What about love?
Don’t you want someone to care about you?
What about love?
Don’t let it slip away.
What about love?
I only want to share it with you.
You might need it someday.
Like Heart back in the 80’s singing that sappy song, the question of “What about love?” occasionally arises.
“Pickup is fun, but eventually you’ll want something more.”
“Dude! How can you be in love when you’re in relationships with four different chicks???”
“If fucking multiple women is the only thing that ‘works’ how do you love one special person?”
“Blackdragon are you saying guys who fall in love are AFC pussies? That’s bullshit!”
…and my favorite which is of course, “Real love can’t exist without monogamy.”
(Warning: I”m going to be using a lot of my terms in this post. Be sure to refer to the Glossary tab at the top of this blog if you are at all hazy on any term I use, or you will not understand what I’m trying to convey here.)
First we need to identify what love is and what it isn’t. Then we can talk about how to integrate it into a nonmonogamous lifestyle.
Regarding love itself:
- Love is good. Love is only “bad” when it’s really just oneitis or NRE mistaken for love. Oneitis is not love. NRE is also not love (though it really does feel like it and I do understand why people often mistake NRE for love).
- True love can exist between two people in a nonmonogamous relationship. The easiest example of this is there are literally millions of relationships and marriages out there where the man and woman truly love each other, are devoted to each other, but one of them fucks other people and the other one stays anyway (or they themselves are getting a little on the side as well).
Tolerated cheating is of course the worst type of nonmonogamy there is, but it’s extremely common. In all likelihood you already know people who are in a marriage or relationship like this, even if you don’t realize it. To say nothing of marriages that are swinger marriages or discreet Gene Simmons-style open marriages. And to say nothing of people in OLTRs, both those that live together and those that don’t.
- True love takes time to manifest. People who sing about how they’re “in love!” with some person they just met two months ago are not in love, they’re in NRE. There is no way I (or anyone else) can definitively say how long it takes to fall in real love, but my guess would be about six months of consistent and frequent dating would be an absolute minimum. Likely it’s longer than that.
Note that rules out most NRE honeymoon period relationships as well as long-distance relationships where you barely ever see your partner. So if you think you’re in love and it’s been less than about six months, you’re not in love, at least not in my opinion. NRE? Yes. Infatuated? Yes. Oneitis? Possibly. Feeling like you’ve finally found The One™ or the Woman of Your Dreams™? Yes. But in LOVE? No. Or at least, not yet.
Can you love more than one person at a time?
My answer is no. For damn near 99% of the population, me included, it is impossible to truly be in love with more than one person at the same time, even guys like me who are experienced at having multiple, simultaneous, romantic and/or sexual relationships. I’ve actually purposely tried to love two women at once. It didn’t happen. I still could only love one.
THAT BEING SAID: You can love one person and be massively attracted/infatuated/twitterpated for a second person at the same time. That’s easy. You can love one woman and have raging NRE for a second woman. I’ve certainly done that (more than once), and I know many other guys (and gals!) who have experienced the same. But again, NRE isn’t love.
Also, there are some rare, unusual mutant people out there who really can love more than one person at a time. These people are very, very rare…I’d say they’re less than 3% of the population. Likely you’re not one of them. Again, I certainly am not and that’s saying a lot, since I’m very black-and-white, highly rational, extreme INTJ who controls and compartmentalizes my emotions far more than the average man. You’d think it would be easier for me. Nope. It’s still not possible. Love is love, and as the Highlander says, “There can be only one.”
So you can only love one woman at a time, even if you’re fucking 10 others. The worst that could happen is that you will start to love a new woman and stop loving the old woman. But that’s still loving one woman at a time.
How then do you pursue love in nonmonogamous relationships? It all goes back to the relationship types.
FB – You cannot love a fuck buddy or friends with benefits. If you do, something is very wrong. With you. If she loves you, likely it’s your fault because your congruency is off (or she’s just an immature or emotionally needy chick, that’s possible too). Regardless, FB = no love.
MLTR – You can be in love with an MLTR. I have before and it was fantastic. Technically there is nothing wrong with it, but your self-control and self-awareness must be rock-solid. Remember, MLTR means you can not only fuck other women, but date and be romantic with other women if you want (and worse, she can be romantic with other guys!).
It’s important to also remember that if you do have multiple MLTRs, you don’t have to like all of them the same. I almost never like all of my MLTRs equally. There might be one I really like, and one or two more I “kinda” like. Then perhaps one or two women LSNFTE me, I bring on a new woman and get massive NRE for her and make her into a new NRE MLTR…all while I still love (or have very strong feelings for) the first MLTR. Etc.
So bottom line, you can love an MLTR, but you need to be really careful with your emotions and your congruency. If it appears that isn’t possible for you, and you find yourself truly falling in love (not NRE, not oneitis, but love) then it’s best to move in the direction of upgrading her from MLTR to OLTR, assuming she’s consistently proven through her actions (not words) that she’s worthy of OLTR and most women are not; Most women are just too full of drama and jealousy (the younger ones) or demands and inflexible Disney agendas (the older ones). Regardless, loving an OLTR is much less complicated than loving an MLTR.
OLTR – Now this is where you love. You love her, she loves you, and neither of you love (or have romantic feelings for) anyone else. You can both fuck other people as long as those others are just FBs. The good news is that you can fuck other people. The bad news is now that you’re both in loooooooove, there’s going to be some jealousy you’re going to have to deal with, both your own jealousy and hers.
As a man, you’re likely to be more jealous than her, which is one of the many reasons why OLTR is the “final level in the video game”. You don’t just jump into OLTR, it’s something you get into eventually after “practicing” your jealousy in the MLTR world (as well as acclimating her to the system as well).
“Monogamous” Marriage – There are a lot , and I mean a LOT of marriages out there where both spouses love each other but one of them cheats a lot. The other spouse is aware of it and puts up with it. Or is in massive denial about it. Not the ideal arrangement in my opinion, since these marriages are always cauldrons of drama and resentment, but the point is they still love each other.
There is no less love because one spouse is out getting laid occasionally. Less trust perhaps, but no less love. I’d rather have love and trust in an open relationship myself, which is why I prefer:
OLTR Marriage – This is simply a married or living-together version of an OLTR. It’s an open marriage and there’s a solid prenup that’s been signed, but you love her and no other, and she loves you back. There are a few ground rules surrounding sex outside of the relationship to protect egos, reproductive health, and social standing, but it’s still an open arrangement. And you can love all you want.
So there you are, four ways to be IN LOVE while still living “the lifestyle”. Don’t ever think that true love mixed with a healthy sex life with multiple people is impossible. It isn’t.