Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How many people can you love?

One? Two? Several? I don't mean love like in friends, I mean love like in companion, partner, darling, sweetheart. Of course you can retreat to the point that it all boils down to how you define love. But I won't be satisfied by splitting hairs. Do you love each one less if you love more than one? Or will there be more of it for each one, even? Or does it have to be one to be “true love”? Will it automatically be only one if it is? Is there anything like a “second half”? An Aristophanes/Plato kind of? And what happens when you found her and not only lose her but are stupid enough to make her go away? What will life be after that? Can you ever love again? Time heals the wounded, they say. Those who are wounded like that, too? (Those who think about that question attentively will notice that the question is twofold. (And I have to admit that I've only noticed while writing this blog entry.) The “how many” can both question how many in parallel and how many in sequence. I started writing with the first question in mind, how many people you can love at the same time. Maybe the sorer question, however, is the second one.)


Sarah G said...

I think it depends highly on what you want for yourself and from others. Meaning it might be easier to think about the emotions and needs instead of what sized portion of your affection goes to whom.
There are qualities and supports in some people you cant get anywhere else or from anyone else. I believe that there isnt one person in the world who embodies every need and desire you have. I think that part of why people grow so frustrated looking for "the one" is mainly because it doesnt actually exist.
If you are lucky enough to find strong love feelings in more than one person, the difficult part isnt justifying it to yourself... it would be explaining it to the objects of your affection(s).

Thomas said...

Now somebody dared commenting on that one, wow, kudos, Sarah :).

I agree that there is probably not a single person who really embodies all of your requirements, needs, wishes, desires. And even if so, what are the chances of meeting her/him anyway? Again it boils down to the question of "how much is good enough", just as the world is not black and white but has all shades of grey (deliberately ignoring joyful colours for now). So you are lucky if you find somebody who is white enough for you. Or black enough, for that matter, depending on which colour best represents your desires. For any interesting person that would probably be a mix. For me it takes a lot of white and light grey sprinkled with some very dark greys at the right spots ;).

So what's your strategy? Going for several partners because of higher probability due to limiting the set of requirements you have for each of them? Transform the question "how much is good enough" into "how many are good enough"? Of course then your last point kicks in. Any experience in trying to explain that kind of, um, non-standard approach? :)