65: The limits

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
65: The limits


Is love a limited resource?

Show notes and links:
Love is a Limited Resource: On Trauma and Queer Utopias (Clementine Morgan)
Competition explains limited attention and perceptual resources: implications for perceptual load and dilution theories (Frontiers in Psychology)

Full episode text

Resource management has never been easy. For some people, it’s easier than others. The very definition – “a stock or supply” – seems to indicate that a resource is, by some nature, limited. However, for some ideas and concepts such as love, there’s been a pushback in some communities – some of which I am a part – saying that love is not a limited resource, and the idea that it is is a manifestation of a capitalist, or monogomist, or heterosexist, or greedy society just telling us it’s limited. That love is the kind of thing that when shared, multiplies. It’s a lesson I, ironically, remember learning in Sunday school, and that’s carried through many life changes.

Author Clementine Morrigan challenges this mindset in a very thought-provoking piece when she wrote “But what if love really is a limited resource? I agree that it should not be. Clean water should not be a limited resource either, but it is. The reality is that what human beings need to survive and to thrive, whether it be water or love, are not freely available and accessible to all. “

I guess a big part of the question of how you define, see, or engage in love is involved. After all, with differing love languages and manifestations of love, the resources required for it to express it may not be entirely unlimited. In one 2013 study in Frontiers of Psychology, researchers created a hybrid theory of attention that combined both the perceptual load theory and dilution theory to explain limited perceptual resources — basically, that your brain can only pay attention to so many things at one time, and while some may be better than others, task-switching and multitasking are not unlimited skills.