There are probably as many definitions of “love” as there are relationships. Generally, you have romantic love, familial love, self-love, platonic love, and any number of permutations in between. But when you talk about “in love,” as in, “being in love,” the question arises “can you be ‘in love’ with more than one person?”
The first question to ask yourself is “am I in love?” Logically, to be in love with two people, you have to first be in love with one person. Of course, the state of being “in love” is itself hard to define. While there have been countless books and movies devoted to this topic, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to narrow it down to one precise and comprehensive sentence. Perhaps the closest one could come to defining love would be to adopt something similar to the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition of obscenity: you know it when you see it?
In light of that definition, how many of you have been in love? How do you know if you are in love? How many of you have been in love with two people? You don’t have to answer that, certainly not out loud (I wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble). But we have all been and had admirers, I am just curious about whether anyone has ever admired more than one person, in that way, at the same time.
I feel confident that some people would answer “no.” For some, love seems to be this all-consuming exercise, and once they find that one other person, that “you complete me” yin to their yang, that’s it, they never look at or think about anyone else ever again. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Then you have people who love to love, live to love, live on love, never met anyone that they didn’t love. Some would call these people “easy” (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I think a majority of people probably fall somewhere between those two extremes. Although there are enough movies about being in love with people that you’d think everyone has run into it.
I have heard arguments about the capacity for love generally, and I hold with those that call it limitless. Take children, for example. They say once you have your first child, you love them as much as you think you possibly can. But then you have another child, and you end up loving that child as much as you can, while still loving the first child just as much. Your capacity to love increases with each new child.
Could this analysis apply in love of a more romantic nature? Can we just break out the love calculator and figure out the formula?
Not to say there could not be complications with being in love with more than one person at the same time, especially while in a devoted, monogamous relationship. This is more of an academic exercise.
Can you be in love with more than one person at the same time? And if so, does your love for one take away from your capacity to love the other? Is there something fundamentally one-to-one about true love?
Your thoughts, Dunce One?