Can someone really love more than one person at a time? My boyfriend says he wants to have another girl friend and I think it’s just going to be trouble. Celia, 24
Celia, there are different phases (or stages) of romantic love that are recognized everywhere around the world. Lust is something we can all feel for more than one person. Fans may all lust after a star they consider hot without ever feeling jealous of each other.
The attraction phase of romantic love is a very intense time. This is where lovers
can be very insecure-
The next stage, the attachment phase, is a much more settled down time. The fiery flames of passion convert into trusting embers of commitment and enduring love. During this phase it’s possible to incorporate other love interests without encountering the kinds of jealous rages that happen during the attraction phase.
Amongst the cultures of the world about 85% recognize polygamy (having more than one spouse) as a fully acceptable marital option. Most of these practice polygyny (one husband with multiple wives), while just .05% practice polyandry (one wife with multiple husbands). Considering all the people in the world as opposed to all the unique (and small) cultures in the world about a third of us live in societies that allow open polygamy. Even then about 20% of the men in those societies can afford to maintain multiple wives (and all the children that might then be produced). In the Western world we tend to deal with our natural attraction for multiple partners through having secret affairs or getting divorced and remarried a lot. Some people attempt to do this openly and ethically through the practice of polyamory.
My girlfriend and I have been living together for 6 months and I’m starting to feel
a little itchy. I do NOT want to end things with her-
Ted, you are begging me to endorse the practice of polyamory for you and your sweetie.
I can’t honestly do that because the decision to open up a relationship vis-
People who embrace polyamory seek to live in integrity with the fact that humans
are by nature a non-
By allowing each other to become romantically involved with others they endorse the possibility that one or both of them might eventually find someone who pleases them more.
Polyamorous couples with a strong foundation embrace compersion, (opposite of jealousy)
wherein they find joy and pleasure in their partners enjoying intimacy with others.
Ultimately these couples benefit from simultaneously participating in two worlds-
How can you tell (by symbols and behavior) if your partner has multiple partners? Ken, 21
Ken, embedded in your question there appears to be anxiety about the thought of your
partner having other partners. If the truth be known humans are not wired for sexual
fidelity. Males are wired to spread their seed however they might-
Certainly there are the proverbial signs of infidelity-
In Western society we relish the sensation of being “the one.” Anything that compromises that sensation feels dangerous. The inherent problem here is that “attraction” phase romantic love sensations eventually fade, creating an uncomfortable physical and emotional vacancy. Finding a new lover is often the surest way to satisfy that emptiness.
I recently slept with a friend of mine who is in a monogamous relationship with his
Rosey, generally I wouldn't advise sleeping with people who report that they are in monogamous relationships. It invites a level of drama that typically has just about nothing to do with you...and much to do with their need to feel free(er).
Rather you might have encouraged your male friend to take the conversation back to his girlfriend rather than act out his feelings of confinement with you. I imagine he told you that he loves you as a way to justify sleeping with you. It’s probably best to not sleep with him again...and instead encourage him to bring the conversation back home. As long as this never happens again, your girlfriends’ relationship will likely feel more secure if this single dalliance is not dangled in her face.
Considering that monogamy itself is a cultural construction (e.g. a human invention) that flies in the face of our genetic wiring, anyone who seeks to be monogamous is guided by cultural conventions, religion dictates and social reputation. Generally the brain chemistry (high dopamine, high norepenephrine and low serotonin) last between two and four years. Without the triangulation of children and shared projects, couples in their prime reproductive years are frequent candidates for clandestine encounters.