Is it possible to love two people at once?
By Jo Price
Affairs of the heart can be all consuming, so confusing but yet so satisfying! However, when is too much too much, and can you really be in love with two people at the same time?
I believe it all starts when as youngsters we are spoon-fed through Disney films that one day we will all meet this one person who will satisfy all our needs, turn our world upside down and eventually live happily ever after.
Many people believe that love is exclusive and that even entertaining the thought that you're in love with two people means you're not really in love with either. Love is supposed to be an unselfish act, so surely being in love with two people is plain selfish if not greedy.
But is this really the case? Is the idea that romantic love has to be confined to one person not a myth?
The truth is that most of us don't want to consider the possibility that our love can extend to two individuals simultaneously, because it's scary to imagine such a confusing state. It is not socially acceptable and it is considered immoral not to mention unfaithful.
Loving two people at once means you are being unfaithful with you heart and mind. Does love number one know that your heart is divided? Does love number two know that when push comes to shove you are not really always going to be there? So can you really love two people when you are lying to them both?
Our hearts have a lot more capacity for affection than we give them credit for — or are brave enough to recognise. Think about it: We can love more than one of our kids, friends or parents at any given time, and appreciate each of them for his or her own special attributes. So surely different romantic partners offer different things.
Is the idea that romantic love has to be confined to one person not a myth?
Let's say you meet someone who is loyal, totally smitten, and offers you personal and economic stability. His good heart and good intentions make you love him. He's what you need. But then you meet a rogue; a bit of a free spirit, he is spontaneous, challenging and impractical. He's the epitome of every romance novel hero. He makes you laugh like never before, you're attracted to him, you dream of him at night. He's what you want.
Impossible? No. Impractical? Yes! And that's why we try to work out who's the "real" love of our life, so we can end the ambiguity. Of course, the answer might be that both people are "the real thing." Honestly, it's hard to find everything you want in one person. Two lovers can be wonderful in completely different ways.
No one likes to share; it is human instinct to want to be your partner's one and only, so this is where you have to ask yourself if you can love two people at once and if you'll not run the risk of hurting everyone including yourself?
I have asked around and everyone’s first instinct is to condemn the very idea that you could possibly love two people at once romantically. One friend commented that if it is possible to be in love with two people at once well then why not three or four?
The simple reason according to her is this; romantic love is exclusive that is what we are all looking for and striving to achieve in our relationships. Sharing your heart is just as awful as sharing your bed with someone. In order to fully love someone you have to devote all of yourself. Once you do that there should be no room for you to habour feelings for anyone else.
It is quite possible that the person who claims to be in love with more than one person is deluded and unsure of what they want from a relationship. Therefore, by placing themselves in a love triangle they create a diversion from the real problem - themselves. However I am no psychologist.
I guess what I am arguing here is that it must be possible to love two people at once because romantic love comes in different forms and stages and anything is possible. Whether or not it is moral is a totally different issue.
This is not a way to justify the behaviour of an unfaithful spouse or a bed-hopping partner but a way to re evaluate our romantic relationships and what our expectations are.
I am open to persuasion but at the moment I would argue that as long as we have the capacity to love, the possibility to fall for more than one person is more than real.
Jo Price is The New Black's relationship columnist. You can respond to this article by e-mailing email@example.com