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December 13, 2021

Can You Love More Than One Person at the Same Time?

“A definitive study on contemporary polyamour lifestyles has yet to be written. To date, most commentary on the polyamour lifestyle has been written by insiders who are also practioners.” (1)

“If love is a constructed emotion, there should be little or no universal attributes associated with its presence. It should be completely reshaped into anything a community wants it to be, including the denial of love’s very presence. On the other hand, if love is a universal emotion that has its own psychological and endocrinological properties, it would be difficult for a community to completely reshape love according to its local values.” (1)

Passionate love eventually evolves into comfortable love:

“Passionate love, within a relatively short period, evolves into a more subdued, albeit equally profound and comfortable, companionate love. As a result, it seems, at least for most of the participants in our sample, that as soon as an individual is no longer able to keep his or her concurrent loves separate, an acute cognitive dissonance arises and, with it, an immensely psychological and ethical discomfort. When this occurs, a person’s guilt is heightened.” (1)

On the dissipation of polyamour bonds into pair bond relationships:

“Would the experience of the individuals in our small sample have been any different if they lived in a community that supported plural or concurrent loves? In spite of hopeful claims and positive assertions, other researchers have shown that concurrent love is inherently fragile, unstable and seldom long-lasting (Gillis 2004; Steinberg et al. 2003). We suspect that, while there may occasionally be successful concurrent love relationships, ethnographic and historical studies repeatedly document that it is not feasible on a larger community scale. For example, Zablocki’s (1980) comprehensive sociological research into plural or group love arrangements (in Oneida, Kerista and New Buffalo) found that group love arrangements presented insurmountable difficulties for members. In spite of the claim that plural love is a viable alternative to monogamous love, research has found that sex-inclusive communes and ad hoc individual polyamour bonds never last beyond the lifespan of the founding generation (Berger et al. 1972:244). In fact, in a relatively short time, they are often abandoned in favour of some type of pair bond relationship (Zablocki 1980).” (1)

Part 2

Individuals in polyamorous relationships face the issue of jealousy on an ongoing basis:

“The issue of jealousy is one that has to be faced on an ongoing basis by people who are
polyamorous. It was defined in the interviews as any feelings of discomfort that come up when one’s partner is involved with another person emotionally or sexually. This includes envy, issues around time, comparison, competitiveness, specialness, fear of loss and any other discomfort. How a couple handles these feelings has an impact on their relationship.” (2)

Source:

  1. Jankowiak, W., & Gerth, H. (2012). Can you love more than one person at the same time? A research report. Anthropologica, 54(1), 95-105. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.slq.qld.gov.au/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/can-you-love-more-than-one-person-at-same-time/docview/1022053517/se-2?accountid=13378
  2. https://epublications.regis.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1893&context=theses

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