose, don’t wait. Just do it. Rip the band-aid. The longer it takes, the harder it is going to be for both of you. When you string people along, it’s easier for you, sure. But it hurts them a hell of a lot worse in the long run. So have a proper breakup. If you love them as much as you think you do, show them the respect they deserve and break their heart as soon as possible.