“Love isn’t like a pie, love is infinite”

As many of my readers will already know, my personal life doesn’t conform to the same patterns as everyone else. After my second divorce it became pretty clear to me that the traditional structure of relationships wasn’t working for me. I suppose I could have blamed the end of my marriages on bad choices, or on the other people in the relationship, but I also recognised a larger pattern at that time, a pattern that has always left me feeling increasingly trapped inside long-term, traditional relationships.

It took me decades, literally, to work out what was going on. Part of the problem is that its unacceptable to challenge the hegemony of monogamy … to even suggest that pair-bonding isn’t the most natural or best state for humans is met with derision by most people. The very idea that humans might actually love more than one person at a time is never even considered in a romantic sense by society at large, and any attempt to get society to consider it is quickly suppressed. And yet, when we look at love outside of romance, we see that it NEVER exhibits the same exclusivity that we expect in romantic love. We would never suggest that a second child means we need to love the first child less … we know that sort of love is NOT a zero-sum game in any way, and that the love for one child is a wholly separate thing from love for another. We know that there is no conflict in feeling if we have two best friends, one with whom we may enjoy watching the game, the other with whom we may enjoy debating politics … we know that the “love” we feel in those situations never overlaps, and the idea of jealousy is nonsensical.

However, when it comes to romantic love, our modern society won’t even consider the notion of non-monogamy typically. The reason (or one reason anyway) it took me so long to come to my own realisation that I was polyamorous is precisely because its an idea that tends to be ridiculed by society at large, and that makes it very difficult to accept in oneself. Which is why I wanted to write this post and highlight an excellent report by Rick Sanchez of CNN on an American poly family. While Sanchez still did his report from a monogamous perspective (IE, he focused on how this couple, included others in their relationship rather than using more inclusive language of a poly family setting), he was very open-minded about the people he was interviewing.

The title of this post comes from a quote by Darrell Casey, the man in the interview. In it, he’s describing the idea that brought he and his wife Nancy to polyamory originally … “We had the idea even then that love is not like a pie … if I take a slice out there’s less for her … love is infinite, so why not?” To me, that’s the essence of the realisation that brought me to poly originally as well. Love is not like a single pie, finite in size such that giving some love to one person leaves less for others … instead, we know from friendships and family love, that each new relationship means a new “pie,” uniquely flavoured and decorated.

Ultimately, we all need to make our own choices as to what works best for ourselves … I don’t for a minute suggest that polyamory is right for everyone. But equally, I know for a fact that monoamory isn’t for everyone either, and I know for a fact that my love for one person has no effect whatsoever on my love for someone else … each love is a wholly unique pie. If people have an interest in learning more about polyamory, or in seeing a poly relationship that seems to be quite positive, I recommend they look into this interview. Its short, so its likely only a starting point if you are interested, but its a good starting point, IMO. Kudos to Sanchez … I must say that, especially for CNN, he did a very even-handed job of this interview, and I recommend it to anyone interested in polyamory.

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2 Responses

  1. Actually, I’m pretty sure that “love is not a pie” is the title and a quote from a short story by Amy Bloom first written in 1990. You can read the piece in her collection, “Come to Me.” Based on your post, I think you would really enjoy the story– I did.

  2. I was looking for that short story by Amy Bloom (love is not a pie) and it brought me here. I’ve read the text above and I loved it a lot. Really, I think it’s possible to fall in love with more than just a single person. Love’s really infinite!

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