I was reading an interesting article by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D, a professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa. In it, he states how “humans are capable of having sex and loving more than one person at the same time.” People are capable of being polyamorous in theory but a question arises: how to deal with polyamory and emotional dissonance?
What is emotional dissonance? It’s when something we feel conflicts with what we believe about our self or when we lie about our emotions. An example: We believe that it is wrong to love two people, but we fall in love with two people at the same time. We “feel” conflicted. We “know” it’s right to only love one person, but it doesn’t change the fact we fell in love with two people, which” feels wrong”. The conflicting emotions are emotional dissonance.
Ben-Zeév states that one way to cope with such dissonance is to change the way we think. Change the way we think, we can change the way we feel. Changing the way we feel can get rid of the emotional dissonance.
How do people feel about polyamory?
Honestly, in most modern societies, polyamory is frowned upon. It is considered at the least immoral. We are taught that it is wrong to love multiple people, and in some cases, we are ostracized when we do. When we love two people, we can be called cheaters or adulterers and that hurts a lot.
But what if we change the way we think about things? What if we could look at relationships in a new way?
What if we believed it is okay to love more than two people?
Remember, polyamory is not cheating or adultery. It is a multiple partner relationship that has the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It’s people loving people and being happy that their partner is in a loving relationship with another person. It is feeling secure in the knowledge that your partner doesn’t love you less and that both of you can love others without loving each other less. If you can wrap your mind around that, you are starting on a whole new way of thinking about love and relationships.
This is not an easy endeavor. When society can look down on you, when your friends and family may shun you or when you feel like what you are feeling is wrong…it is not easy. But if you do, it’s a different life. You don’t have to live with emotional dissonance.
Better? Worse? No…just different. Being single…being married…it all depends on you. It doesn’t have to be better or worse…it just needs to make you happy and not harm others.
Ben-Zeév Article At Psychology Today