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Psychologist on whether one can be in love with two people at once

Psychologist on whether one can be in love with two people at once Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Sometimes in relationships, it may seem that we're becoming interested in another person, even though we're not ready to give up on the first one. This raises the question of whether it's possible to love two people at the same time.

Psychologist Dmytro Ostapenko provides an answer to this question.

Can one love two people simultaneously?

Life and relationships are something so unpredictable and mysterious that you may not fully understand your feelings. There are individuals who, while in a relationship or even married, find someone else they are drawn to. This raises the question: Can people love two partners simultaneously, such as a spouse and a lover?

The psychologist suggests that people often confuse newness of feelings with genuine feelings.

"When we say that we love two people simultaneously, it seems to me that we still have obligations, a sense of responsibility, a sense of guilt, certain promises remaining regarding one person," says Dmytro.

He gives an example: if a girl has been in a relationship with a guy for a long time and meets another guy who attracts her, she starts trying to be here and there at once, but she also has doubts about both of the guys.

In such cases, it is better to have a conversation and pause the relationship, as you've encountered someone else and want to explore a connection with a new partner. However, this only applies to dating.

"When you are married, when you have already made promises to each other, and you start looking at others, then that's a problem. So, until you enter into marriage, feel free to choose, look around, but once you're married, you need to focus on that person because the sense of newness and comparison provokes thoughts that you made a mistake in your choice," says the psychologist.

This indicates that people haven't learned to build relationships in a family.

"It's important to understand that entering into new relationships may lead to a similar situation in six months because the novelty effect fades, and infatuation does too. So, it's not love, just temporary infatuation. It's crucial to realize that when you don't feel as intense emotions toward your spouse, but you consciously chose this person and choose to stay with the one you love, that's true mature behavior," adds the psychologist.

In conclusion, the attraction to another person during a relationship or marriage is not love but simply the novelty effect.