more than one romantic relationship

September 22, 2008 1:19am CST
Do you think a person can maintain more than one romantic relationship at the same time without bringing harm to himself or others? Why or why not? Have you seen others try to do this? If so how healthy were the relationship?
1 response
• United States
22 Sep 08
The answer is probably it depends. It depends on the person, it depends on the expectations of the relationships and it depends on what everyone wants out of the relationship in the end. I have seen people try to maintain multiple romantic relationships at the same time, as long as the relationships were shallow and built on a mutual understanding of nonexclusivity, they were able to keep it up. However, in the end someone always ended up getting hurt. One party's feelings became deeper and they couldn't keep up the sharing. Normally, the person who gets hurt isn't the one with the multiple relationships. As for how healthy it is, personally, I don't think it is. There is some scientific evidence out there saying that humans were not meant to be monogamous (sp?), but there is evidence to the contrary. From a species survival standpoint polygamous relationships make sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't work both ways. Women's fertility is limited because of the nine month gestation period. Whereas men are fertile all year round. Then there is the care of the child, for the early parts of a child's life a mother is more necessary than a father (I'm refering only to the basic needs, here) further limiting her ability to procreate. However, humans are more than just animals. At least we think we are. The concept of romance is something that doesn't exist in the animal world. So, I think just as we evolved into something different from our mamalian cousins, our notions of relationships have evolved as well. In that respect, having single relationships is better for us in the long run. We need the security of knowing that the person we are sharing ourselves with (both physically and mentally) is ours and ours alone. Our other half needs that same security. In the end our needs on the romantic front are better met through a deep, strong connection with one other person rather than shallow, weak connections with a variety of people. Theoretically, is possible for someone to do this without harming himself or others, but theory is a long way from practice.