Can we fall for two people at the same time?

Earlier today, I submitted a post, Why love at first sight is a myth, which argues that establishing a deep, long-lasting connection with someone goes beyond the purely physical.

So let's assume that a woman -- we'll call her Martha -- is physically attracted to a man named Joe and clicks with him on a more personal level, leading her to think she's in love with him.

Now, let's make the scenario even more intriguing by adding another potential suitor to the mix named Matt, and we'll presume Martha is sure her feelings for Matt are no less intense than those she has for Joe.

Is it possible for Martha to be in love with Joe and Matt at the same time?

These are the kinds of story lines that great plays and soap operas are made of, but the question is whether it's even feasible in real life.

Here's my view:

I think Martha can love Joe and Matt at the same time, but to varying degrees. And who's to say that she loves exactly the same things about them?

Maybe Joe is smart, romantic, and artistic, while Matt has a great body, loves the same shows as Martha, and exudes a level of self-confidence unlike any other man she's ever met.

There will always be different attributes we value in different people, and love interests are no exception.

But the key questions to be asked are:

  • Whom do I see myself in a relationship with for the long haul?
  • Whom am I most compatible with?
  • Whom do I clash less with? 
  • Whom would I be prouder introducing to my parents and friends?
  • Whose personality most closely mirrors mine?
It might be a close finish, but one person will usually edge out the other. 

It's important to make a decision as soon as possible. You don't want any of these individuals to feel as though they're being strung along. You can't have your cake and eat it too -- we're talking about people's feelings here. 

Once you've made your choice, you may experience some buyer's remorse over time. Maybe you'll gradually realize that you made the wrong decision. You never know -- the person you turned down might welcome you with open arms. But if he or she is already taken or no longer interested, you should respect the person's wishes and move on. Hopefully, the two of you can remain friends.

There's no reason to think that we can't be in love with two people at the same time. The extent of those feelings, however, depend on myriad factors. In most cases, something about one person will be a deal breaker, or close to it. Maybe he has money problems, doesn't want kids, or is a hardcore atheist. Or, there are certain qualities one person has that clearly outshine the other's, e.g., one of the guys volunteers at a hospital to help sick children. 

It's up to you to decide which person would make a better partner. It all boils down to whom you can't see yourself living without. 

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