The Instigator
oscanoak
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
pratta3
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Is it possible to romantically love more than one person at once?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 284 times Debate No: 70005
Debate Rounds (4)
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oscanoak

Pro

1.) A relationship between two people which is characterized by romantic love means that it is both an emotionally and physically intimate relationship in which both people care genuinely for the well-being of the other.

2.) An individual can feel an emotional or physical attraction to more than one person. We as humans with feelings can't help who we fall for.

3.) Love is something that isn't held back by any boundaries, we are conditioned to believe that love is something that can only be between two people as it is a concept that's been created by culture and society.

4.) Romantic love and a monogamous relationship are two separate entities. One can exist without the other in many different occasions.

5.) Although loving someone else while being in a relationship is not widely accepted, it is quite possible due to problems that may occur in said relationship.

6.) If someone gets married, they vow "till death do us part;" but what if one party of the relationship passes? The feelings of love for that person after their death cannot be discarded for it was always there since that person was living. Eventually, that person will find someone else to love again. That is when they can be in love with two people at once.

7.) Therefore, it is possible to love more than one person at the same time.

Non-Controversial: Premises 1, 2, 3, and 5 are non-controversial. Premise 1 is the definition agreed upon by both parties of what romantic love is. Premise 2 is a straight-forward statement on our involuntary thoughts as human beings. Premise 3 is stating a fact, and cannot be refuted. Premise 5 is also a straight-forward statement because we cannot control events that can occur in a relationship.

Controversial: Premises 4, and 6 can be up for debate. Premise 4 pertains to my opinion of the difference between both entities, although there are situations where one can have one or the other, it does not matter and it can be refuted if stated correctly. Premise 6 is arguable because it is one side of a scenario. Other people may do things differently if that situation ever occurred to them.
pratta3

Con

1.) I agree with your definition of romantic love.
2.) A person who genuinely cares for the well-being of another person would not want to cause that person any physical or emotional stress.
3.) If a person in a romantic relationship with another person is unable or unwilling to reciprocate intimacy at any given moment, it will cause the other person stress.
4.) If a person is attempting to romantically love two people, there will be times when that person is only able to be intimate with one of those two people, and thus unable to be intimate with the other.
5.) Because of premises 3 and 4, a person who is attempting to romantically love two people will cause both of those people stress.
6.) Because of premise 2, a person who is attempting to romantically love two people does not genuinely care for the well-being of either person.
7.) Therefore, it is not possible to romantically love more than one person at once.

Non-controversial premises:
Premises 1, 2, and 3 are non-controversial. Premise 1 is a definition which was agreed upon. Premises 2 and 3 are broadly accepted statements about romantic relationships.

Controversial premises:
Premises 4, 5, and 6 are controversial. In premise 4: it would be impossible for a person to completely avoid times at which both of that person's romantic interests need or want to be intimate, and therefore there will be times when that person cannot reciprocate the intimacy of one of them. Premises 5 and 6 are contingent on premise 4 being true.
Debate Round No. 1
oscanoak

Pro

4.) "Unable" is a very vague term for there are lots of ways of how people can be intimate with more than one person equally. Also, there are easy ways for three people to be together at once whether it is part of the physical or emotional part of the relationship. Those three people have agreed to be in a polyamorous relationship and that also means that they'll be able to find ways to not leave anyone out of that relationship. Therefore, it is possible to have a scenario where people are able to intimately love one person plus the other.

5.) As I mentioned earlier, whoever is participating in the practice of a relationship with three people have already agreed to accept what's to come. I don't see why they would stress about anything that they know will happen. If you're in a polyamorous relationship, you won't stress because you've already agreed firsthand. There are no surprises in terms of agreement.

6.) Because this is a relationship aspect that we are discussing, genuinely caring for the well-being of either person should already be a given regardless whether it's one person, two people or more. A person who genuinely cares for the well-being of another person would not want to cause that person any physical or emotional stress, but if that person genuinely cares for more than one person at once and they are both willing to reciprocate intimacy in a polyamorous manner then it should be acceptable.
pratta3

Con

4.) Just because three people have agreed to be in a polyamorous relationship, it isn't necessarily true that all three of them are comfortable or satisfied with it. Even if they have all agreed on how they will be emotionally and physically intimate between the three of them, it doesn't mean that there won't be times when each of them may want it otherwise. At that point, that person's well-being has been compromised due to an attempt at romantic love toward two different people. Thus, it is impossible to romantically love two people at once because it is impossible to genuinely care for the well-being of both of those people.
5.) Again, just because three people have agreed to be in a relationship, it isn't necessarily true that all three of them are satisfied with it or that it won't cause any stress.
6.) Rather, it is precisely my argument that the very act of trying to romantically love more than one person at once makes it impossible to genuinely care for the well-being of them. By attempting to romantically love two people at once, you are subjecting at least one of those people to stress. This is a conscious action that is hurting someone's well-being.

3.) I disagree that premise 3 is non-controversial. The first clause""Love is something that isn't held back by any boundaries""is unclear: in order to be considered a boundary, what precise effect would something have to have on love? There is no reason why something like culture could not affect love in a limiting way"as the term boundary would imply"and so it stands to ask: why is it self-evident that "love is something which isn't held back by any boundaries?" Furthermore, it is not necessarily true that we have been conditioned by our culture to believe that love can only be between two people. It is possible, for example, that this concept of love is part of our culture precisely because that's the way love is (meaning only between two people).
4.) Premise 4 is simply assuming that "romantic love" and "monogamous relationship" are not equivalent terms. This is not necessarily the case, just as it is also not necessarily the case that the two terms are equivalent. However, granting the assumption that "romantic love" and "monogamous relationship" do not mean the same thing, nothing has been said about whether or not it is possible to romantically love more than one person simultaneously, only that it is possible to romantically love one person and be in a monogamous relationship with another.
5.) I also disagree that premise 5 is non-controversial. If we are to grant that premise 4 is true and that romantic love can exist separately from a monogamous relationship, then being in a relationship and loving someone outside of that relationship"as premise 5 explains"still has nothing to say about whether or not it is possible to romantically love more than one person simultaneously because it may be the case that there is no romantic love in said monogamous relationship. In fact, by stating "...due to problems that may occur in said relationship," the premise is implying that very scenario.
6.) Even if it is possible for a person to romantically love someone (a spouse, as in premise 6) who has passed away in the way described by premise 1 of the opening argument (the definition of romantic love), it may just as easily be the case that as soon as that person falls in love with someone else, there is no longer "romantic love" toward the spouse but rather some other, definable emotion.
Debate Round No. 2
oscanoak

Pro

4.) Technically, it is possible to romantically love two people at once because as you mentioned "there will be times" when a person may change their outlook on polygamy after agreeing firsthand; which can also mean that it's not inevitable. Also, the change of heart can also go the other way for someone who is in a monogamous relationship and may want it otherwise. They may want to be involved with more than one person after agreeing to be monogamous. This can go both ways.

6.) I disagree, if someone is trying to romantically love someone, monogamous or not, they're already caring for their well-being and wouldn't want them to stress no matter what. In a relationship, you are trying to do your best to make you and your significant other as happy as you can. In a polyamorous relationship, as long as those three people love each other equally, no problems or stress should arise, thus keeping their well-being in tact.

3.) Actually, in our society there are lots of ways that display monogamy as the correct way to love. First of all, monogamous relationships are all over media and culture, and it is considered the norm. Television shows and sitcoms always have two spouses and if something was even remotely close to polygamy it would be portrayed as taboo. Furthermore, we are exposed to monogamy from our parents at a young age. They teach you that it is only right to have one spouse. We don't see anything about polygamy in a positive manner. Therefore, we are conditioned to believe that monogamy is the only way to go.

4.) What I'm trying to say is that because romantic love and a monogamous relationship are two separate things. It means that the relationship doesn't have to be monogamous to romantically love someone. It doesn't necessarily means that someone can love one person and be in a relationship with another but that the romantic love doesn't just stop at one person. It's possible to romantically love more than one person because monogamy is just a separate thing that doesn't have to relate to what romantic love is.

5.) To further my argument in premise 5, there are scenarios where a person might be in a monogamous relationship, and while they may love the person they're with it could be possible that not only do they love their significant other but maybe someone else romantically. As humans, we cannot help who we fall for and these scenarios are quite possible because of the fact that romantic love and monogamous relationships are two separate things. Because of problems that may occur in said relationship, that person could steer to the direction of polygamy.

6.) I agree with your argument on my death scenario and I concede my argument on the subject.
pratta3

Con

4.) My claim is that there will be times when someone's well-being is compromised as a direct result of a person's attempt at romantic love with two separate people. And it isn't that anyone has changed their outlook on polygamy or polyamory, rather they experience stressful emotions within that relationship. Because this kind of stress is unavoidable when attempting to romantically love more than one person at once, it is impossible to do so without consciously jeopardizing the well-being of those people. If you are consciously jeopardizing their well-being, then you are not genuinely caring for it, and thus you are not romantically loving those people.
6.) Trying to romantically love someone is not the same as succeeding in romantically loving someone, and therefore if you are trying to do so, it isn't necessarily true that you are actually caring for the other person's well-being. Just because you don't want the other person to stress doesn't mean the other person isn't in fact stressing. Also, there is no reason to believe that "as long as...three people love each other equally, no problems or stress should arise." To the contrary, it may be true that it is impossible for three people to love each other equally with no problems or stress.

3.) It may not be true that examples in the media of monogamous relationships are conditioning people to believe that there can only be monogamous relationships. It could also be that because it just so happens that there can only be romantic love in monogamous relationships, this has influenced how love and relationships are portrayed in the media.
4.) I agree that a relationship doesn't have to be monogamous for there to be romantic love present. However, it seems that you're implying that a relationship which IS monogamous is automatically characterized by romantic love. This is not necessarily true: there can be a monogamous relationship in which the two partners do NOT romantically love each other. Thus it is not necessarily true that a person is romantically loving two people if that person is in a monogamous relationship with one person and romantically in love with another.
5.) Just as monogamy does not necessarily indicate romantic love, neither does polygamy. A person in a monogamous relationship who experiences problems in that relationship and then steers towards polygamy is not necessarily romantically in love with more than one person. (Also it is not necessarily true that we cannot help who we fall for!)
Debate Round No. 3
oscanoak

Pro

1.) A relationship between two people which is characterized by romantic love means that it is both an emotionally and physically intimate relationship in which both people care genuinely for the well-being of the other. That is the definition we've both agreed on so this still stands.

2.) Since there is no points proven against how humans can't help who they fall for, the point still stands as well.

3.) My point still proves that polyamorous relationships are portrayed in a negative way in the media. That makes monogamy the prime view for love for our society which shouldn't be the case because love comes in different ways, and that point stands.

4.) Although there were good points where "romantic love" and "monogamous relationships" are not two different things it does not necessarily prove it's impossible. Just to refer to the first premise from round one (our definition of romantic love), the only criteria is that the person cares for their well-being and that the relationship is emotionally and physically intimate. That doesn't necessarily have to do with being in a monogamous relationship. And although there are monogamous couples that don't romantically love each other, the majority of them do. Therefore, a person can romantically love two people at once if that person is in a monogamous relationship with one person while being romantically in love with another because of the possibility that the person genuinely cares for both of those people's well-being and has already been emotionally or physically intimate with them (since we have already agreed on how that's what romantic means).

5.) Even though there may be scenarios mentioned by my opponent where loving someone else while being in a relationship is not necessarily the case, there are other scenarios that still prove that it is still possible regardless.

6.) Therefore, my argument still stands. It is still possible to love more than one person romantically at once.
pratta3

Con

1.) I agree with your definition of romantic love.
2.) A person who genuinely cares for the well-being of another person would not want to cause that person any physical or emotional stress.
3.) If a person in a romantic relationship with another person is unable or unwilling to reciprocate intimacy at any given moment, it will cause the other person stress.
4.) If a person is attempting to romantically love two people, there will be times when that person is only able to be intimate with one of those two people, and thus unable to be intimate with the other.
5.) Because of premises 3 and 4, a person who is attempting to romantically love two people will cause both of those people stress.
6.) Because of premise 2, a person who is attempting to romantically love two people does not genuinely care for the well-being of either person.
7.) Therefore, it is not possible to romantically love more than one person at once.
Debate Round No. 4
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