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“Torn between two lovers feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking all the rules”

Terrell “T.O.” Owens is one of the most popular — and controversial — players in the NFL wrote in his autobiography ‘Catch This!’, that his father was the neighbor man who lived across the street from him. The neighbor man claimed, because he deeply loved his wife and Terrell’s mother, he was unable to decide who to choose, so he kept them both.

Psychology Today magazine asked the question, can we truly love two people at once, or will we unavoidably be abandoning one love for another? And if indeed we can love two people at once, are we shortchanging one or both of them by doing so?

Some people will deny that you can truly and fully love more than one person at a time. In their view, love represents a total devotion of one person—heart, soul, and body—to another, which implies that you can never love a second person without taking something away from the first. But this assumes that whatever you give when you love someone is limited, so that giving some to someone else means giving less to the first person.

This may be true with some resources like time or money, but not as obviously true with respect to affection; after all, parents can have more than one child without loving any of them less, so why can’t a person romantically love more than one person?

The most obvious problem with loving 2 people at once is that you may be devoting resources to the other person—especially time—that your committed partner expects from you. But let’s imagine that this doesn’t happen; that is, you manage to engage in the new relationship without neglecting your partner in terms of presence.

And maybe you can maintain this other love without denying any time or money to your committed relationship. But what about your other lover (who is, at this point, your only lover)—is this arrangement fair to him or her?

This is tough—how often do we find true love in the first place? And how frustrating is it when we find it but it comes at such an inopportune time, such as when you’re in another relationship? Of course it’s ideal if you can leave the current relationship for a shot at a new one, but it’s not always that easy. Sometimes you can’t leave, or other times you don’t want to leave, in which case you try to balance both relationships. But can you really do this and keep everyone happy?

I’m not sure… what do you think?

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