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Can you romantically love more than one person?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 514 times Debate No: 70004
Debate Rounds (4)
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1) Love isn’t a game where it can only be one winner and looser. It’s a subjective emotion and should be treated as such.

2) “Love is the deep emotional need for the well-being of another person. A need so deep that it becomes intrinsic to your own feeling of well being.

3) When you reach that emotional state with another your heart doesn’t lock up. Its still fully capable of loving and feeling, so to say that because you are already in love means you cant love another almost sounds silly.

4) History has showed that throughout time society has always made up these so called “norms” and what it means to be normal. Monogamy is just another example of one of those inventions.

5) Reality t.v. Should be held with a grain of salt but with saying that, one cannot deny the fact that over the past few years we have been seeing more and more shows about Polygamous families and TLC’s trailblazing show sister wives is the best example of this. If you ever watch it the family is really living there “norm” and all the wives seem to get along.

6) The number one reason married couples divorce is infidelity and if we are to be dealing with facts this one cant be ignored.

7) Some religions permit polygyny because love Is looked at in a subjective manner. One of the most common examples of this would be the Muslim community. But even in this religion if you cant take care of all of your partners equally then its considered to be breaking the rules. I brought up that example because at least they give you the option to make your own decision on what kind of love fits you because no two people are the same.

8) Another huge reasons “loving couples” split is due to money, with more partners in a relationship money would be less of a factor and could possibly give you the chance to build a healthy love with more than one.

9) With about 10,000 animals discovered each year we only know of around 12 that are Monogamous.


Premises 1,2,5,6,9.

Premise 1 and 2 are definitions of love

Premise 5 is an example of this type of relationship

Premise 6 and 9 are stats.

Premise 7 is an example of polygyny

Premise 8 is just an example of the main reason couples split

Controversial Premises

Premises 3,4

Premises 3 and 4 are subjective because some may feel that your heart could lock up and be incapable and some may not care about society’s norms.

Love is a subjective emotion, that has no boundaries and rules. It doesn’t follow societies norms, nor should it. Its fully possible to love more than one person at a time because the heart and the mind grow as you go along. Your heart is like a cup without a lid and its more than capable of overflowing with your love.



1. I agree, love is subjective. However, due to being subjective, it is prone to being confused with other feelings such as lust, obsession, and loneliness. Obsession because one can be, basically, in love with the idea of love. And loneliness because one may just be in a relationship due to not wanting to be alone, fear of being alone, or the need to be with another human being.

2. I believe this definition is slightly vague. It can not only refer to one"s partner, but family and close friends as well. When one family member is ill, such as a mother or father, one would feel bad as well. I believe love is the feeling of not only having their well being connected to yours, but that you are open, and honest to one another. Love takes a while to grow, just like it takes a while to trust someone. Love is wanting the best for that other person, even if it means letting them go to another person. Love is not only being committed to the other, but being devoted and dedicated to the other person as well as the relationship between those two.

3. While I agree that when one loves another, their heart isn"t locked up, the feelings one may have for another outside their relationship may very well only be feelings such as lust. Not only that, but one does not simply fall in love easily. Love takes time to grow, and for one to develop feelings for another while in a relationship may just as likely be a crush, or a passing feeling. It may even be an attraction but attraction does not mean love.

4. While humans may not be "mates for life" such as other creatures, it does not mean there are not rituals or ceremonies to join two souls together in matrimony all over the world. It is not only in our society, but across the globe. While each society shows marriage through different objects, such as rings in America and a necklace in India, it still shows marriage and commitment to the other.

5. I would like to point out your use of the word "seem." Reality t.v. is a filming of people more for the entertainment than to inform others about things going on. T.v. shows can be changed to make everything seem more interesting and entertaining than showing true things about what is going on. Not only that, but most likely those in the show must have signed a contract stating what can be said, what not, and how one can or cannot act a certain way that may disrupt anything that is going on. You say all the wives "seem" to get along, this shows how little is actually known about those wives and how they must really feel.

6. I agree. Infidelity causes fights and rifts between a marriage and a couple.

7. While I do agree that polygyny is permitted in the Muslim culture, it does not mean the man married the second wife out of love. Not only that, but the first wife must agree to allowing her husband to get married for a second time. Most often than not, a Muslim man may have married the second wife due to an inability to father a child with the first wife. To prevent any lawsuits, or the chances of not being able to keep the child, one may have married the second wife, with the acceptance of the first, to be able to have a child.

8. I agree, money is a big factor to the splitting of couples, but believing that if there are more people in the relationship that the relationship may be stronger is not quite true. There would be much fighting over who gets what during the signing of a will. Who gets the house, the car? What about the family pet? When being in a relationship with more than one person, the first thing one may think of is, "will I be loved equally?" To have more partners means to split your time even further, making one seem left out or under loved. While one may try to be devoted to both partners, they can also very well fail.

9. While humans may not be monogamous, it certainly may not have anything to do with having more than one partner at one time. It may have to do with not being mated for life, or being with only one person for the rest of your live. One may even consider dating to not be monogamous because a monogamous animal is one dedicated to only one partner throughout their whole life. Humans are social creatures, we date, become exclusive, marry. But we also break up and divorce. In this way, we are not monogamous. We date and test the waters before settling down, and even then it may not be until death.
Debate Round No. 1


1) I agree that love can sometimes be confused with other emotions. But people who find true love know the difference between lust, obsession, and love. Especially if they are already in love with a partner because now they are only trying to recreate what they already have with another.

2) I was looking at that definition more in a romantic context but I would agree with your interruption of what you believe love to be.

3) To say If one finds love outside there relationship its only lust is being a little unfair. You have to give adults the benefit of the doubt when it comes to knowing the difference between these emotions. Its not like your teenage and younger years when you didn’t know what true love really feels like. After years of trail and error you start to know what love means to you. Also I know many people who fall in love easy because we aren’t all the same. Some trust faster than other some fall in love faster than others. Theses are just some reasons why everyone is unique in his/her own way.

4) I also said that it should be held with a grain of salt because of all those factors you just listed. I said “seem” because in fact we don’t know there true feeling but it’s two sides to a coin and we cant truly tell either way. I brought up reality TV because most of the time we can get a small gauge of society trends and what’s going on in the world around us.

5) The Muslim culture is fascinating in many ways, polygyny is permitted but equality is a mandate. You must love and treat all your wives the same if you don’t then its considered breaking the rules. So for this to be written in the holy book would leave you to assume that they did in fact believe it was possible to love two people at once.

6) Being that polygamy is still illegal in America I don’t think the splitting of the will would really be a factor. In reality some siblings also have that same feeling of am I loved equally and who is the parent’s favorite. It all comes down to how secure you are in your self and if you don’t believe you are in fact being love equally then you probably shouldn’t be in the relationship.

7) The numbers just don’t add up when you look at it, out of all the animals that aren’t monogamous we are? This just has man made ideology written all over it.



1. Why would they want to recreate what they have with another? Why would they purposefully do that to their partner, knowing full well they love them? If one loves their partner, why do they need to recreate it? If they already have it with one, that should be enough.

2. Agreed.

3. True love, if it was really true and deep, would take a while to grow between two people. Once one has that bond with another, if it was true love, how can that person believe they love another in the same way? If one really believes it to be true, is it not true that their partner are their one and only? That nobody succeeds them in any way? Also, I am not saying it is only lust, but it can be lust. It can also be a form of attraction to the other, but attraction does not mean love.

4. I agree, it is almost impossible to determine whether what was seen on the reality TV was true or real without asking the cast themselves, therefore it is not a good way to judge whether it is possible to have a good and healthy relationship between those people. Not to mention TV in and of itself can be misleading, regardless of what is being shown.

5. Them believing something is possible or not is not the same as it actually being possible. Nevertheless, I do agree on your point about how the wives must be treated well and with love equally. If there were anyone who would be able to follow those rules and be able to preform them exactly, I believe it may be possible, on this one account.

6. Even if one is not married, the will is not only to those either legally or physically (by blood) related to the person whom is signing the will. One can leave things behind for a close friend or something similar. There is nothing making the person leave their belongings to only those they are related to or are legally with, such as a spouse. And I agree, if you don"t feel you are loved, that relationship is unhealthy. If one was to be in a loving relationship with another, there should be no doubts about one another and whether or not they are truly loved by the other.

7. Also, I did not say we were monogamous creatures. I had said we are social creatures who have interactions with both the same and opposite sex as a way of gauging potential relations. We date, marry, cheat, divorce, and even remarry. These things, all with different people, make us not monogamous. Rarely do you find a couple who have only ever been with each other. Monogamy, in modern times and relating to humans, also has to do with marrying only one person. There are many people who divorce and remarry another. This also makes us not monogamous beings. But that does show it is possible to love more than one person at the same time. More than one person over time? Of course, but not at the same time.
Debate Round No. 2


1) Not everyone believes they should just give all their love to one person if you’re fully capable of loving more than one. Don’t get me wrong its not for everyone but if you feel like you have a lot more love to give why not give it? It’s many single people out there longing for a healthy loving relationship and if they don’t mind sharing with another partner who are we to say it can’t be done.

2) Attraction is a very big part of love because studies should that we see what’s on the outside before we see what’s really on the inside of a person. You have to be attracted to a person before you start getting to love them. Love does take a while to grow so I agree but also u don’t have to try and build a love with two people simultaneously you can build with one and when you feel that you reach the point of love then you can try and find another.

3) I brought up TV only as a gauge on social trends and what’s becoming more of the norm around us. You have to agree that it’s a big world and TV lets us see many different cultures and things we wouldn’t have seen without it. So this topic may seem out of the norm to some but to others who actually live it will think different.

4) If this topic wasn’t looked at as taboo in some eyes I believe the number of people being “cheated” on would be drastically lower and the number of people getting divorced would also be lower if we would see that just because society deems something as immoral doesn’t mean that it really is. We have to start thinking and feeling for our self and stop letting others do it for us.



1. If a person was capable of loving a person more than they are at the moment, why not indulge that one person with all their love? If one has an overflow of love would it not make the relationship that much stronger by giving it to the significant other? Also, not minding and accepting are two different things. If one does not mind, it means they are neither inclined or declining what is being said or asked. They have no preference, meaning if one does not mind sharing a person, it can possibly mean they are not fully accepting it either. Nonetheless, I do agree that if all parties are acceptant of each other and would positively get along with one another in a happy and healthy relationship, that it may be possible.

2. I don"t believe physical appearance has anything to do with love. One can greatly appreciate another"s physique but that does not mean they would want to spend the rest of their life with them. One may believe it is love, to be attracted to someone of great appearance, but if they get to know them, it is possible that person may not be what the first person was looking for, regardless of their attractiveness. Also, while I agree one does not have to love two people starting at the same time, why would one want to "find" love with another after they already have someone they love deeply?

3. Regardless of whether something is the norm, as it is not very relevant to the topic (because some things one culture or society accepts may be completely different in another, therefore norms in our society should not have much to do with whether or not loving two people simultaneously is possible) I do agree that reality TV shows those around the world of different cultures that we may not see without it. However, simply being the norm or not has nothing to do with whether something is possible. For example, it is the norm for most cultures to not wear religious head pieces such as a hijab, however, it does not mean it doesn"t happen. I don"t believe norms in one society should have anything to do with proving something, or making it more acceptable in other places. I do agree some cultures have polygamy, but that has nothing to do with our norms. I still agree that the muslim community finds it acceptable, even though it is not a norm to our society, therefore norms do not mean anything. If it happens in one culture, it happens, it doesn"t negate anything just because it is not a norm in other places.

4. While the probability of cheating being lowered, due to our societies acceptance of lovers including more than two people, is not very testable unless it happens. However, it still depends on the person: some may still not like the idea of loving more than one person, or wanting to be the only person for the other. Some may feel it lessens the bond between the lovers.
Debate Round No. 3


1) Its only so much love you can give to a person, at a certain point in time you will reach a peek where the love you have for them would be the same 5 years down the line or 10 years later. This doesn’t mean that you love them any less but it just means you are both secure & comfortable in what you have. At the end of the day only you and your partner/partners know what you have and how you feel you cant let others option signify how you go about living your life. Also if you don’t mind your partner going out and trying to bring someone else into your circle then you are accepting it. Its not like you can’t walk away from a situation if you don’t accept what’s going on.

2) I’m not saying that you have to fall in love with a person because of their appearance. But you cant down play how important looks are to the masses. It may sound shallow but it’s the hard truth, looks matter and you need to be somewhat attracted to the person that you are trying to start a life with. How many times have you heard people say someone has a great personality but they cant “see them self with them”. We can pretend that we don’t know why they say that but we all really know why.

3) Societies a lot of the times pushes its norms onto people and tries and make you think something isn’t possible because they say so. It is fully possible to love more than one person at a time but because people may look at a 3 person relationship funny it may deter them for doing it.

4) I agree with some of your points here but just because some may feel that it weakens the bound doesn’t at all make it true because other may see it differently. Some may think it makes your relationship stronger because you don’t have to think about whether your being cheated on or anything of that nature because you know the relationship you have and know you can talk to your partner about it and not be judged.



1. I don"t believe that love has a certain limit, I do believe one can love someone more than anyone can measure, however, I do agree with you. Sometimes an abundance of love can be endless but still be stable and without change for many years and the same amount of love would be present. I also can agree with how no one but those in the relationship have any say or right to the matter, only those in the relationship should have an opinion about it. One thing I don"t agree on is walking away from the relationship. If you love the person to the extent that it seems endless and stays like that for years and years, it would not be easy for one to walk away from that just because they don"t accept what happened. It feels, for that person, like the hardest thing they would have to decide because would it really be worth leaving years and years of love behind just because they didn"t like that their parter was trying to get another into their relationship? It is easier said than done, and there are a lot of emotions and feelings going into the act of not accepting something and walking away, there is much more behind it.

2. I do agree that many people find looks important, and occasionally use the "I can"t see myself with them" line because they are not attracted to the other. But again, while it may be more that feel that way, it is not everyone. Sure, one needs to feel attracted to another person, but that can be easily accomplished based on how others make you feel. One becomes attracted(not romantically, but pulled towards another) to a friend by their likes, dislikes, and personality, so what makes a romantic relationship any different? Everyone has their own "types" to whom they are attracted, and it may cause them to feel that they can not spend their life with them and that is okay, everyone is different.

3. I concur, societies make people act in ways they may not have acted due to the pressure put on them and making them believe things are supposed to be a certain way. It also makes them believe other things are wrong and/or unnatural. I don"t believe people deter from it because it seems "funny" but because they have been brought up to think its unnatural or strange or wrong. So I agree, maybe if society was different, everyone may act differently as well and be more accepting of things.

4. That is true, being in an open and honest relationship and being able to communicate between one another does make the relationship stronger. Not having to worry about cheating because everyone gains what they are looking for from the relationship and thus doesn"t make them have to find a new source for it.

5. So, agreeing on almost all of your points, I also agree that, given the right circumstances, it may be possible to love more than one person romantically.
Debate Round No. 4
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