Is Monogamy Possible?
In my twenties my best friend, Lisa, and I did not agree about monogamy. I believed it was possible for two people to remain monogamous to each other regardless if they were married or not and she believed it was impossible for people to be monogamous at all. Now, in my mid thirties, after having three boyfriends serially cheat on me, being married and finding my own mind tending to stray, I started to wonder if there was something to her theory. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I started to really examine the differences between actual monogamy and the expectations of monogamy that I really started to understand this complicated subject.
First of all we need to understand the difference between love and compatibility. Love and compatibility are not the same although they are often perceived as the same. You can love someone very deeply but you don’t have to like them. Feeling strongly about someone does not necessarily mean that you are meant to be together. Many people have at one point been convinced by their feelings that they have met their perfect match, but ultimately discover that they aren’t compatible with them. Consider, at the very least, modern divorce rates.
Secondly, commitment is not synonymous with exclusivity. Commitment means being dedicated to someone and being exclusive means being restricted to that one person. Being in a healthy committed relationship is the goal but whether or not it’s exclusive before, after or even at all is a conversation that you need to have. I have a friend who is in an exclusive relationship with a guy but who considers herself not in a committed relationship because she has never met his family and says she sees no foreseeable future but prides herself on being sexually a one man woman. I have another friend who considers herself in a committed relationship. They live together, eat together, travel together, go to family dinners at each other's parents house but they have an open sexual relationship with rules.
For a long time I assumed that commitment and exclusivity were synonymous. I assumed my “boyfriends” felt the same but the truth is that it wasn’t fair to assume and that a mature, well-reasoned, level headed conversation was in order. If you or your partner can’t have a conservation about what you are looking for in a relationship and what you expect then you frankly are not mature enough to be dating.
As it turns out monogamy is completely subjective and I don’t think we will ever know if it’s natural for people to be truly monogamous. Monogamy is just an ongoing conversation between a couple as they try to determine where they stand in this ever changing, ever growing, ever expanding world we live in.
Please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this controversial subject. Thanks <3