Is It Really Possible To Be In Love With Two People At The Same Time?
If you're someone who only speedreads or skims and you want the bottom line of what I'm about to share, it's actually a two-fold answer as to whether you can truly be in love with two people at the same time. First, love comes in levels and secondly, it is pretty difficult to truly be in love with two individuals simultaneously. For those of you who are already sayin', "You're trippin'. I've done it before", while I know it might feel that way, just hear me out for a sec.
No matter how old you are, what relational status you currently hold or even what your values are based on/in, I'm pretty sure that, if there's one thing we all can agree on, it's the fact that love is something you learn more about as you evolve as an individual. Just think about it—the way you thought about love in your teens is very different than the way you think about love now. Different people and experiences play a direct role in that; so does how you feel about yourself as you maneuver through those situations.
Take my first love vs. the last man who I profoundly loved.
At 19, my brain hadn't even fully developed and honestly, because I was still reeling from childhood abuse, I was looking for someone to tell me what love was all about; someone who would define it for me through their actions towards me. So really, more than anything, I was "in love" so to speak with him showing me what he thought romantic love was all about because, for the most part, I had absolutely no clue. Was sitting on the phone all hours of the night love? Was singing "Weak" to one another every chance we got love? Was having sex love? Was letting him drive my car, giving him money and forgiving him for every time I found out about some random chick that he was messing with love? Was allowing him to enter in and out of my life for years to come…love?
The last guy? Chile, there was so much praying, fasting and implementing of I Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter) that, in hindsight, I realize that more than merely being "in love" with him, I was in love with him being a tool that taught me how to love God and myself more (when someone keeps you on your knees in prayer, you learn more about God's grace and mercy than ever!). Plus, after that particular journey? Listen here—if I don't know nothin' else, I know that I know that I know how to love a man. When you can come out of something long, revelatory and sometimes even emotionally painful and you only respect love and the Source of Love more because of it, on some level, you come to realize that it served some good. No matter how hard it was to go through—or get over.
And that's just the thing. I've been with 14 guys. 80 percent of those partners, I was really close friends with. While pondering what I know about the stages of like, love and being in love now, I believe that while I liked all of them and even loved some of them, I have been in love with four men. In some ways, I still love them (when you've been truly "in love" it doesn't die; it transforms). At times, as I was still trying to figure out who belonged where in my life, it felt as if I was in love with a couple of them simultaneously. But time and wisdom have brought me to the convicted conclusion that that is not even remotely the case.
In the article "Like, Love & in Love: How to Really Know the Differences" that was published on the site earlier this year, something I shared is the reason why I believe that "in love" is ill-defined and misused a lot (which is why a lot of us can end up being so-called "in love" all by ourselves) is because of the two prepositions that come up whenever we say "I'm in love with so-and-so." Did you catch 'em? IN and WITH. As I said in the article, "The word 'in' means to be in a place, position, or type of relationship. The word 'with' means to be accompanied by." What's my point?
Something that my male friends and I discuss fairly often is the emotional resilience of a woman. While we're out here "falling in love" (I'm not a fan of that phrase; it makes me think of something that Albert Einstein once said—"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.") multiple times throughout our lives, men may do it three tops—and that's pushing it. They tend to have a first love, a wife (or long-term companion) and someone in between or following her. Other than that, they're good. Whenever I ask my male friends why that is the case, most of them say something along the lines of love is really serious to them, sometimes almost scary to them and so they are not open to doing it a ton of times.
It's not that they don't love love, it's that they take it more seriously than a lot of us give them credit for.
This means that since they are not out here running and rushing to be in love, it's rare that they will ever be in love with two women at once time. I mean rare like a UFO sighting! In like (to take pleasure in; find agreeable or congenial)? Sure. In lust (intense sexual desire or appetite)? Absolutely. In interest (something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person)? Of course. But in love? The answer is simply "no".
How can I say that so confidently? Because in love is not something that should be treated casually. For a man, I venture to say that once he reaches the in love portion of the program, he's got courtship on the brain. Courtship is not to be confused with chivalry. Courtship isn't about opening doors and turning off cell phones on dates. Courtship, by true definition, is about seeing someone as a partner for life and putting the steps into place to make that happen. And no, I don't personally know any man who has done that even a handful, let alone dozens of times. Also, of the men I know who take courtship seriously, two women did not overlap either. They may "have love" for someone other than who they are in love with, but actually in love with the other chick? No.
So, if the only way that any of us can be in love is if someone accompanies us in that type of relationship, this means that in order for any of us to be in love with two men at one time, they have to be along with us for the ride. In other words, they have to be exactly where we are mentally and emotionally. Oh, and relationally. Two men who are doing exactly that, at the same time, with one woman is highly unlikely. There's more though.
I'm pretty sure most of us have heard a variation of the quote "If ever I am just an option, don't choose me." There's not enough time or space today to get into the fact that if you're truly in love with yourself, you would never allow someone to tell you that they are in a duality with you and someone else (and if someone else is in love with themselves, they wouldn't settle for that either). But there's another reason why I'm bringing that quote up.
When I sit and reflect on the four men that I loved—that I really and truly loved—at the time when I felt as though I was in love with them, there was no confusion going on. If I had to choose anyone else on the planet, it was only one of them, period. I believe it's because when you're in love and someone is in love with you, that experience is so consuming that it's hard to even consider someone else sharing that space.
What about the times when I wondered if I was in love with more than one of them?
Remember how I said at the top of the article that love comes in levels? My first and last love are two men whom I've loved more than just about any other human being on the planet. Both journeys lasted for several years. In fact, my first love came back into my life for the billionth and final time while I was still caught up in the last guy. Because of how much I once loved my first love, because he and I discussed where we were now and what we should do with those feelings, on the surface, it could appear as if I was in love with two men. But here's the thing—if I had to choose between him and the other guy, there really was no contest. Something being tempting doesn't mean that you're "in love". Something that you may reminisce about doesn't mean that you're "in love".
The one you would choose, above all others, no matter what? That's who you're truly in love with.
And what if you can't decide between two guys? Do yourself and them a favor and replace "in love" with "love" because that's actually where you're at. And, real talk, if you're somewhere in the headspace of "If I could create a hybrid of the two, I'd be so happy", there's a chance that you should play Outkast's jam "Prototype", take the pressure off of yourself and wait for the one who wouldn't have to compete with anyone else. Including and especially those two fellas. Because another thing about being in love is you are all in with someone and you can't do that fractionated.
Being in love keeps you with a singular focus. It's designed to be that way.
So yeah. Whenever someone tells me that they are in love with two people, if their heads are out of the clouds enough to listen, what I'll typically suggest is they consider that what's really going on is they love two folks and they are in confusion about what to do next. How do they get out of that confusion? One way is to decide who they would choose if they had to choose (someone always has the upper hand). Another way is to discuss with both individuals how they feel about them. Because there's no point in contemplating over being in love with someone who isn't thinking about choosing to be in love with you.
Bottom line, saying that you're in love with two people may be popular but it's not really accurate.
Now that you see things from this perspective, who are you truly in love with?
Featured image by Getty Images
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Over 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's, and it is anticipated that by 2050, this number will almost double. With staggering rates of this disease impacting senior citizens and the families caring for them, the need to boost awareness around this neurological condition is greater now, more than ever.
November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, which presents an opportunity to educate the public about Alzheimer's disease and increase understanding of its causes, symptoms, and impact on individuals and families with loved ones who have or could develop the condition in the future.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to the CDC, Alzheimer's disease, the most prevalent form of dementia, is a progressive condition starting with mild memory loss and potentially advancing to an inability to engage in conversation and respond to the surroundings.
The disease impacts areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language, significantly hindering a person's capacity to perform daily activities.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
The warning signs of Alzheimer's disease can differ among individuals and typically emerge gradually. While Alzheimer's is not a normal aspect of aging, age is the best-known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems commonly represent one of the initial indicators of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, especially if they worsen over time.
In addition to this, Healthline notes that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may show up as one or more of the following:
- Alterations in mood, personality, or behavior.
- Disruption of daily life due to memory loss, like becoming disoriented in familiar surroundings or repeating questions.
- Difficulty in accomplishing routine tasks at home, work, or during leisure activities.
- Diminished or impaired judgment.
- Misplacement of items with an inability to retrace steps to locate them.
Who Does Alzheimer's Affect?
The prevalence of Alzheimer's in the United States is rapidly increasing, with an estimated 6.7 million among those aged 65 and older in 2023. Approximately 73% of individuals with Alzheimer's are aged 75 or older, and the overall rate for those aged 65 and older is 1 in 9 (10.7%), according to the Alzheimer's Association.
One out of every three seniors passes away with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, surpassing the combined mortality of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Elderly Black Americans have approximately twice the likelihood of experiencing Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia compared to elderly white individuals.
Prevention and Support of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease remains unclear, and scientists believe it is likely influenced by multiple factors such as age and family history, but genetics do not determine one's fate or outcome.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, and caring for a loved one with the disease can take a financial, mental, and emotional strain on the family as the disease progresses. Caregivers face daily challenges, adjusting to changing abilities and behaviors, and as the disease advances, more intensive care is often required.
As more research and awareness spreads around Alzheimer's, taking the proper measures to improve and manage brain cognition is essential. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, limited alcohol consumption, and not smoking, may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Raising awareness helps reduce the stigma associated with Alzheimer's and related dementias and can foster a more supportive and compassionate community for individuals affected by the disease.
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