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Can you love more than one person at the same time?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 804 times Debate No: 68321
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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1) Both parties agree to the specific definition of the term love. Love, in this case, refers to the intense feeling of tenderness, or intimacy, towards another person.
2) Do not confuse this for platonic love, familial love, or lust; this strictly pertains to the romantic aspect of love. Unconditional love may vary depending on the situation. If it does not pertain to the romantic side of love, then it will be disregarded.
3) There are no restrictions regarding how many people a person can be in love with at the same time.
4) First, I will present the scenario of death. When a person gets married, they vow "till death do us part;" however, what if death had separated the married couple earlier than expected? The feelings that the widow or widower possess consist of love, amongst various other emotions, and aforementioned love cannot simply be dismissed.
5) In regards to the last premise: if a person dies, that does not mean you stop loving them. You will always love them. Eventually, though, an individual will find love again -- and when that does happens, they will be in love with two people.
6) Love cannot be treated as an object, it cannot be tossed aside when you are done 'playing with it,'or when it has 'lost its value.' Despite what a person may claim, love will always exist, whether you are conscious of this or not.
7) We, as human beings, still do not comprehend how the mind works. Monogamy is a concept that has been created by society itself without any regard for Psychology; furthermore, love is something a person does not have control over.
8) Adultery is bad merely because it is immoral and unethical. This cannot even be considered adultery.
9) If a person does not act upon their feelings and has forsaken one of their lovers, is that still considered cheating? They love the person they're with and will still love the person they have abandoned.
10) Therefore, you are capable of loving more than one person at once.

Non-Controversial: Premise 1 and 2 consist of definitions and clarifications, it is not controversial. Premise 3 is stating the argument, and premise 8 is stating what it should not be confused with and why it cannot even be considered adultery.

Controversial: Premises 4 and 5 refer to a specific scenario that may be considered controversial because another may have different view on the matter entirely; there are a variety of ways that a person can cope with death, and forsaking love may be one of them. Premise 6, 7, and 8 all pertain to emotions and my feelings toward the subject, and the topic itself is difficult to comprehend; therefore, the premises may have a flaw or two that can be refuted. As I stated, we do not understand how the mind works.


1) yes, i do agree on the definition of love in terms of " the intense feeling of tenderness, or intimacy, towards another person

2) I do also agree on the clarification of platonic love compared to the romantic side.

3) It is true that there are no restrictions regarding how many people a person can be in love with at the same time, but in terms of relationships a person can only be fully committed to one person.

4) Yes, in the unfortunate event that a partner passes away you can argue that the love will always be there, but in certain situations you must break a promise to someone else in benefit of yourself. For example if a married women is being abused she must break that vow of "till death do us part" to save her own life.

5) I agree that the love will never cease to exist, but since that person has passed they cannot be romantically together anymore, thus still making his relationship with another partner monogamous.

6) I do not agree with premise 6 because as much as you can love someone at one point of the relationship, if the person knows that the relationship is toxic regardless of how much love is still there then the partner must leave that relationship. After a while the love will be erased with nothing but bad memories that will lead to regret and resentment.

7) I do not agree with premise 7 because you can see monogamy in different species, thus not making it a concept that was just created by society. For example, penguins mate for life.

8) I agree with adultery being immoral and unethical

9) I do not agree with premise 9 because if the person is torn between two lovers, then you can argue that the person doesn't really in fact love the second partner.


10) Therefore, you are not capable of loving more than one person at the same time

Non-Controversial: I agree with premise 1 and 2 being non-controversial. I do not agree with premise 3 and 8 being non-controversial.

Controversial: I believe that all of the other premises are controversial because not accepts these views or agree with them either, as i have stated above.
Debate Round No. 1


3) While your argument can be considered true, I still have to disagree. Both devotion and loyalty do not have a particular set of rules that a person is required to abide; love is not determined by commitment nor is that the sole aspect of a relationship. For example: a man who is Mormon possesses more than one spouse " all which live in the same home and receive the same treatment. Is that not considered commitment?
4) Again, this is a typical misconception of marriage or a relationship. Promises may be broken, but that does not mean love has vanished along with the oath.
5) Regarding the scenario in premise 4 " if that were to occur, albeit unfortunate, the woman may leave. However, the reasons that she is leaving is to save her life, not because she doesn"t love the person who may or may not have abused her. Love exists even in the most brutal situations; for example: the man who is abusing her does love her, he has simply chosen a different, more violent approach to expressing his emotions.
6) In reference to premise 5, I never actually stated that the relationship was monogamous or not. If their previous lover is not physically alive, then their current relationship may be considered a monogamous one. The person that has become a widow or widower will continue to love and mourn the death of their loved one for the rest of their life; the love they have for the deceased still resides in their heart -- no exceptions. And because of that, it still makes this a matter of loving two people at once.
7) I cannot agree with premise 6 simply because if a relationship is considered "toxic," then there may not be any love at all; therefore, it is irrelevant to the argument. Love is typically confused for lust, and perhaps that is one of those cases. Love cannot be erased; if it can be, then it is not "real" love.
8) Premise 7 does have some truth to it, but, again, mating resembles lust (or just having more than one sexual partner), and that is not considered love. Sex is not a determinant of love.
9) To some extent there is a small amount of truth to premise 9; however, as stated previously, love can exist and it cannot, we do not understand how the mind works. Therefore, it is possible to be torn between two people that you love.


3) Just because cultures practice polygamy, doesn't it necessarily mean that they love all of their partners.

4) I agree with what is being argued here, but you can argue that with the addition of a new love in that person's life that the old love can fade because of the non existent presence of the old partner.

5)Can you really argue that he loves her while he's hitting her? Going back to the love definition, would abusing a spouse be considered feelings of tenderness towards them?

6) At that point can you know consider the mourning of a passed loved one a platonic love? We can all love more than one person platonically, but to have that intimate part of a relationship there needs to be a physical and romantic aspect in the relationship. Which cannot be fulfilled without the physical presence of the partner that passed.

7) As you stated earlier, "Love exists even in the most brutal situations." You argued that if a relationship is considered toxic then there may not be love at all, would you not consider abuse as a toxic relationship? How can you say a man really loves his wife if he is inflicting physical pain?

8) Sex is not a determinant of love, but the willingness to bond yourself to one person is not considered love? A lifelong bond that shows that no matter what or who, in the end the only person that matters is the one that you actually love.

9) We do not know how the mind works, so how do you know for sure that we cant differentiate between that one person we really love and one that all we feel is lust towards? Therefore, in regards to loving more than one person in an intimate way at the same time is not possible.
Debate Round No. 2


3) What I said in round two did not specifically state that commitment and love coincide with one another. I said, "is that not considered commitment?" I did not mention anything about love. Therefore, I can dismiss your point.
4) It will become extremely repetitive if I continued this same point, but as I"ve said before love cannot simply fade because another is not present. The feelings that we gain after falling in love cannot be disregarded if the other person"s presence is no longer there. If that were true, then how come long-distance relationships are possible? What happens when a husband or wife goes to war -- are they forgotten about?
5) Regarding premise 5 and 7: I see your point, however, domestic violence and "toxic" relationships are difficult to understand. Abuse usually stems from anger " not tenderness, these are two separate aspects. Sometimes a person cannot control their mental stability; furthermore, leading them to act impulsively and raise a hand to another person. Think about it this way: what if that man had returned home from war and was suffering from PTSD -- would he hit his wife because he hated her, or is the cause of the abuse a different matter entirely?
6) As agreed upon in the first round, these my premises will not be consist of platonic love. Just because there is no physical interaction between the couple, that does not mean love isn't there. It will continue, despite the fact that their past love is gone. It isn't a matter of being intimate or physically touching, romantic relationships can pertain to another loving someone else even while they"re away (see #4 for examples). There are a variety of ways of expressing love without a person physically being there. Contrary to popular belief, the term "moving on" doesn't really exist. It is a way of quelling conflicting emotions.
8) People have multiple sex partners, does that mean they love each partner they have sex with? While I agree sex can enhance the bond between a couple, that does not suffice as enough proof that there is love between two people that engage in intercourse. You don't need a lifelong bond to have sex; in our society, people hire prostitutes or escorts for sexual pleasure -- that certainly cannot be considered love. Sex is considered to be a crave, or a desire -- sort of like hunger, you cannot control it and it, technically, holds no value in a relationship. People can refrain from having sex and still be in love.
9) For the most part, our mindsets are influenced by what we see everyday. Our society has a way of pressuring us into believe things are right and wrong. For instance, we see a relationships as: two people get together, say "I love you," get married, and that's true love. The brain itself cannot differentiate what's right and what's wrong, what's love and what's lust -- so how can you continue to argue that you can only love one person if most people can't understand their own emotions?


3)Now that you have explained it more i can agree with the points your are making here.

4) I do not agree with your point here because not every long distance relationship have worked out where the couple's stay strong. Without the presence of the partner the intense love that was once displayed can easily fade. Your example about the husband and wife going to the army is true, but there is still a level of communication there. They are doing what they can to stay together and keeping their spirits high with constant communication. If the partner isn't here anymore can they really fulfill even the small aspects of a relationship like a simple kiss or an "i love you?"

5) I understand the points you are making here, but if that person cannot be in control of his or her own mental state then can they really be aware of such a complex idea as love? Regarding your PTSD example, if he knew that he suffered from PTSD and that this causes him to inflict physical pain upon his loved one then why wouldn't he look for some help. Can we not argued that if he really loved his wife he'd to anything to keep her out of harms way?

6) Then how can we differentiate platonic love and intimate love? A big difference between them is the romantic aspect of the relationship. The love you demonstrate to your mother is different than the love demonstrated to a partner. Without the person being here, you're in love the memory of the person.

8) I do not agree with you here because, while sex is used for pleasure it is also used to demonstrate the intense love for each other. What demonstrates love more than having all these temptations around you and still only wanting your partner?

9) If our brains cannot differentiate between right and wrong, then why do most people feel it is wrong to have multiple partners? I do agree to some extent that society has an influence on our feelings but i do not agree with you that our brains cannot comprehend the idea of staying with one partner. Many of our own parents have been together for decades and if you ask them they can assure you that they couldn't love anyone as much as their spouse.
Debate Round No. 3


1)Love is the intense feeling of tenderness, or intimacy, towards another person.
2)This is not to be confused with platonic love, familial love, or lust; this strictly pertains to the romantic aspect of love.
3)Commitment cannot be the sole determinant of love. A person’s devotion and loyalty can be granted to several people. While it can definitely provide strength to the ‘foundation’ of a relationship, it cannot act as a hindrance towards a person’s love for others; therefore, there are no restrictions when it comes to both love and commitment.
4)Separation may damage the intimacy, yes, but it cannot ruin love. Love does not fade, and it cannot be tossed aside when it has lost its value. Heartache, domestic violence, arguments, and lack of communication between couples do injure the relationship – but emotions are far more complicated than we understand. ‘Moving on’ is a delusion society has conjured to cope with the loss of our loved ones.
5)A person would do anything for the person they love, even if that meant leaving them; however, their love remains, albeit hidden deep within their subconscious. Since we cannot control how our emotions work, we cannot abide by rules that society has set up for us, for example: marrying/loving only one person to avoid ridicule.
6)Our minds cannot differentiate between familial love, lust, and true love, and most people act impulsively because of this – which tends to lead to severe consequences, or circumstances with unfavorable outcomes: violence, divorce, incest, etc. However, even with the delusion they’ve conjured, they still consider it love – furthermore, in their minds, they love more than one person (romantically).
7)Sex cannot determine love, but it can enhance it.
8)Mental stability can affect one’s actions while in a relationship (for example: a man with ptsd, anger issues, etc), and it can damage the relationship – however, it cannot completely dismiss love.
9)Thus, love does not have any limits.

I have agreed to certain premises, summarized my premises, and revised my argument to match various edited statements - but even with the examples given, I cannot agree that love has limits. We are human beings with an insufficient amount of knowledge regarding how the mind works. We could love more than one person and not realize it.

The lack of a lover's presence would not, could not, and should not determine whether a person loves someone or not. When people are married, divorced, then remarried, their love for both marriages remain. Whether it is conscious or not, it will always exist. It is possible for individuals to be torn between two people, too. Going back to the examples of the forsaken lover and the deceased lover - whether they want to admit it or not, love for the person they've abandon or lost will remain. It would be foolish to deny that. And if the love faded that easily, then it was not truly love.

Therefore, my argument still stands: it is possible to love more than one person at the same time.



1) I still agree with the definition of love as being " the intense feeling of tenderness, or intimacy, towards another person.

2) I also agree with that it should not be confused with platonic love, familial love, and this strictly pertains to the romantic aspect of love.

3) Commitment isn't the sole determinant of love, but when it comes to being in a romantic relationship the person must be solely devoted to his partner to express his love for her.

4) Separation can ruin the love between two people. As much as the partner wants to believe he or she is in love with two people romantically at the same time, there is just no way that this intense feeling of love is equal to both partners. Whether it be the past partner that with time the love for him or her fades, or the current partner that if you're still in love with your old partner how can you really say that you love the current one if you came into the relationship already having those feelings linked to another person?

5) For the love to be apparent, the couple must work through several obstacles. Getting over these obstacles is what truly shows the extent of the love that a couple has for each other, if the love cant get the couple through obstacles in life, then maybe it wasn't love in the first place.

6) Our minds can differentiate between familial love, lust, and true love. The partner that you "love" should be the only person you want to be with. Love is such an intense feeling that once you start placing the love title on multiple people it stops meaning as much.

7)Sex doesn't determine love, the choice to only preform the act of making love with your partner and not anyone else expresses love in such a strong way. If a person has to divert away from his partner to try and find love somewhere else as well, then the love has already faded for the partner.

8) To choose to inflict physical or emotional harm to your partner shows that they do not really love them regardless of their mental state. If a person really loves his partner, they'd do whatever it takes to keep their partner happy.
9) Therefore, love can only be restricted to one person at a time.

I have agreed with a couple premises, as well as restated my premises and revised my argument. With that being said i still cannot agree that love can be demonstrated to two people at the same time.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by mir9 2 years ago
A question for pro, would it be possible that a person could love two people but show favoritism to one specific person?
No votes have been placed for this debate.