I suppose that some of my interest in this multi-poly idea is wondering if there’s a limit to an individual’s capacity to love. I could pinpoint a time in my life (years before the word “polyamory” got coined) when I had a primary (open) and long-term relationship with A, a longer-lasting but more sporadic relationship (as far as depth of feeling goes, also primary) with B, a NRE-infatuation-obsession relationship with C, a past relationship with D which got restarted at some point after the one with C had ended, a summer romance with E that I would have liked to continue beyond the summer (but it didn’t work out that way, though we continued to write to each other)... and was open to other relationships if they should happen (including several past relationships that I would have been open to restarting if the situation had arisen). As I was – at this point in my life – somewhat of a nomad, these relationships (the active ones) were spread over 4 countries. Everybody knew of my primary relationship with A and A knew of all the others. She had met B and C and I think that she later met D. I think that I can honestly say that I loved all 5 of them at the same time – as well as loving just as strongly other people where there was no sexual element.
But would I – and/or they - have been able to handle a situation where we were all living in close proximity, they all knew each other... and the timetable was a bit more complicated? (For example: D was never in the same country as either C or E (B and D had been in the same country, but at a time before I met A) so there was never any problem – between them – of “with whom does J sleep tonight?”) Would I have been able to “juggle” the time I spent with each? Would any triads or other configurations have developed?
And is there an upper limit to the number of people that you can love?
If I can't dance, I want no part in your Revolution.
- Emma Goldman Anarchist and Polyamorous par excellenceThe person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
- old Chinese proverbAnd the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais NinI'd rather have a broken heart / Than have a heart of stone.