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Is Possible To Be In Love With More Than One Person?

Dear Jen,

I am a HUGE bachelor fan; but, one thing I never understood is how the bachelors/bachelorettes can possibly claim that they’re in love with more than one person at a time…it just seems impossible! Is it really true that someone can be in love with more than one person at the same time?



Dear Confused,

I am so glad you asked this question. I get asked this all the time in some sort of context or another. So here’s the thing, there is not really a finite amount of love that each person contains. As humans, we have the ability to love many and love many, deeply. Think about the number of people, friends, family, etc that you love. Now do you think that if you met new people that you would not be able to love them, as well? Of course you could!!

But being in love, that is something that most people, even today, try to reserve just for one person at a time. We like to think that that one person is the MOST special person and they can be and often are the most special person. But again, we are human and our capacity to love is truly only limited to the number of persons in our life (loving humanity as a whole is perhaps a different category). We might not be able to imagine loving more than one someone with the same intensity and you might be correct on that note. Though, I might argue that it may not be about intensity, but more about the feeling of connection at the time. When we get into an argument with our significant other, we will often still feel love, but will feel disconnected from them. So the connection ebbs and flows and often people confuse the feeling of connection with love. So let’s say one is in love with two persons, you might feel more connected to one at a given point and then the other at another, this doesn’t decrease the love you feel for them. One of the ways we know this is the idea of children. We often hear parent say, “I love my kids the same.” And they genuinely mean it, but they might have a better connection with one or like the “quieter” child’s personality more. The love is the same, the connection is different.

I think some people don’t want to believe that you can be in love with more than one person at a time because it threatens their ideals and/or their relationship. It scares them to think their partner could fall in love with someone else while still loving them. And, as previously stated, they can’t imagine at the time loving someone else as much as they love their partner. And look, the truth is, if you are in a single person monogamous relationship, being in love with someone outside of that dyad can threaten your relationship. In which case, you may have to make a decision and let go of that other love. However, we are seeing an influx of persons in poly-romantic relationships so this could be an option for some.



*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatical coherency.

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