Clearly it cannot be true that there is only the one person with whom we can fall in love, as indicated in the previous article.
If that were so then what are the chances of finding that one person? We often find our life partner at the same college, or working for the same company, or living around the corner. There must be plenty more potential lovers from the other billions around the planet.
So there has to be quite a number of people with whom we are capable of loving, and who are capable of loving us.
One point that needs raising here is the question of whether love is an ultimate condition, whole and unconditional, or is it on a kind of loving gradient. Can we love someone, but not quite as strongly as we love someone else? It would seem logical to assume this is so. It could be argued that when one is in love with someone that love prevents us from loving someone else for the duration of the love. But there are just too many examples of people with overlapping love that I feel we can discount this argument. A more pertinent question might be whether love is a permanent state or just temporary, but that is for a later article.
If we are able to fall in love with multiple partners it just doesn’t seem possible that we can fall wholly and equally in love with them all, one of them will be favored.
So the answer to the question “Do you love me?” is not as simple as “Yes” or “No”. It should be more like “I think I do, quite a lot”. In fact the question is not right. Better is “How much do you love me?” which makes it slightly easier to answer, with perhaps “A lot, but not enough to want to be your life partner at present” or “Enough to continue dating”.
How far along the gradient of love do you need to go to be satisfied, to be able to commit to a life partner? I don’t find it easy to put this gradient into words, but here goes: in love, very much in love, deeply in love, truly in love, madly in love. I suppose everyone has their own idea of how much they need to love to someone before wishing to share their life with this person, possibly depending on such things as age and desperation, and probably on other factors such as money.
In fact it’s not difficult to imagine a couple agreeing to become life partners who are not in love.