Love triangles make great fodder for our cinematic and literary entertainment. And many people can relate but is it really possible to love two people at once or are we just conflicted and kidding ourselves?
According to, Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at UCLA, the answer is yes, it is possible. “We assume love comes in one flavour, but it’s really much more Baskin Robbins than that.” If only love were as easy as ice cream!
“We are complex and complicated beings, and it’s very possible that two different traits in two different people can both appeal to us,” says Durvasula. As we move through life, grow and develop, we may find that people appeal to different aspects of our person.
“Attraction is a very biological experience,” says Durvasula. You could be living your life, totally cool and happy in your current situation when you meet someone and BAM! the chemistry is off the charts and your hormones start going haywire.
That hit you like a freight train, overwhelming, feeling that we describe as being 'in love' is biologically linked to a surge in dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is connected to your brain's reward and pleasure center.
While being monogamous and committed to one person is entirely a choice within your control, your rush of feelings and the natural high that comes with it is biological and there is nothing you can do.
It appears that you are most likely to fall in love with multiple people when you are in love with yourself. “When you’re going through a positive transition—anything from an exciting new job to a physical transformation—and are feeling happy with yourself, you’re more open to new experiences and new people,” says Durvasula. The more you celebrate yourself for being who you are, the more you can celebrate others doing the same.
So, you're interested in two people, what do you do? It can be exhausting emotionally but it can be fun as well. Some people are in a position to explore both interests. As long as all parties are in agreement and no one is being deceitful, why not? “Polyamorous and open relationships are gaining a lot of traction, but you need to be transparent about it," says Durvasula. Conversation and boundaries are key here.
If you aren't up for this sort of untraditional arrangement, you do have options. It sounds terrible but Durvasula suggests making a pros and cons list. Be honest with yourself and remember this when going over your list: “We get caught up in the passion and rush of feeling in love, but companionate love wins in the end." Who will be there for you when you are sick? Who will help you through the painful losses in life? Who will be there with you when you are 90 years old and the physical side has faded? If you need to take a break from these relationships until you figure it out, don't be afraid to do so. Do whatever you have to do to sort it.
How can you really know if you are making the right choice? You can't. Both parties might make great partners. Even if you are split up the middle, you likely have a gut feeling that is telling you to go one way or the other. Listen to that gut, says Durvasula. When you do make the choice, make it completely. Give it the greatest chance of success possible.
“The best thing you can do in this situation is to take the time to cultivate and love yourself,” says Durvasula. Doing so will help you be more aware of the qualities you value in a partner and might make your decision a whole lot easier.
Have you ever been in love with two people? How did you deal?
Source: Women's Health
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