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Modern day dating: Can you love more than one person?

Being "in love" with more than one

We're all probably at the point in our lives where we can say we have loved more than once. But can you be in love with more than one person at the same time?
Woman with two men

It came out of nowhere

It was my last year in school and I was only then realizing that the “real world” was right around the corner. Talk about a crisis. I barely had lived! While my friends were out playing beer pong, I sat at home abiding by my mom's 6 p.m. curfew.

Yes, you heard me. Six o'clock was my curfew during school. What party starts in the afternoon? Perhaps my mom was afraid I may go Girls Gone Wild at the mall…

While I rehash my senior year of college, you must know I was 21. Yet, I hadn't let loose. I mean I considered myself quite the risk taker wearing a tube top to class, but let's be real — I was a pansy. I had to do something unprecedented. I was seeing this guy, and we had chemistry but I was obviously bored — we already had pre-scheduled dates at the local Applebee's (yea this guy was a charmer, what, I wasn't good enough for a TGI Friday's?!).

So, I ventured out to a basketball game with my guy friends. Our college had been a D1 school (I think D stands for division, but it may be the class average too), and I pointed out a forward that was straight out of a GQ magazine. He represented everything bad and I desperately needed that. My friends heckled me and told me I stood no chance with him — and apparently I did (take that suckers!) because we started seeing each other for a while.

The whole time I was seeing both of them but I wasn't technically dating either of them. I felt like a skank, but in a weird way it was empowering. Guys do it to us all the time, right? Wrong! I wish I had foreseen what was to come.

Playing the game takes effort

I fell for both of them — hard. I spent equal time texting, equal time bonding and an equal amount of stressing trying to cope with what I was experiencing. It was like Sister Wives met Ashley Madison and they were all hijacking my brain. Trust me, for a while I enjoyed it. I had found two guys that I really believed I loved. One was stable and respectable, and the other wise and filled with life experience. I cherished different qualities in both of them and I started growing queasy at the thought I was in love with more than one person at the same time.

I mean I've heard of crushing on several different people, but being in love? What made me feel like I was in love with these guys? The fact that they gave me butterflies? Or was that indigestion compounded with attraction?

I really felt I wasn't overestimating my feelings, because I believed that I was a better person with each of them. I wasn't always 100 percent happy all the time, but I figured that's also what testified to how I knew it was more than puppy love. I could see my future with either guy, but I wasn't willing to let anyone go.

What it really meant

Well there you have it folks, a glimpse into my cluttered brain. All I thought about was "I." The answer was sitting there, but I didn't even want to verbalize it. Could it have been possible that I wasn't in love with either of them? I was just in love with the idea? I was so confused about what I wanted that I didn't know who I wanted.

Well, I thought I was on my way to knighthood when I did the “noble” thing by choosing. I would have loved to tell you I picked the right guy but I didn't. They both were duds. I ended up dating them separately later and I wasn't thrilled. Perhaps in the moment I was getting everything I needed from more than one person, so I thought I loved them all. I clearly hadn't met the right person and I wasn't right with myself to know that.

I know people can convince themselves that they have a good thing with several different people, but it just may be your own indecisiveness that has cultivated that thinking. So here I am, hopeful and wiser for knowing that being in love is something you should reserve for one person. And it's far better to wait until that person comes along, preferably when you aren't having a post-graduate crisis.

More dating advice

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