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Many Hearts

How Can You Love Them All?

A lot of people don’t seem to get it.

It hurts that they don’t accept my family. Just because I chose to build my family this way, it doesn’t make us any less of a real family. There are many families like mine around, some are more obvious than others. You can’t always tell by looking at a family whether they have made the same choices that we have.

There’s four of us living together, I’m married to one of them. But we all love each other, nonetheless. Just because I’ve known my husband for many more years than I have the other two, doesn’t mean they’re less important to me in any way.

People ask who I love more. It’s a stupid question. I love them all. I made a conscious choice to have every single one of these people in my life. Not one of them gets special treatment over the others. Sure, my relationship with my husband is different, but different doesn’t mean better, more important, or “primary.”

Oh, did I mention I’m referring to my husband, and my two adopted children?


Okay, so I don’t actually have any children, adopted or not, but that’s not my point. Loving multiple children is a common comparison that poly people make to show that you can love multiple people at once; I specifically chose to mention adopted children because I’ve found some people will dismiss it with “Well, that’s different” because your children are related to you. However, adoptive parents can and do love their children just as much as they would if they had given birth to the children.

Some people don’t seem to understand that romantic love can be exactly the same as other forms of love. You can love your family, you can love your friends, you can love your partners, you can love your pets. These are all different kinds of love, but somehow only romantic love is supposed to be reserved for one person.

I have heard a lot of people say that romantic love is different somehow, but they have never really been able to say why. It’s true that some people don’t have or don’t want romantic feelings for more than one person at a time, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s also true that some people can and will have strong, romantic, loving feelings for more than one person, and that doesn’t make the love any different, no matter who it’s given to.

Love is not a zero-sum game. Loving one friend doesn’t make you dislike another friend. Loving one child doesn’t make you hate another. You may have a finite amount of time that you can spend with a person, but you do not have a finite amount of emotion. You can give your whole heart to one person, or two people, or more; it’s not divided into thirds.

The loves may be different, for different things, and in different ways, but that doesn’t make them any less valid. When a polyamorous person loves two or more people, they are aware that the love is going to be different, no matter what. Even if everyone has the same interests, likes, and dislikes, each individual is still unique, and you will love different aspects of them.

The symbol for polyamory is a heart with an infinity symbol – it stands for infinite love. This is what we truly believe: That there is an infinite amount of love that a person can choose to give, that we can share with whoever we choose to, whether one person or ten.

 

 

Chelsey Dagger

Chelsey is a relationship anarchist, with multiple wonderful partners across the United States. They are in IT during the day, and at night they are currently in school for psychology, and on their way to being a therapist, with focus on polyamorous individuals, couples, and families.