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Is It Possible to Love?

Everything is possible, right? Do you actually believe this overtly used phrase? While it may apply to most things, does it apply to most things that we might associate with romantic love? Well, read on, think about it, and tell me. I am curious about the possibilities!

Is it possible to love someone very much heavier/shorter than you and not feel as if you are being scrutinized for your taste and lack of options instead of being heralded for the conviction of your choice?

Is it possible to love two people simultaneously? Is it possible to be in love with two people simultaneously? What is the difference between these two loves? Of course there is the odd case when one person is actually very much in love with two people but in general it may be more the case that the love is not equivalently being distributed. More to the point it may be the case that while in love with both, the love for one is growing while it is ebbing with the other one.

Is it possible to love someone outside of your race/class and not encounter pity (she/he couldn’t do any better), contempt (look at those two losers), or concern (their kids are going to have a tough life). Is it possible to experience a socially ostracized love and not be dramatically scarred?

Is it possible to love anyone without someone having an opinion of it (with the irony of the fact that the person who is casting stones at your love was previously hit by rocks herself)? Is it possible to love a little when you are loved a lot? Is it possible to love a lot when you are loved a little?

Is it possible to love someone from afar, someone off limits to you for various reasons, loving them beyond the incredulous innuendo, unfounded rumors created by insecure people, and beyond busybodies, and have that love sustained?

Is it possible to love someone who doesn’t love himself? Is it possible to love someone who really doesn’t love you? Is it possible to love someone who appears to not love anyone (even though they claim to somehow love you)?

Is it possible to love anyone, someone, or everyone? Why? Why not?


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I'm a romanic at heart so it may be foolish of me to think that everything is possiable including love and everything that goes along with it. I think it is possiable to love anyone, everyone or some one because everyone is different and no two people are alike. So who are we to say what kind of love is possiable for another person. I have personally experienced love once and although I am not with that person anymore, I still remember that love that was between us. I know there is a lot of great love stories out there but i'd like to share a personal experience rather than talk about a scene from a movie that isn't real.

Love is when you put the person you love before yourself. I can remember being really sick and at my now ex-boyfriend's house and him letting me sleep while he cooked me dinner, and then served it to me. Now because no one knows who I am talking about let me fill in some things. The man I am talking about absolutely hates cooking, doesn't even cook for himself. That for me was one of the most romantic things in my mind that displayed love. He put aside the fact that he hated to cook because he loved me and knew I was sick and would appreciate the effort.

Love to me means sometimes putting aside the things you hate to do because of the person you love. Love to me means being able to be at your lowest low and knowing that the other person will still be by your side. Love means so many things to so many people. Love is something that you can't control like so many other things in life.

JW, I loved that you made the distinction between "Can you love someone?" and "Can you be in love with someone?" I think that's an important distinction and one that is very relevant.

As a young teenager, I was in a relationship with a boy down the street, we were best friends and I was very much in love. Things got complicated and he wound up moving away, but we continued our relationship for a couple months after that. Our relationship fizzled due to the distance and the negative influence of others (mainly his mother!) But my love for him stayed the whole time. Well, about 2 years after he moved away, he came out that he was homosexual. I wasn't hurt or confused like everyone expected me to be, and when he moved back we continued our "best-friendship" like we never missed a day. I guess as teenagers, we didn't know how to interpret our close-ness and assumed that being in a relationship was the right thing to do.

Anyway, I still loved him even though I knew he didn't love me "like that." So that's why I think it's possible to be in love with someone that isn't in love with you. I was miserable until I met my current boyfriend. Things at first were great, I had my boyfriend and I had my best friend, but soon enough, like everyone warned me, the love I had for my boyfriend and the love I had for my best friend conflicted. I was definitely in love with my boyfriend, and loved my best friend. My boyfriend didn't know how to seperate those two ideas and felt that I was more emotionally attached to my best friend than I was to him, causing a great deal of problems, fights, and an ultimatum.

A great deal of this article was relevant to my life bceause I am dating a man of a different race. Previously, I had never been attracted to anyone of a different race, so when I met my boyfriend it was a whole new ballgame for me. I noticed that we were raised differently and have different ideas of what's right and wrong in certain situations, but that to me has nothing to do with the fact that we are two different races, it's about the fact that we didn't have the same parents growing up so of course our values and ideas are going to be different. Both of our sets of parents are accepting. (As far as I know.) His parents don't speak much English, but they try when I'm around so I don't feel left out of the conversation.

Society hasn't been too cruel to me. I've heard stories and seen things on television about interracial couples and society's horrible reaction, but I have not seen that put onto myself. If people have talked, I haven't heard it. If people give me looks, I haven't seen it. Maybe because "love is blind" or maybe the people that I associate myself with wouldn't have a problem, beacuse there is no problem. Two of my best friends are dating outside their race and are in happy, long-term relationships. Good for them. Good for anyone that's in an interracial relationship. I haven't had to deal with the hardships of this, but I'm sure at some point it will happen.

Now that I think about it, something did happen. I had met my boyfriend at work, and my friend's father was in the same place shopping and had spotted my boyfriend (I had told him his name and which department he worked in.) Later on, he had said to my face "Wow, you must be desperate." This comment irritated me, but mostly because I assumed he thought my boyfriend wasn't good looking. Maybe I'm that naive. But what's interesting, is that my friend's father is a product of an interracial relationship. His mother is white, his father is black, so to think that he would make a comment like that is surprising and interesting to me now that I look back at it. I guess that's his internalized oppression coming though.

J.W. – First of all, I want to tell you how much I “love” your column. Your topics of conversation are very intriguing. Even though I do not consider myself a regular contributor to your blog, I look forward to “wandering” with you and to the responses you initiate in each and every discussion.

As far as this latest dialogue, I view love as a two-way street. You’ve got to give love in order to receive it. All too often, many relationships suffer because partners play the “tug of war” game and there is no equality. When this happens, one begins to search for love in other places. As the once famous country music singer Waylon Jennings sang, “I was looking for love in all the wrong places.” This is where loving more than one person simultaneously comes into play. Eventually there isn’t enough love to be distributed between both people. The love in one relationship flourishes while the other one diminishes like the flicker of a candle in a warm, gentle breeze until it is finally extinguished.

Love should be felt from within and shouldn’t be based on physical appearance. It shouldn’t matter whether one is heavier/smaller or shorter/taller. It also shouldn’t be based on someone having a physical handicap. What about the individual that may be a paraplegic or quadriplegic? Would we allow ourselves to not fall in love due to this handicap for fear of the unknown? Most connections are usually initiated based on appearances only. It is only until this attraction happens that we can decide whether there is a true love connection. If this is the case, then the saying “Love at first sight” is justified.

In regard to whether one can love outside their race/class without being judged, I frown on the narrow-minded society who views this unacceptable. Love is a very strong bond between two individuals and should not be forfeited due to race or class differences. The views of others on the subject also shouldn’t be taken into account. In my opinion, it is nobody’s business other than your own who you love and who loves you. If it works for the two bodies, then love should not be restricted.

As I conclude my thoughts, I can’t help but wonder how love can be such a beautiful thing. Regardless of race, ethnic background, appearance, class, or even education one should be able to give and receive love to the individual of their choice without any judgment or fear of being judged. I do believe, however, that in order to experience love, you must first love yourself!

I think that love and hate are two of the strongest words in our language. When you ask is it possible to love, my immediate answer is yes. I am young, but I believe in love. I believe that I have found love. There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. This may sound like a cliché to some, but I am a firm believer.

Love however, has always been a hard topic for me.

I am in a relationship in which I love my partner. We have been together for quite some time now. I still love the butterflies I get when I see him walk in the room; I love the way he kisses me and the way he makes me feel. I tell him that I love him everyday, because I do.

Here’s the “hard” part for me…

I have a friend that I have known since I was three years old. He was my boyfriend in nursery school (haha) and again in sixth grade. At those ages I know it is hard to think that love could even come to mind. We grew up together, we know all each others secrets, we don’t hide anything from each other. I am IN love with him. I don’t think I could ever find someone that I can connect with on so many different levels than I can with him.

Is this unfair to my boyfriend? Yes. Although sometimes I feel guilty about it, it seems like it is something that I can not help. You can love more than one person at a time.. it just may not be the same kind of love.

I think I can explain the difference between these two different forms of love. I have learned to love my boyfriend. After being with someone for a certain amount of time I think it is someone inevitable. It is not a bad love, nor an inconvenient love. I am happy. I do love him. The love I have for my long term friend, I can say is more of an enchanted love. I love that has consumed me as a person, without my acknowledgement, without knowing that it was happening to me.

I have seen and heard so many definitions of the word love. To me love is freedom. I think there is nothing better than love and when you have it you should cherish it. Be open to loving others and having them love you back in return.

This response is all over the place, so please bear with me as I attempt to respond to a variety of questions.

Of course it’s possible to love two people simultaneously because there are different levels on which you can love someone and different people fit into our lives in different ways that may make us love them. And perhaps it is possible to be in love with two people at the same time. It makes me think of Casablanca because she was in love with her husband, but also in love with Rick. Is this realistic? I can’t say I have ever been in love with two people simultaneously, so I’m not sure how that would flow for someone, but I think that ultimately life is complicated and you never know the stories of people that put them in the situations there are in. A somewhat relevant story: I dated a guy from home my freshmen year of college for a little while before he broke my heart, but throughout the rest of the semester he kept me hanging on by a thread telling me he didn’t want to be with me, but we would see what would happen during the summer. Then he asked me if I thought it was possible to love someone, but sleep with someone else and being the honest person that I am I said yes partially because I was sleeping with someone else, but wanted to be with him. But my point is that I think we can form intense emotional bonds with people (call it love, call it lust, call it whatever you want, it’s still an intense emotional bond) and not necessarily have it be monogamous. I wasn’t in love with the guy I was sleeping with in the traditional sense we define love, however, I was ‘in love’ with him in regards of the place he held in my life. It was a purely physical relationship, but that love I had for them was more than just the fact that he had the ability to please me, but because the way we communicated and connected on an emotional level was through sex.

Love with social boundaries: I am currently in a relationship that has social stigma written all over it. Not only am I for the first time embarking in a homosexual relationship, but I am black and my girlfriend is white. So, I have encountered questions like “are you with her because you got raped and have a thing against men now?” which for the record, I don’t…but even beyond this relationship I have lived in predominantly white communities through most of my adolescence and being a black female in a relationship with white men was a very interesting experience that became a focal point because my race always was for people. I was always that black girl that never fit the standards of what everyone else thought was black and in that regard I was accepted into white communities because I was their ‘oreo.’ My parents are also in a interracial relationship and there have been countless times when school teachers, and doctors and bank tellers and grocery store clerks have been surprised to see them together and even more surprised to meet them at school functions. So no, I don’t think it’s possible to be in an interracial relationship, or a homosexual relationship and not be ostracized because our society immediately sets up criteria for relationships and what they should look like. And even the most liberal person who says they don’t care suddenly does care when their best friend, or their brother, or their sister or whoever walks into a room with a significant other that isn’t and wasn’t what they had expected (this doesn’t mean that they automatically go to a negative place, but there is a natural and involuntary psychological response when caught by surprise).

Love a little vs. Love a lot: I don’t think love is equal, and I’m not sure if I think love needs to be. But also, how exactly do we measure our love or someone else’s love? I had a ex-boyfriend who was definitely more into me than I was him, and one of the main reasons we broke up is because I knew it was unfair to him to not be with someone who was on the same level as him. And the inverse is also true. I think you can have a healthy relationship with a person who may have a different intensity of love for you, but I think there needs to be an understanding there and a reason for why that intensity is different. In my case, I knew that I could never be in love with him because we would always be in different places in our lives and want different things and have a disconnect solely based on our very different backgrounds and histories. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great person and isn’t going to make someone very happy one day, but it wasn’t the right relationship for me. But if you are in a relationship with a person who is in love with you from day one and not pressuring about the fact that they are in love with you and want to be with you forever or whatever it may be, then it could work because relationships take time and each person needs to work through their own emotional baggage to get on the same level with the person they are with.

Loving someone seemingly incapable of loving: Yes because the person who appears to not love anyone is masking themselves from other people as a means of protecting themselves. And thus their claim to love you doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or that they are lying, but that you embody something that makes them feel safe and connected to you on a level that they don’t get to connect with other people. I also don’t think you need to love yourself in order to love someone else, initially. You definitely need to be in a place in your life where you are open to change and options and opinions, but sometimes the people we fall in love with are the people who help us realize how much there is to love about ourselves and help to pull us away from our demons. Not always, and it definitely necessary to at least know you aren’t as secure with yourself before embarking on a relationship than to pretend to be secure and realize you aren’t and it’s also necessary for the other person to know that you are insecure (that doesn’t mean they need to know all of your insecurities right off the bat) but love does have the power to “cure.”

It is possible to love someone you are forbidden to love. If anything, this makes the love (or idea of love) stronger. Because you cannot have this person, you may begin to feel more for them-an overcompensation for what it is you do not have. This forbidance also gives you a secret, and we all know how much we cherish those. If your forbidden love is your secret, there is a significance to that which might be the most powerful love there is. It’s the state of limbo…you were once in a place where you wanted to love this person and now you have loved them. You can’t go any further because it might take away from the specialty of the relationship you have now. Or will it?

J.W.
I think the answer to all your questions is yes. Yes it is POSSIBLE to love in ways in which society shuns us to. Not everyone can answer "yes" to every question, but some can answer "yes" to one. I think that everyone is capable of love, (on some level) but the fact that it is individualistic makes it hard to decide what love actually is for everyone, and therefore leads many to judge what is morally right and wrong.

To quote a song I like, (Mae, Last Transmissions2)"Love's the only thing that keeps you safe and saneWhen you breathe it in, you feel it in your heart and brain." Love is one of the few human virtues that can unite us and divide our world. So again I say "yes" anything is possible with love...

It is unfortunate that we live in a society that judges us for who / how we love, when love is something that happens to us, sometimes unexpectedly, and without motivations beyond fulfilling an emotional need that, we all deserve to have met. We live in a society that ironically promotes free will while its members continuously interject opinions and hateful / judgmental remarks that negate the overall concept of freedom. It seems hypocritical to engage in a loving relationship with someone, reaping the benefits of that relationship, while judging or ostracizing another for loving someone who they feel emotionally connected to in the same way.

I believe it is possible to love someone, regardless of their surface qualities. This includes race, gender, and physical attributes of any kind. I believe it is possible to love someone who is not an equal in terms of class or education. I believe we lust over these qualities but love goes deeper. I also believe that many people who have not genuinely experienced love, may actually have a perception that lust is love, and would only realize that this perception is false if, in fact, they are fortunate enough to experience love that fosters respect, trust, equality and consideration. Perception is reality until our perspective is changed.

Society, feel free to love who you want to, and I’ll love who I love, beyond any unsolicited counsel which lacks sincere concern for my happiness.


Interesting questions, and I'll respond with a question: is love a feeling or a set of actions? I've heard many times that love isn't how you feel, it's what you do-- how you treat the person or people you love, the lengths you would go to in order to please or be with them, how willing you are to put aside or negotiate your personal desires in order to satisfy theirs, etc. Can you love a person and not treat them lovingly? I've seen it happen many times where people who claim to love another person treat them with utter disregard and disrespect. On the flip side, I've seen people treated with care and tenderness by someone who professes not to love them. Which was love and which ws not? Whose place is it to decide?

Now, of course there is a difference between words, feelings and actions. A person's verbalization of their love may be moot in the face of loving or unloving behavior. However, the more salient question for me is, what is the difference between 'feeling' and 'doing' love? Do our feelings matter as much as our actions?

I remember growing up picking petals off of a flower singing to myself, ‘he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not...’. If I picked the right petal, he loved me and it was that simple. Now that I’ve gotten older, I realized that love is much more complicated than this.

My whole life there has only been one love that is unwavering, and that is the love I feel for my family. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt a love as powerful or meaningful. My love for others seems to alter based on my mood, wants and needs. My love for my family will never run out. I can’t say the same for the love I’ve felt in a relationship.
I think that love between two people in a relationship is ultimately selfish. Even if the other person is loving a lot and I am not as into it, I am still benefitting from the pleasure of feeling desired and special. In all of my past relationships, I have never ended one because: ‘I wasn’t right for them’. Every end came either from a difference in goals (my goals), I was bored, or they didn’t fit into my life. Now it becomes ‘he loves me not, he loves me...wait, he doesn’t have a job?!’

I asked my Dad how he defines love. Since he is a business man, he typically said that love is a partnership. A little give, a little take, and as long as the give is as much as the take, everybody should be happy...right? Now this is starting to sound like trading baseball cards as a kid. Is love merely a business transaction between two people? Is it even possible in such an unjust society for any type of egalitarian relationship to exist? ‘He loves me, he loves me not, but will he ante up some give with all the give I’m about to...give’. Following?

I don’t think being ‘in love’ exists. Love is love. Personally, when I get to know somebody, I grow to love them. Whether it’s a friend, a boyfriend, or the lady who swipes my card at Clinton dining hall. When I grow close and begin to love somebody, I start to care what happens to them and how they feel. This could be mutual or not. I haven’t discovered a distinction between the love except for the factor of sexual attraction which is attached to physical connections. Personally I avoid mentioning sex when I’m speaking about love. I’m with Marvin Gaye when he stated that they are two separate entities that can feed off of each other, but one is not necessary for the other to endure.

Now my head hurts and I don’t think I’ve solved any of the questions presented- but hey, that’s philosophy isn’t it? So I suppose until I work out this puzzle of L-O-V-E, maybe I’ll just stick with my old childhood methods. ‘He loves me, he loves me not...she loves me?’ Oh boy...

No matter how much we philosophically debate the concept of love, everyone must realize that love is an individualized experience that no one person can define for another. Perhaps if a novel was started at the beginning of time, and written non-stop until now, then we would have a mild understanding of this truly complex emotion. First of all, let me say that love is not a constant. It is ever-changing, ever-growing and fading, but not necessarily everlasting. It must first be established and nourished, but one must also remember that without continued effort it will cease to exist. Love is not a fallacy, but rather a necessity that often transcends understanding of one’s own personal relationships. Why must one love? To love no one is to live an empty life, void of happiness, compassion, and friendship.

On that note, there are many different types of love. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love my car. It may be for this reason that it is so difficult to discuss the true meaning of love, or to define true love in general. It is possible to love many people at once…as I have said I love my friends and my family. However, I’m having an internal debate as to whether it is possible to be IN love with more than one person. I have been in love with one person, and been in lust with another at the same time. I have loved someone, and loved the IDEA of somebody else. But I find it difficult to imagine myself expressing true love to two different individuals at the same time. The totality of something is the sum of its parts. If one partitions romantic love into different parts, then how can you really call these separate parts love? I think all I’ve done is raised more questions and confused myself more than I was when I started. Why do we love? It is an easy emotion to express, but a difficult one to understand…

“Love is simple, it’s a philosophy” so I’ve heard it said. Who we love whether it’s a pet, a car, a parent, a friend, a sibling, or our self is simple. The feelings and/or act of loving are there for all of us. Will that love compel us to buy both puppies. Do we channel that love into an intimate, sexual relationship with another. Do we harness that love into meaningful work that impacts the quality of life of those around us. Do we give into the need of our spouse, we so love, to have another child. We all have loved. There are many types of love.

It’s how we choose to handle and acknowledge the responsibilities that come attached to “loving” and “being loved” that become complicated. How those responsibilities are defined by societal mores often makes” loving” even more difficult to navigate. Then believing, as I do, that morality is relative, requires us all, requires me, to be even more mindful of the loving relationships entered into. Because, as all of those who have posted in this blog, seem to be expressing: is a desire to be able to “love” freely.

What is missing in this conversation is the understanding that because love is so compelling and profound and often defined differently amongst those around us, we need to be sensitive to the impact that love will ultimately have on those around us. How will it affect my relationship with my parents, other of my friends, my job, how I see and feel about myself. So, as you move through your loving relationships: love fully, love mindfully.


JW-

Great topic. Not only is love something everyone can relate to in some way...it's also a subject that approaches the "guts" of philosophy.

I enjoyed reading all the other responses to your post. Each was articulate, thought provoking, and on some level I found I connected with most of the descriptions of love offered.

But I think the fact that there is so much variation on the description of love points to a larger question. What is the nature of love? Is it something we can pinpoint? Do we have the capability to fully understand it?

I believe that love is real...and dare I say it, JW...absolute. As humans we are lucky enough to be able to catch glimpses of it. We can feel some of those feelings. We can experience art or music in its purest form. We can see an eagle in flight. But I don't believe we have the capacity to fully grasp it's true nature.

Different aspects of love are revealed to each person as experience or reason dictates, but the true nature of love is out of our capacity to understand it. The bits and pieces we all experience are what we relate to others. Hence the difficulty in putting together a cohesive, encompassing definition. It's similar to asking what one's definition of God would be.

I can see why love is a topic of interest to you. If one accepts my view of love, then it follows that some have a deeper understanding of love than others. Those who seek it. Those who are well read. Those who understand art. Those exposed to philosophical thought. They will be the ones who can experience higher love.

Therefore, an argument can be made that an understanding of love IS related to social class, education, exposure to the world. The ability to discover a purer love is not necessarily equal. What do you think, JW?

There seems to be many more women commenting on the issue of "love" than men. Maybe I'm wrong since many authors names are abbreviated, but an interesting observation that may deserve a seperate discussion all-together.

Nonetheless, it seems that the crux of all your questions goes to whether love can occur independent of external stimuli or is it based on reciprication and/or environmental factors. While I've romantically loved someone before, I think I'd be nieve to say that thoughts of how others viewed our relationship, her race, how much she loved herself, and how much love was reciprocated back to me did not cross my mind and in some even indirect way, affect my love for her. Moreover, these issues appear to have been more present when I was in a relationship with a woman whom I didn't romantically love. It takes a very strong, and in some ways oblivious person to disregard the social influences and pedigree that shape our thoughts and emotions.

In addition, love is energy and something that is largely influenced by the amount of time and energy spent with a person. So as far as loving two people "equally" at the same time, I don't think it's possible. Even if you can love two people to the same degree, you'll likely love them for different reasons right? I mean, unless your moto was "the more the merrier," why else who you need two people instead of one if they both offered the same stuff? I'd say that loving two people for different reasons, even if you love each of them to the same degree, is inherently unequal. I mean, "seperate but equal" is not really equal.

I couldn’t resist the temptation to step back into this conversation and ask: What is the purpose of Love? Are those profound and compelling feelings we’ve all experienced at some point innate? Do those feelings of love protect our social groups? Am I a better parent or partner because I have those “loving” feelings? How have we complicated that “love” by our personal and/or societal moral codes? I believe that if we ask first if there is a purpose for “love” and conclude that there is or is not then we can further ask … if we love? What do you think?

I've loved several times, in an array of circumstances that crossed ethnic, religious and physical majority-approved, social constructs.

I'm a white dude, raised Catholic, though I now refer to myself as an atheist whose thoughts seem to relate to humanistic, buddhist and nihilistic ideas. My first wife was black, my second younger than me, my lover 4'11", older than me and Jewish. Before and in between these relationships I've shared connections with other people whose backgrounds significantly differed from my own. I've loved more than one person simultaneously, and while experiences since then tempt me to argue I didn't actually love two people at once, I don't like to diminish past experiences in which I professed love. I think, for me at least, if I felt it was love then, at least how I define it.

I've been involved in some taboo-bending situations, somehwhat experimental when considering I've been coming of age in a puritanical society. I dove into dating, or at least establishing connections with people, and oddly enough, I recall toward the tail end of that experiencing a sort of emptiness and sadness, which had nothing to do with love, but which foreshadows the future.

I know that, at least for me, intimacy is increased significantly if there is a connection that feeds my heart, let's me be my self and feel beautiful doing it and makes me feel safer in the world. I've discovered that when such a bond is formed, especially if the connections on so many levels are intense, attempts to love more than one person or perhaps intimately share yourself with more than one individual becomes confusing and bordering toward dangerous, at least when considering the preservation of the relationship at that moment. On one hand, you can feel thrilled for a friend acting uninhibited and pure and beautiful, but at the same time, excitement can become sadness. There's something to sharing yourself on several levels with another person, and also having parts of your relationship that only the two of you have access to. Some might see that as possessive and others as surrendering to cultural conditioning, while predictions of eternal damnation probably come from many. But all taht is null and void when the individual has considered both and is compelled to go with a current desire, as a result of the unpredictable realizations matters of the heart inspire. It then becomes up to that individual to decide if that is a positive place to be, and if not, then work on overcoming barriers of the mind to reach a more desirable place.

Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer, but choices people must make for themselves. Testing the waters may bring one to that choice or someone may make it up front and go with it. As long as relationships are healthy, I think it simply becomes a matter of owning decisions and feeding them positive energy, because there doesn't appear to be any right or wrong answer, just individual manifestations.

Everything is possible and feasible in a philosophical world if you release your minds social constraints, which holds you back from achieving the impossible. We frequently cannot stretch our thoughts about a subject beyond the way we have been socialized to think about or deal with a topic. While referring to love, our socialization plays a very large role in the way in which we learn how to show love and what it means to us.

I think it is definitely possible to love someone heavier or shorter than you because our need to desire someone to look a certain way is all socially constructed for us to believe. Personally, I don’t believe there would be scrutiny for my decision to be in a relationship with someone outside the social norms. I do believe there are social constraints put on the relationship by other members of the society but those feelings don’t specifically impact my relationship so it ultimately shouldn’t matter. I shouldn’t have to define my relationship for other people or the rationale for why I am in a relationship. The society will put scrutiny on my relationship but it would be my decision to either face it and talk about their rationale or give it the silent treatment and choose to ignore it. The people who have the scrutiny can either choose to accept my decision or look the other way.

In our culture, we are taught to love one person at a time and to feel as though it is important for us to remain committed to that person. Realistically though, this too is a socialization we are taught from a young age- we are taught to make a decision to be with either one person or another- we cant have both (or we can’t have our cake and eat it too). In other cultures, they are capable of doing it just fine though. It is usually done with a partilineal line because a man can have more than one partner but not a female, which is an argument for another day.

I agree in many ways that we cannot remain equally committed to both people we are in a relationship with but is that solely because of our socialization? This is a question I cannot answer because I am a part of this culture but if I were to guess, I would say it can be done. While in love with two people, we would love them differently and would love different things about them- we do this all the time in relationships as we love one aspect of one partner and another quality of a different person. Rarely do we find distinct similarities in the people we choose to be in love with so the same thing with would likely happen in love with two people at the same time.

Realistically, I think you can be in love with someone and not receive any stigmas if the people in your group are cool with you on almost all levels. However, on a social level, it is much different. Our society is a society in which stigmatizes things which people couldn’t even be stigmatized. As we become a more diverse society, we also become a more stigmatized one. The same things happen with love all the time. As for being scarred, I don’t think it’s the correct adjective for the situation. It sometimes isn’t accepted by others but with most people, it becomes a way of making them step out of their comfort zones. People will give you looks because it is different from their norms but likely they don’t even know how to define their own norms.

It is very possible to be in love with someone who doesn’t love him or her self. Love, many times, is a confidence boost which can help you to become someone you’re not. It gives you confidence to know that someone will have your back and be there for you. Love is a confidence-builder and can help a person learn to love themselves. We put many social constraints on love instead of letting us just love who we ultimately feel attracted to, but then even attraction is socially constructed- where does the social construction of our love lives end?

JW
Love is a very strong word. Its context is vast in nature but very definite. Yes, it is possible to love, but often enough, the word "love" is used out of context. Over the years, the meaning of love has continued to wear off mainly because of the way youngsters use it; the usage continues with them and they assume when they have a little interest in a person they are in love.
I like the way you asked about the possibility of loving two people simultaneously, and being in love with two people simultaneously. It is very possible to love two people simultaneously. I love both my mother and father. I love my brother and sister. I love each and every one of them simultaneously. But when I say I am in love, it’s a different scenario. I do not think it is possible to be in love with two people at the same time. When you are in love with a person, you are willing to push it to the limit to please a person. Though there are over six billion people walking the face of the earth, it’s a handful of them you’ll ever find connecting with you the exact way you need. It’s not every female/male you wake up with in the morning that you’ll want to keep seeing their face for sixty years and still smile. When you are in love with a person, you can’t fall in love with another because the love for your lover is so strong it immunes your feelings against others.

The question of love all depends on how we are applying the word love. I feel like I love everyone on this planet, but not in a romantic way but in a compassionate way so to say that I feel a deep concern for the well-being of all the souls of this planet. In my life I have also loved in a specific way, or at least I thought I did. This kind of romantic love is something different entirely but still, it is love. The love of a mother or father for their child, the love of elderly spouses for each other, the love of a human for its pet, the love of people for their possessions. All these forms of love say to me that in this realm of emotion, connection, and desire all things are possible.

However odd, exceptional, or unique each instance of love is they are all still love; if a man has a deep, almost unhealthy, love for consumer electronics, is that any different that many women’s seemingly endless love for shopping and clothing? What I am trying to say is that when I talk about love I get an image in my head of this vast open space with endless boundaries that can encompass an unlimited number of possibilities. Interracial love, the love of a very obese man for a very skinny woman or vice versa, the love of possessions, the love of animals, the love of children, the love of a sports team, the love of chocolate, the love of fine furniture, the love of beautiful art or poetry…

Love is an endless list of possibilities. When someone is struck by love for someone or something it overpowers all of what they know. Many times people fall in love and want to deny that love. Take for example the number of men who in their 50s finally admit to themselves that they have really loved men their entire lives and have just been denying themselves.

So JW if I were to answer all of your “is it possible” questions I would simply say yes. This is not to say that all of these different kinds of love do not come with their difficulties. Hardcore sports fans suffer at every defeat (just look to the Red Sox before 2004), or that interracial relationships encounter stigma wherever and whenever they are undertaken. But to say that a certain love is not possible is to establish a boundary for something that simply cannot be contained within any social norm or lengthy definition.

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