09 March 2009


There are some sad things that I have come across in my life about love and some misconceptions as well. First the sad things.

On a work trip recently a colleague and I were talking about relationships, love, polyamory, lesbianism, family and the like. She asked me what I meant when I said I "fell in love with" or that I "loved" my partners.

I replied that I loved them, but she asked me to define that. So I struggled to find words that fit into her own personal dictionary - which was difficult since we come from such different spaces in the world.

In the end, she told me that she doesn't love people like I do, and in fact that she doesn't love her current partner. She loves her children, but she grew out of falling in love with people and so is very fond of her partner and cares for her, but does not love her.

I found this sad, mostly because of the idea that you could "grow out of falling in love" and that people over the world enter relationships without love, and I know there are many cultures in the world where that happens and has been happening for years, and that in those cultures love can be found... it still makes me sad though.

Right, so if you have grown up and yet still find yourself in love or falling in love with people, don't ever let that go.

So, the second thing is about love as a renewable resource. One thing many poly people say is that "love is not a starvation economy". I'm going to explain that here in writing so that it makes as much sense as I can make it, so that there might be more understanding about love and how it works for us poly people at least.

A starvation economy suggests that if I love A, and then love B, the total love I have for A diminishes as I'm now sharing it with B also. Its probably easier to talk in terms of food, which is a finite/starvation economy.

If I have a loaf of bread that I intend to share with A, then we're going to get around 50% of the bread each. If B comes along and asks for some bread, then we'll all get around 33% of the bread. With each person asking for some bread, the amount of bread available to each person lessens.

Love is not like this. If a mother loves her first child, then if she has another, then the first child does not have less love. If a person loves their friend, then making a new friend does not mean that the love for the first friend diminishes.

Time is a finite resource, but time and love are two different things.

So I love James, and I love him very very much. When I fell in love with Scott, I didn't start loving James less. If anything I loved him more. When I fell in love with Nadia, I didn't love James or Scott less, I love them all.

Love is actually infinite. There is no upper limit to the capacity of love people have inside them, though there may be limitations on whether people can access that or not - looking at my example above.

I have had people ask me why I fell in love with someone else if I loved my husband. Its because I could, because I can, because that's the way I'm wired. I tend to fall in love easily and out of love slowly. This does not make me wrong, this just makes me different.

Being able to love multiple people is not immoral, is not unethical, is not illegal. Acting upon it might be if it is not discussed or disclosed - see my earlier post.

So, I hope that explains my position about love not being finite.

1 comment:

Transcendancing said...

This makes a lot of sense to me. When you share emotion, you get more emotion - it multiplies, doesn't become less. I think you explained this really well. Also, I think if I stopped falling in love... it would only be because I'd be dead. I am sad along with you that her experience of love is that you 'grow out of it'. I can't imagine growing out of love with the people that I am in love with, and keep falling in love with. /end ramble (sorry!)