Question submitted via Formspring
“Is it ever possible to love two people at the same time ?”
This is a debate that has raged for many years, and will almost certainly keep raging.
The answer is simple, but the implications are complex.
Yes, it is absolutely possible to love two people at the same time.
Here in Los Angeles, people often switch relationships like they switch shoes, and you can find most every variation of love and relationships you can think of going on!
It may be romantic to think of finding that one person who forever clouds your ability to see anything worth loving in another person, but it just isn’t the case. This speaks to the somewhat murkier idea of ‘emotional cheating'; that even if you aren’t being physical with another person, just wanting to is a form of infidelity.
This idea that he or she HAS to love only me is born out of insecurity more than anything else; that if s/he sees something of value in someone else, then they are going to leave me.
Honestly, why wouldn’t it be possible to love two people at the same time?
Love is not a fixed quantity, otherwise you wouldn’t have room for parents, siblings, or children of your own in your heart. And there are many different types of love you can experience for many different types of people.
So could you find two different people that elicit deep romantic love? Absolutely.
This is not a free pass to cheat! The benchmark of ‘cheating’ then, is taking time, energy, attention, and affection from your significant other and giving it to someone else. If you are up all night chatting romantically with someone online while your mate is sleeping alone, then yes you are cheating. If you are sneaking out at all hours to see someone else, then yes you are ABSOLUTELY cheating!
Remember, if you feel the need to hide something, it is *probably * wrong!
If you commit to someone, then stay committed to them. And if you can’t be with that one person, then break up; or at least agree to see other people until you decide to settle with one or the other (if ever). Realistically, the time will come when you’ll be forced to choose between them; so unless you become polygamists, you won’t be able to keep juggling forever!
The deeper issue is, do you *really * love two people, or are you confused, and possibly afraid of committing to one person, because of all the other things you might miss?
There is also the concept of the 80/20 rule to consider; the idea that you don’t want to miss the person who has the majority of what you need, to chase the person who has just a few (but probably really FUN!) things the other person is missing.
In the end, true trust and deep intimacy is most easily built within the confines of a loving, monogamous relationship with two people who share absolutely everything with each other. Not to mention, it gets tiring having to keep track of two lives; what you did with whom, which movie you saw with whom, and that is assuming you are being totally honest about dating two people! If you are trying to hide it (a mistake), then it will only be ten times harder to function. You’ll just keep feeling more and more guilt that will prevent you from truly enjoying either person, and if you aren’t enjoying it, what’s the point?
My suggestion would be totally honest and keep seeing them both until you are either clear on what you want, or circumstances force you to choose. And remember, at any time one of them may get tired of being ‘the other wo/man’.
Keep us posted on how it turns out.
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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