Being in overlapping relationships is oftentimes treacherous waters. But some people still choose to do it.
Even though they’re not single, they look for their next partner and whenever they feel ready, they simply start the second relationship even though they still haven’t ended the first one. I told you, this is some risky terrain.
If we’re going to be honest about it, we’re going to call these relationships their actual name. Cheating! Even if there was no physical contact involved, the fact that your partner goes behind your back to find someone else and secures the relationship with them before even breaking up with you is messed up.
But why do people do this? And how can you know that you’re just a pawn in overlapping relationships? Well, you’re about to find out.
Defining overlapping relationships
So, your partner is in an official relationship with you but right now, you’re having some struggles and he senses the end is near. If he’s an overlapper, he won’t be able to just break up with you. Instead, he needs a safe net that’s going to make the breakup easier and it comes in the shape of a new partner.
Even though you still haven’t broken up, he’ll go out of his way and look for someone else. When he finds the right person, he’ll start a new relationship with them. And once he’s sure that everything will work out the way he wants it to, he’ll only then break up with you.
At this point, you probably won’t have any idea what’s actually going on. Upset because of the breakup, you’ll look for ways to move on and heal your heart.
But at some point, you’ll realize that something’s off. Maybe you’ll run into your ex in a year’s time and you’ll notice that he has a girlfriend. This wouldn’t be an issue if they didn’t recently celebrate their one-year anniversary while the two of you broke up only 10 months ago…
Why do people end up in overlapping relationships?
Those who start another relationship before their previous one is already over are called overlappers. These people don’t really care about morals and the fact that their behavior may hurt others. Instead, they only care about themselves and their own needs.
Serious overlappers will move from one relationship into another as if their life depends on it. The moment they stumble upon disagreements, they will start looking for another victim who suits their needs.
Even if you realize what’s going on and you try to confront him about it, your now ex will probably give you a ton of excuses. “Our relationship was practically over!” or “I already told you that I needed some space!”
These are just poor attempts that serve to make him feel better. With these excuses, he’s trying not to feel like a cheater even though that’s exactly what he is.
But why does he do this? Why do people end up in overlapping relationships even though they’re aware that what they’re doing is wrong? Let’s find out!
Low self-confidence is the reason why some people do things they’re not proud of. And this is also one of the reasons why overlappers choose to be in two relationships at the same time.
Maybe your ex was insecure and never felt deserving of love. No matter how many relationships he was in, he always had this lingering feeling that he was not worthy of his current partner.
So, to boost his own ego and make himself feel good enough, he found pleasure in overlapping relationships. The fact that he could smoothly move from one relationship to another made him feel like he was more capable than he assumed.
Plus, he would avoid any potential heartbreak since it’s obvious that he was never fully involved in any of his relationships. The moment things got rough, he knew that he should look for a way out. And just like that, he would find himself in a different relationship, the one where he was back at the honeymoon stage.
2. Fear of being alone
People do weird things out of fear of being alone. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they would practically cheat on their partners just to secure themselves another relationship.
One of the main reasons why overlappers choose to go down that way is because they’re afraid of loneliness. They can’t stand the idea of not having anyone to hold so they would rather hurt innocent people along the way than risk being all alone.
3. Fear of abandonment
Another possible explanation for why people engage in overlapping relationships is their fear of abandonment. Those who have been abandoned in the past don’t know how to deal with breakups. Instead, they have to be the ones who leave.
That’s why they secure themselves another relationship before they officially end the first one. This protects them from their biggest fear and helps them avoid the pain.
Fear of abandonment is usually intertwined with the fear of loneliness. Overlappers will do their best to save themselves from experiencing these feelings ever again.
4. Commitment issues
Your ex may have decided to be in an overlapping relationship simply because of his commitment issues. Maybe he’s the type of guy who can’t commit to one person fully, for a longer period of time. He will remain faithful for a while, but at some point, he’ll want to try his luck with someone else.
Guys like these usually feel like they’re missing something just because they commit to one woman only. So, they find someone else, start a relationship with this person, and only then break up with their current partner.
The worst thing is that their next relationship won’t change them. These men don’t learn from their mistakes. If anything, they love the thrill this kind of lifestyle gives them and they will keep living like this for as long as they can.
3 signs that your partner is an overlapper
Sometimes, it’s easy to miss all the signs that are right in front of you. This is completely normal as you feel happy in your relationship and don’t look for cues that something may be wrong.
It’s only after everything is over that you realize what kind of a game has been playing in front of your eyes.
So, to save yourself from ending up in an overlapping relationship ever again, here are all the signs that are clear red flags. If you notice any of these, the chances are that you aren’t the only woman in your partner’s life.
1. He’s still in touch with his ex
Usually, there’s always a reason why a guy decides to stay in touch with his ex. And it has nothing to do with the fact that they simply want to remain friends.
His ex is proof that he’s not completely dedicated to his current relationship, especially if he chooses to hide her from you. He knows that he’s doing something he shouldn’t and that’s why he doesn’t want you to know anything about it.
Also, if the two of you get into an argument and he feels worried that your relationship may come to an end, his ex can serve him as an exit way. All he has to do is reignite the old flame and he’ll get himself a new girlfriend in no time.
2. He flirts with a specific person
If you ever notice that your boyfriend flirts with one specific woman, then you better run. The chances are he’s trying to lure her in and build a relationship with her that can help him in the future.
He’ll establish an emotional connection with her, and then when the time comes, he’ll use that as an escape point. When you confront him about her, he’s going to tell you how you’re overreacting and causing unnecessary issues.
In reality, he knows very well what he’s doing, he just doesn’t want to admit that.
At the end of the day, you can’t be the one to leave him because that would tear him apart. He has to be the one who’s going to end things with you and leave you heartbroken.
3. He’s confiding his problems to someone else
Couples in romantic relationships usually rely on each other. They share their problems, dreams, and aspirations. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a close friend just because you’re in a relationship. But at the end of the day, you’ll probably confide in your partner and not your friend.
But the moment an overlapper finds his next victim, he’s going to start confiding in her. He’ll use that as a way of getting her trust. Once he succeeds at that, he’ll feel more relaxed as he knows that he has someone who’ll be there for him even before he breaks up with you.
All in all, it’s obvious that overlappers usually lack confidence and they don’t feel they’re worthy of love. They try to compensate for these emotions by moving from one relationship to another. Each new partner is just an ego boost that they can’t live without.
I’m sure that they suffer from a terrible trauma that left scars all over their heart, but they will never be able to deal with it by cheating on others and rushing into relationships. If anything, this can only make matters worse.