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Is it possible to romantically love more than one person at the same time?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 460 times Debate No: 69080
Debate Rounds (4)
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1)Romantic love is what one feels for a significant other with whom they cherish and feel intimate towards. They would feel both close and secure with one another.
2)Romantic love may or may not include physical or sexual relations.
3)To be in a committed relationship and love each other, while still harboring feelings for an ex-lover, one loves more than one person.
4)To love another person while in a relationship, while it may not be commendable, it is still likely.
5)All those who are in poly-amorous relationships love all members of the relationship equally.
6)A poly-amorous relationship is not considered cheating, as all participants are open with one another and accept and love all those in the relationship.
7)Cheating does not negate any feelings for any of the members involved, including the third party with whom the person in a relationship was cheating with.
C) It is possible to love more than one person at the same time.

Non-Controversial Premises:
Premises 1, 2, 5, and 6 are non-controversial because they are only definitions of romantic love (for premise 1 and 2) and a poly-amorous relationship (premise 6). Premise 5 is stating what a healthy poly-amorous relationship would be like.

Controversial Premises:
Premises 3, 4, and 7 are controversial.
3) Just because one broke up with their ex- lover does not mean their feelings for that person are gone, even if they are in a new relationship.
4) While my opponent may believe having feelings for another while in a committed relationship is considered cheating, it does not make the possibility of loving more than one person any less likely.
7) While cheating is not commendable, it is possible for the cheater to develop feelings for the person he is cheating with, while still having feelings for the person in the current relationship.


1.Romantic love is shared with only one person.
2.If you"re in a committed relationship then you only love one person.
3.Cheating does negate feelings for the people involve.

Non-Controversial Premises: Premises 1 and 2 are non-controversial.
1. In the definition of love it says love that what feels for a significant other, other as in one, not others, that would be plural. Also in the definition of love it"s stated that they both feel close and secure with one another- Again I"m stating it"s with one another, not many others.
2. Commitment means you give up the option to romantically love someone else because you are now in a committed relationship with someone. Commitment is being dedicated to someone. Can you be dedicated to someone and be dedicated to another. No you can"t you can only be dedicated to one person.

Controversial Premises: Premise 3 is controversial.
3.If cheating is involved then feeling are all over the place. It"s controversial because if you"re really cheating on someone do you really love that person then. If you have to choose between two pick the second because if you really loved someone then there would be no second.

I would also like to state that we have to be clear of which group of people we are debating this about. If we are debating this from a poly-amorous standpoint, A Christian standpoint, or just a general audience standpoint.
Debate Round No. 1


1) One does not have to share love with only one person. There have been many marriages where a man has more than one wife (polygyny) and he loves them all equally.

2) You say other refers to only one person, however, the word can also point to multiple people, when used in this sentence: "I love other people." People is plural, and yet the word other is still used as other, not others. Again, just because it says "one another" does not mean it was only one other individual. "The group teased one another." It can mean more than two people.

3) A committed relationship is a relationship between two or more people based on mutually agreed upon commitments and promises such as love, trust, honesty, and openness. Just because one is committed to their lover does not mean they gave up the option to romantically love someone else. There have been relationships where the two people involved have come to both like another, third person. If the third person agrees, they can join the relationship, but this does not negate the feelings the pair have for each other, it only means they are open to loving more than just each other. One can be dedicated to more than one person, as said before, a commitment is made between all people involved, whether it be two or more. It is a mutually agreed upon set of requirements such as trust and loyalty between all those involved.

4) While one may have cheated on their partner, that does not mean they do not love them. Perhaps the cheater found qualities in another that they see fit for a potential lover. For example: A person has a list of qualities they would like in a potential lover. The list would be vast, containing things like honesty, open minded, attractive, funny, and ect. The cheater, in this case, may have found a partner who has half of the qualities they search for, but maybe a while down the line, while they still love their partner, meets someone new, who holds other qualities the partner of the cheater does not have. The cheater could possibly fall in love with the other person for having qualities they find necessary and attractive, while still loving their partner.

5) I am not saying cheating is justified, or that the above situation is always the case. I am merely stating that, that is a possible scenario, therefore having the cheater still loves both their partner, as well as the person they cheated on with. Even had they not cheated, it does not mean they would not develop feelings for the other person romantically.

6) What is being debated upon is all of human kind. It is not just one religion, or one set of people, or from one country. It is all people from all around the world. Love is not exclusive to only a certain type of group or culture, therefore should be open to all.


1. When using the sentence " I love other people" you are applying that you love other people and not them.
2. A committed relation involves two people. Two or more people at the same time will never be a balanced life.
3. if you have already cheated then you do not love that person.
4. Cheating I don"t condone so therefore I don"t think cheating could be an act of love.
5. Love can be for everyone however isn"t the purpose of love to find your one true soul mate.
Debate Round No. 2


1) When the sentence "I love other people" was being used, it was only to show how the word other can be applied to mean different things, not that one individual was saying it to another.

2) A committed relationship does not only have to be between two people, one can have a committed relationship with friends and family. The definition of commitment is mutual agreement and promises between all those involved. One can be in a polyamorous relationship and still be committed to all those involved in the relationship.

3) There are many reasons why one may cheat, including intoxication, emotional stress, as well as curiosity (by this I mean how would it feel to experiment, how would it feel to have a secret, a thrill, how it would feel with a partner of the opposite sex of their current one). But that does not negate their feelings of their current partner.

4) Just because one does not feel it is right, does not mean it is not what they believe. One can feel that a certain religion is wrong but that does not mean there aren't others who feel that it is true. Just because you do not feel it is so does not mean others feel the same way. Even if you feel that the cheater could not possibly love their partner after they had cheated, it does not make that the case.

5) Like stated before, just because you believe that the purpose of love is to find your one true soulmate, it does not mean that is everyone's purpose for finding love. Maybe they may feel the purpose is to feel accepted, loved, cherished, important, and if they find it with two other people, what makes that not love? Everyone has their own purpose for finding love.

6) If a muslim man has two wives, is that saying he loves either one less than the other? What if he has three? How does the number, or order of marriage, make the love he feels for his wives any less than what it is? I use muslim only because their culture allows polygyny, a marriage between one man and multiple wives, usually stopped at four. It is always with the first wife's acceptance.

7) What about polyamorous relationships? Are those not actual relationships? Are any of them forced to have relations with one another? A healthy polyamorous relationship is between three or more individuals who love each other, without excluding any of the members. Not only that, but it is not the case where one individual likes two people and the other two only like the first individual, it is that all those in the relationship love each other and care for each other and are open and honest with each other.

8) Many individuals are always comparing their current partner with their first love. A first love, no matter how the experience was, good or bad, leaves an impression. One rarely forgets their first love, so is the act of comparing their current partner with their first love not considered loving two people? Why compare the person to their first love if that person holds no significance in their current life? Why base current relationships on an old one? One almost always loves their first love, no matter how the relationship ended.


1.One can I have a committed relationship with friends and family. However a romantic relationship involves two people.
2.You my always remember your first love but you may not have the feeling for them anymore. It could be feelings of disappointment, anger and sadness. It depend on how long after the break up is to decide if you love them or not.
3.If you are cheating can you fully love the person you just cheated on? Clearly you don"t if you just cheated. Intoxicate or not cheating is not a way to express romantic love.
Debate Round No. 3


1) You say "however, a romantic relationship involves two people." What do you have to back up that claim? You are only stating that without any evidence, reason, or example. Why do you say it only involves two people? What is there to say it can't be more? You are not giving reason for why you say that, you are only saying it.

2) Why would it have to be after the break up to "decide" if one still loves their ex partner? Regardless of time, one would still hold even a little bit of the deep feelings and love they had for their ex partner. Pain heals over time, and so does heartbreak, but there will always be the reason why you loved that person and that reason will not go away, time will only help ease the pain, but it does not mean it will also take away deep seeded feelings such as love.

3) It is possible for some people to drink alcohol to have a reason to cheat, to do things they normally may not have done, or have even to have a small excuse for why they preformed such an action. It is said that alcohol tends to make a person honest, say things they usually wouldn't due to possible consequences. Therefore it is possible for an individual who has a partner whom they love, to drink alcohol to have relations with someone else whom they have developed feelings for.

4) The act of whether or not an action is or is not condoned matters not in this debate. The topic is whether it is possible, not whether or not it is okay, or whether the actions are justifiable.

5) Romantic love is what one individual feels for another, whom they cherish and hold dear and have intimate feelings towards. It is when one may feel close and secure with the other. Just because this is said in the context of singular pronouns, it does not mean it can only be described as a feeling for one individual. One can feel romantic love to more than one person, using the same definition.

6) Romantic love does not have to include physical or sexual relations. Meaning, one does not have to kiss another to feel romantic feelings towards them. For example, one can be in a relationship while still being in love with either a former partner or another person outside the relationship with whom the person is close with.

7) There are many, many different ways to show that it is possible to romantically love more than one person, including poly-amorous relationships as well as polygyny in some cultures, for example the muslim community, which allows marriage between one man and multiple women, usually stoping at four.

8) Everyone's reason for wanting to find love is different. Some want to find their soulmate, while others want to feel like they belong. If they feel as though they belong with two or more people, what's to say it's not real love? If they feel safe, secure, loved, cherished, and feel intimate feelings with all those involved in the relationship, then by definition, they romantically love more than one person.

9) An individual can be in a committed and dedicated to more than one person. One can be committed and dedicated to friends, family, teams, groups, organizations, peers, co-workers; what's to stop a person from being dedicated to more than one lover? As long as its open and honest and everyone is more than happy with one another, what about that relationship shows that one is unfaithful or lying or not being honest? What about that relationship between three individuals stops it from being a relationship? A loving one at that?

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

I agree that cheating may be wrong and I certainly do not condone it. However, the topic is not whether or not ones who cheat are wrong, but that is it possible for one to love more than one person. If one was to cheat on someone, it does not entirely mean they do not love the other person. I agree there may be relationships which are torn apart due to cheating, or even may just be lacking love and therefore causing the cheater to cheat. But it does not dismiss the fact that while one may have cheated, they can still fall in love with the person they are cheating with, while still loving their partner. This is not about how right or wrong something is, but the fact that it is possible. One can be learn to love another while in an arranged marriage, so what's to stop an individual from also falling in love with whom they cheated with?

I do agree that some may believe the same things you do, however, it does not mean everyone thinks or believes the same things as well. Everyone is different, and have different reasons for doing the same things, such as why they love, or if they condone cheating, or even if they would forgive cheating. Due to this, personal opinion or thoughts do not make a valid reason or point to support your claims based on those opinions or thoughts.


1. You say that the honest truth comes out when you are under the influence of alcohol. Wouldn't"t the honest truth be that you have feelings for another person? You don"t have your feelings as a whole to that person anymore.
2.You can"t romantically love more than one person at a time because in some way or another, the person is going to love someone stronger.
3.With that being said I"m agreeing with my opponent for this debate.
4.Due to the many valid points my opponent has presented it is possible to romantically love more than one person at a time.
Debate Round No. 4
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