The emotional lives of the vast majority of people tend to be well fed with doubts about what it means to have a partner and how to develop a “normal” relationship.
These are small questions that assail us with less or more intensity and it makes us wonder if the bond of love that binds us to the other person is genuine or if our needs and feelings correspond to what is supposed to be a traditional romantic relationship. And one of the most frequently asked questions about it is, is it okay to want two people at the same time?
In this article, we will try to answer this question which, mind you, is complicated.
A moral dilemma over love
The first thing we need to understand when we approach this problem is that whether it is okay to love more than one person at a time is a moral one. What does it mean? Well that means an answer to this question, for it to satisfy us, must be of a moral natureIn other words, we need to ask ourselves whether it is good or bad to love two or more people at the same time and if that is compatible with a relationship.
This fact should be noted, because the initial question masks the nature of the doubt when we talk about what is “normal” and what is not: technically, normality is found by measuring the number of times phenomenon occurs in people. Let’s say that 80% of humans have loved more than one person at a time (invented percentage). Will we be satisfied with this answer? Well, in the vast majority of cases, no, because what we really wanted to know was whether the legitimate ones feel that way or if they somehow relate to those people feeling that way. Looking at how often this fact happens in other people won’t tell us whether it is good or bad.
But that’s not the only idea to consider before answering the question; there is another one.
The couple as a social construct
Let’s think for a moment about why we asked ourselves the original question. If we think about it, it’s because we take it for granted that there is a way to connect with the people we love who are more likely to be normal than the rest of the options. If we have doubts about whether it’s okay to want multiple people at the same time, but we don’t know if it’s okay to (romantically) want only one person, that’s because in our culture, there is a lot of social pressure that leads us to establish romantic relationships with one person at a time.
Now, regardless of that social influence, there is something in the design of our body that establishes that we are only to love one person romantically, in the same way that our body has something that prevents us from loving one person. stop hearing unless we cover our ears. ? The most obvious answer is no – the proof is that a lot of people realize they want more than one person. Our biological makeup does not prevent us from doing so, what prevents us to a certain extent is social influence.
This idea that there are perverse “affective deviations” from culture that make supposedly naturally programmed monogamy in our body incapable of expressing itself properly is erroneous and essentialist. For example, cases of infidelity are common in many animal species which, in theory, are monogamous (or at least try to pretend). In fact, some studies have shown that the success of certain animal forms largely depends on the combination of monogamy with discrete infidelities.
So to understand whether it is good to love two or more people, we must ask ourselves whether it is legitimate or not to disobey these social rules, and if it is useful to let these rules dictate to us how we should manage. our emotions.
Differentiate between feeling and acting
To answer moral doubt, we need to ask ourselves whether loving more than one person romantically harms others or not. The default answer is no. Because? Because, on the one hand, our feelings depend only on us, and on the other hand, these feelings do not force us to behave in a way that might harm others.
In other words, we can love several individuals without this resulting in a series of actions that we cannot control and which can therefore harm others. Just because an intense feeling is born within us does not mean that it will turn us into an uncontrollable and harmful being, as we have the ability to manage the way we express our emotions.
The importance of communication
And what happens when you are in a monogamous relationship and you start to feel love for someone else? Is it bad? The answer, although it may come up against you at first, is once again no. Of course, this is a fact that can cause pain, but it is not a bad thing in a moral sense. For this to be the case, we should have had a choice between the option of loving another person and not, but it never happens.
This does not mean that this simultaneous fall in love cannot lead us to take a morally thoughtless path. For example, if we know that our relationship is based on commitment and the idea of falling in love exclusively, that means that if we start to feel something for someone else, we need to let our partner know. Otherwise, we will cheat on him, and the psychological consequences of this can be very serious, because not only does the relationship go into crisis, but also the other person will feel disparaged and with low self-esteem, thinking that he or she does not. is not even worthy of knowing the truth and being able to decide what to do with the relationship.
In short: is it possible to love several people?
In short, if there is one thing that you have to be clear when considering whether it is normal to feel something for several people at the same time, it is that not only if it is normal, but when it is. happens we can not avoid it. Behaving more or less according to a code of ethics will depend on the commitment we have made to the people involved and whether or not they are respected, for which communication is essential. In some cases, such as those where the love and emotional life is expressed through polyamory, the room for maneuver will be much wider and perhaps this will be an issue that will not concern us so much.
As for social norms, they will have an effect on our propensity to adopt one or the other commitment to those in whom we love each other (monogamy will almost always be chosen, in the majority), however beyond that, we don’t have to stick to itFrom what has been said above: in our feelings, or rather in the way we experience them subjectively, we command.