As someone who uses and appreciates social media, I must say that the memes that folks in my feed post daily usually amuse me. However, there are some that also enlighten, or simply make me think. One that I read recently said “If you find yourself having to choose between two people who you love, choose the second one, because if you were in love with the first one, you never would have fallen for the second.” While that seems to make sense, I can’t help but wonder if a person should choose either – because are you really in love if you have to choose?
I never believed that it was possible to be “in love” with two people at the same time. You may love two people – but that “in love” feeling? That romantic feeling? I just don’t see how it’s possible. Maybe because I believe that “in love” feeling is all consuming…intoxicating even. How can you be “all in” with two people? My guess is that a person who claims to be in love with two people probably doesn’t know what love is – or is confusing that feeling with something else – lust perhaps. Or perhaps a person who claims to be in love with two people think it’s love when it’s simply infatuation. Either way, I think some people’s view of love get can so skewed that it would have them thinking that love has somehow thrown them a curve ball, and now they must decide who to love between two individuals.
In my early dating years, it was easy for me to “fall” for someone. I was young, naïve and hadn’t yet experienced deep heartaches that dropped me to my emotional knees. But after some hard breakups…and reality checks, I realized that what I thought was love wasn’t really love at all. It was puppy love, infatuation, lust, or something else – but it definitely wasn’t love. Once I realized that love is a choice you make rather than a fleeting feeling, it wasn’t so easy for me to “fall” like I used to. Real love, where you decide to love someone despite their flaws, accept them for who they are and not who you wish they’d become, is not something to come by easily. That kind of love requires that you work towards falling in love, every day, through the good and the bad. Real love means you don’t “fall out” of love once you realize that the person you’ve been getting to know isn’t perfect after all. It’s what takes place after the rose-colored glasses come off, the honeymoon stage is over, and you still decide that you love that person anyway. That is what real love is…to me anyway.
So that being said, I don’t see how you can have that kind of love with two people. That kind of love takes time. It takes patience. It takes work. And who has that kind of time to develop and devote to two people equally? Assuming I'm married and I happen to fall in love with someone other than my husband, it means that I have some how found time to give to another man – time that I should be giving to my husband. If I somehow managed to fall in love with another man, it means that I’m not doing any work at home, and that the love I have for my husband is not there anymore. How could it be if someone else is getting what I should be giving him? It just doesn’t add up. If I were to fall in love with someone else, it means that I no longer love my husband – therefore I’m not in love with two people. It means I either fell out of love, or never really loved him in the first place like that meme suggested. I wouldn’t try to pretend that I was in love with two people as a way to delude myself. I just don’t think it’s possible. But maybe my definition of love is too rigid. Maybe my view of love doesn’t allow for fluidity when it comes to deep emotional ties. But it seems to me that because truly loving relationships take a lot of time, energy and effort, it would be difficult – if not impossible – for me to forge that same bond with someone else. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. If I’m too busy not just falling, but STAYING, in love with one person, when does that leave time for me to fall in love with someone else? The answer for me? It doesn’t leave time. And if it works for others, then they either have too much time on their hands, or they aren’t really in love at all – with either person.