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-   -   can we REALLY love more than one person? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23055)

insanity 04-14-2012 02:45 PM

can we REALLY love more than one person?
I've been reading here a lot, sometimes posting but mostly reading trying to find answers for many questions..

I always thought that it is possible to love more than one person. I never thought in depth about it nor discussed it with anyone since there was no actual need..

And now when thing as they are... I've been wondering...
can we REALLY love more than one person?

I put 'really' in caps, because when I met this girl and felt like I was beginning to develop feelings towards her, I wondered do I really love my bf of almost 6 years or is that a habit? LOTS of emotions were over loading my head, but I come to realize that I do love him.
And by now I think that I am falling in love with that girl (if haven't already)

At times I can feel the 'me loving them' at the same time naturally, sometimes I need time to switch from one to another (I don't like that feeling, that I'm like supposedly switching one of them off')

So that's why I am asking again, can we REALLY love more than one person? or is that my mind playing tricks on me?

polypenguin 04-14-2012 03:17 PM

well, I have never been in love with two people at the same time, but I know someone who has. I guess I didn't completely realize that he loved them both until one of them wanted very strongly for him to be mono with her. He wouldn't do that, and they eventually broke up. The heart break I saw when that happened was very real.

if you ask a parent which one of their children they love, their response is angry with the "i love both of my children eqaully." so why is it people can't seem to even imagine the possibillity we can love more than one person?

NovemberRain 04-14-2012 03:22 PM

You've heard the term 'multi-tasking', yes? Technically, our brains actually process lots of things quickly, but it's really one thing at a time; just very very fast. So, 'at the same time' is a bit of a trick.

That said, I believe love is a verb, not a noun to describe a feeling. You can easily make the decision to take loving actions towards more than one person. and you can have boatloads of feelings for many, many people.

insanity 04-14-2012 03:22 PM

Thanks for the reply!

I always think of that example about children when I think about that.. but why are there mono people then? wouldn't they love both of their children?..

nycindie 04-14-2012 05:58 PM


Originally Posted by insanity (Post 132601)
I always think of that example about children when I think about that.. but why are there mono people then? wouldn't they love both of their children?..

The thing that seems to trip most people up is romance and intimacy. Yes, of course, everyone has the ability to love more than one person, in the many ways we can love others (friends, family, lovers, etc.) but it's the romantic part that is different for everyone.

Intimacy, deep levels of closeness, sharing bodies, minds, and hearts - that is an ability that is unique to everyone. Monogamy can be deeply satisfying, as can polyamory. We all have different personalities, needs, and comfort levels with such things.

And that's not even addressing the issue of organization and calendar management - some people would just get too overwhelmed by trying to manage multiple relationships. Hahaha!!!

LotusesandRoses 04-14-2012 07:02 PM

I hope so. Otherwise I've cashed in all my love on this stupid house cat I have. D:

insanity 04-14-2012 07:20 PM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 132618)

And that's not even addressing the issue of organization and calendar management - some people would just get too overwhelmed by trying to manage multiple relationships. Hahaha!!!

Well I guess that once you and all partners overcome jealousy and stuff alike problems that can be manageable?

I get what you are saying in the upper paragraph that I didn't quote, I'm just trying to understand through people's answers so that I can explain more to my bf how that's possible and that nothing changes between us

kdt26417 04-14-2012 09:48 PM

Hmmm ... If you're having trouble convincing him, you may not have a lot of options as his skepticism is probably based in his emotions, and intellectual arguments don't always change emotions. To make matters worse, you're trying to convince him of something about your emotions (namely, that your feelings for him haven't changed). How do you prove that you feel a certain way, especially if you're not 100% sure of it yourself ("Can I *really* love more than one person, or is this just my mind playing tricks on me")?

About the best we can do, when trying to determine whether someone loves us, is to observe how that someone treats us. If they treat us in a loving way, we usually conclude that they love us. So a lot of what your boyfriend may need is to be convinced over time by how you treat him. If you continue to treat him like you love him (and like you're still in love with him), he'll probably start to feel like, "Hey, this is okay, she really does still love me." You yourself may even be able to see, through your own behavior, that you really do love more than one person. It stands to reason that if you can treat two people like you love them (and like you're in love with them), then you probably do love both of them. It's how we "measure emotions," is by looking at behavior.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to engage in a threesome to prove you're in love with two people, but it does mean that when you're with either one of those two people individually, you're able to treat that individual in a loving way (and it doesn't have to be forced).

Convincing your boyfriend about your feelings is mostly going to be limited to demonstrating your feelings for him by how you treat him. As for yourself, only you have the ability to look inside and see how you feel. Other people can't be mind-readers. So how do you feel? and if you do identify a feeling inside, do you immediately start doubting/questioning it? Perhaps you're second-guessing yourself. Why not trust that the feelings you can feel inside are real?

Maybe you're afraid that poly people are just making up excuses for cheating? that we want to sleep with someone else, so we (subconsciously) try to convince ourselves that we still love our original partner? That would be the mind playing tricks on us. But remember there are many kinds of tricks the mind can play, including social conditioning. Most of us are "trained" throughout childhood (and adulthood) to view monogamy as "the only way things can really work." That's a trick the mind plays. Your mind could be playing tricks on you by pretending it's playing a trick when it's really not! Pretty confusing, but just as "real of a trick" as any other.

The bottom line is, you could be second-guessing yourself all day, but the best things to do are probably:
  1. Trust your *first* thought about things; your first thought is usually the most accurate about you.
  2. Let your behavior serve as your evidence about how you feel.
Of course you can (and should) also reassure your boyfriend that you still love him (just as much), and that that hasn't changed. But you can't "prove" how you feel ... He'll just have to take your word on it. Over time, he'll be able to see through your actions that what you're saying is true.

Plenty of people (on this site and others) can testify that love can be a plural thing, and I can add my testimony to that. For what it's worth, polyamory (loving many or being in love with many -- honestly and ethically) is a real phenomenon; it really happens. But my saying so doesn't prove it to you (or to your boyfriend); you have to find out by your own experience.

nycindie 04-14-2012 10:21 PM


Originally Posted by insanity (Post 132628)
Well I guess that once you and all partners overcome jealousy...

Jealousy isn't always a given. Many people don't experience much of that. It usually depends on how secure/insecure someone is.

Loving more than one person is the easiest thing in the world. Coming up against our programming is harder.

DiCandy 04-14-2012 10:32 PM

At this moment of my life I am in love with two guys, both of them are wonderful, both of them are grounded, and really have their own particular visions about life, they are completely opposite to each other, both are very dominant...

Bob tells me he is a polygamous with a monogamous heart, he said he can be sexually invested with many people at the same time, but emotionally invested with only one woman at a time...

Leo is a swinger, he's been in several long term relationships that have ended due to his swinger status, but he was clear to me he could not get emotionally invested with two women at the same time...

I was going out with both men because I fell in love with both of them, at first it was alright, until things started getting a little complicated, so I thought this kind of relationships should not be that difficult, I never thought that I would be put in the situation I was put, I had to choose one of them, and I decided I would stay with the one that I had an stronger emotionally connection with that was Leo, we seemed to understand so much better, he is only 15 years my senior while Robert is 25 years my senior so we had too many problems...

Now I am married to Leo and we are having a baby, we are deeply in love, he is still a swinger and I am polygamous, I still see Bob and sleep with him occasionally, but for some reason Leo feels I should not see Bob...

can a person love more than one person at the same time? I love two men so I can tell you yes you can...

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