I’ve always wondered if it is possible to fall in love with two people, not necessarily at the same moment, but have the two overlap. I am not talking about the kind of love that it physical, or is a crush or infatuation. I’m talking about the type of “complete love” that is “scientifically defined” as possessing the three qualities of intimacy (sharing exclusive information, emotional connection and closeness), physical attraction (sex, to be blunt) and commitment (not necessarily marriage, just the notion of the couple’s commitment to maintain the relationship long term).
Now from an evolutionary standpoint, it’s to humankind’s advantage to have the answer as “yes”. Considering the ultimate goal of any living organism is, regardless of its complexity, to pass on genes, then as many men and women cross-loving as possible is the best way to go about it. But we’re not animals (in a sense) and we are more inclined to parent our offspring with someone we are intimate with, definitely have sex with (till love takes its course and waxes and wanes anyway) and be committed to each other and their kids.
So the little Darwins in us would compel us to do our best to fall in “complete love” with as many partners as possible.
But society doesn’t always endorse polygamy, and those that do allow it don’t normally have that high a specimen as expected. Somehow we are told, no rather, we feel wrong/guilty about being intimate with two partners at the same time, having sex with both (hopefully not in the same bedroom) and being committed to both. I don’t have the stats to back me up but it is very difficult to find someone who is totally in love with two partners and is completely fine about it. And if there are numbers the ratio will be very small. What I believe is the case is that men (or women) would be seeking out “what’s missing” in the first partner in the second. It’s usually the physical attraction or some intimacy – another person is often easier to talk to about personal problems than a partner who just can’t take your shit anymore.
So what gives? Darwin vs society? Just like… almost everything! We are wired to do things but not keeping within the constraints of society suddenly makes us outlaws. Probably for the better, sometimes.
But hey, two out of three ain’t bad, right?
post inspired by a psychology podcast
I’ve been in the office for a couple of hours now and I haven’t been able to fully concentrate on finishing any task. The ground offensive against Gaza set a new record for inhumanity as well as stupidity on both the Arab and Western fronts.
What I wanted to say is that the past week has taught us a great deal about our situation as a global community. It has exposed deficits in both sides of the war, the public’s stance against the global governments as well as how ridiculously absurd of a concept it is to not have a voice in a supposedly-democratic world.
The message that the average Gazan citizen is showing us is that not only do we have to defend our rights but also have compassion.
We have to be compassionate about our lives, our friends and family and our circumstances. Observing the war shows you how little your problems really are, and that most of them are not truly worth the fuss. While it is important to be realistic about your own problems (because, granted, anything compared to war is nothing), it is also important to realize that with a little more compassion in your life, at least some of the problems would be resolved.
Do not hate yourself. Most of us are living with the guilt that we cannot help the Palestinian people. But we cannot help them if we continually live in this guilt. We have to be compassionate towards ourselves and others, and the guys at 7iber and the whole Aramex movement across Jordan and the UAE showed how a little compassion can go a long way, for us as individuals – that we overcame the guilt and helped – and for the Palestinians who are, hopefully, receiving our donations and the moral support.
My best friend is cooking up a great plan for aid that doesn’t require you to move off your seat, and I would be informing you about it when we have it settled.
In these times, appreciate what you have, appreciate your life, and do not forget those less fortunate. Be realistic and give attention to problems that truly require your attention. Love your friends, your spouses, kids, family, and most importantly, love yourself, so that you can love others.
“I see that you have talked to her,” he commented, his concentration apparently fixed on his work.
“I am certain of that fact,” he coldly said as he placed his tools on the table. He appeared tired, and he found his way to his bed, and lay there. I addressed my own bed, and felt that a dire omen was soon to appear.
The rest of the day passed without incidence of abnormality. The Lieutenant and I spent the day together; we had lunch, and we talked about many insignificant issues, mostly for entertainment. When the hours had darkened, the Lieutenant surrendered to sleep early, and left me awake to address my own thoughts and emotions.
As I lay in my bed I thought of what the Lieutenant had been telling me regarding April, and trying to balance my own thoughts and emotions with them. I had understood what he meant when he told me not to love her, but at the same time, I wanted to know her better, even though my incentives were different. I did not want to please romance; I only wanted to know her better for her character. My heart however refused my sudden change of thoughts. My heart demanded romance, and my mind denied. A battle waged, and at that night, I allowed for my mind to surrender. I decided to give in to whatever my heart desired. I wrote a small letter which I tore after my heart earned its gratification. It read:
You cannot believe how being awake at this hour makes me feel! What silence, what concentration! To think that never in my life that I spent this hour awake! I am happy to write to you at this moment, because you are sleeping and I feel you belong to me more. You cannot imagine what I would pay to watch you asleep!
I recalled the dream I had when I watched her sleep. I felt an unbearable nostalgia, and I truly desired her that night. But all my feelings were gone when I tore that letter. My inner turmoil ended when I had allowed my heart to express itself in a harmless manner. My thoughts regained their domination as a consequence, and I felt at peace. My resolution was only temporary, and I could not discern how long it would stand.
Your affections were only a passing crush, I told myself repeatedly. They were wrong for many reasons. I slept that night convinced that they would disappear the following morning.
Written on 27th May, 2005