You may think you can easily love two people at a time, but it’s actually more complicated than that.
Last week, I was having drinks with a friend from college. I had’t seen her in a while, so it was time to catch up. We talked about work, family, other college friends, and finally, love issues. Since my friend has been in a loving committed relationship for more than five years with a very nice woman, I thought that maybe the latest gossip would revolve around a ring. But oh man, it didn’t. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite.
She confessed to me that she'd been having an affair with her ex and that she felt deeply troubled because she loved both of them. Oh my, how could she possibly love two people at the same time? Confused and a little bit curious, I asked her how could she split herself into two and be happy with both. She tried to explain that she felt two kinds for love for each one, and that she truly cared for the two of them, in different ways. This led me to thinking if was possible to love two people at the same time?
After a few days of scientific research regarding love hormones, social inquiries around relationships, and comparing different experiences of people that have felt the same way, my conclusion was: no. While you may think that love is making you split into two, think again, because what you could be experiencing may be other thing rather than love. So, why is it not possible to love two people simultaneously?
First of all, we should clarify what love actually is. I am leaving aside the feelings we have for our family. This is more about the romantic part of it. When we meet someone, and we happen to really like them, sparks appear. A fire inside us ignites, and all of a sudden, this person becomes the reason we feel happy, complete, and aroused. If they reciprocate this feeling, we mutually fall in love, and the world seems a better place. You care for someone so deeply, and at the same time, you can’t help but jump their bones. Sure, this is sweet, but sadly it doesn’t last forever.
From this moment on, we can separate the experience of falling in love into two options: realizing that it was more of a passing infatuation, or still caring for your significant other, keep the feeling running, and build something bigger alongside them. Love itself is not as shallow as a passing phase. Love comes from creating and maintaining a relationship built on trust, honesty, and respect. As anything worthy of our time, it requires dedication and concentration.
Sure, nowadays no one feels like making an extra effort. They just let themselves go with their feelings, and if they fade away, so does the bond. That’s why people can get confused about loving two or more people at the same time. They mistake love with infatuation. And regarding the second one, it is possible to experience arousal for more than one person. In the end, this happens because of chemical reactions in our brain, so there’s no extra effort or special dedication when doing so. But loving two people could take so much time and commitment, it seems unrealistic to achieve this with more than one person at a time.
Just picture this: having to celebrate two anniversary dates, getting to know two complete families, spending the right amount of time to build closeness with both, trying to spend two holiday dinners at once, remembering special anecdotes and life events deeply, face personal and relationship issues with both, and on top of it, giving the same attention and intimacy to each one of them. Just writing this made me tired. It does take a lot of work to maintain love. That’s why not everyone gets to last that long with someone. But sure enough, when it’s with the right person, it’s not so exhausting, but you actually enjoy it.
My point is that there’s simply not enough time to love two people at the same time. You can sure try, but seems like a lot of effort to go through when it’s possible that none of your partners will agree with this (so you’ll probably have to keep it a secret, and that’s even more extra effort for something so complicated). It's more plausible to have a hardcore infatuation for more than one person at the same time and feel like in the early stages of love. Sure enough, eventually, one will fade away, and the other one will remain; that’s where love truly is. It is when the relationship surpasses the volatility of love hormones and makes you feel that falling in love is not enough.
Loving two people at the same is not what many people think it is. It’s not just daydreaming about two persons or even hooking up with them. Love goes further than that, and that’s why it's almost inconceivable to do so with more than one person. Do you think it’s possible?
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