Monogamy Is Overrated [Sexy Time]
Can we stop pretending like monogamy is something that everyone should aspire to? Most people spectacularly suck at it. I’m not saying that in a judgmental tone at all – much like many people are bad at rocket science or accessorizing or playing basketball, many people lack the ability to be successfully monogamous. This shouldn’t be a big deal at all, and yet, because the idea that the “best” relationships are long-term monogamous ones, far too many people coerce themselves into a mold that they’re not compatible with. There aren’t incredibly reliable statistics in regards to infidelity patterns, but studies have shown that up to 50 percent of people have cheated on a partner in their lives. While there is absolutely no excuse for lying and breaching someone’s trust, it’s obvious that more of us should be embracing alternative relationship models.
I completely understand why monogamy is appealing. I hate getting to know new people (the sheer amount of lameness out there is too overwhelming for me to deal with), so when I find someone that I like, I’d preferably like them to be in my life indefinitely. It’s a wonderful idea – the thought that one person can fulfill most of your needs for an extended period of time. But that just doesn’t end up being the reality for a lot of people. The reasons why people cheat are extensive, but the underlying cause is generally that the relationship they were in was lacking in some way, so they went elsewhere. That doesn’t excuse cheating at all, but everyone makes mistakes, especially when we’re frustrated, confused, anxious, restless, or otherwise dissatisfied.
I have a strong suspicion, based on not living in a bubble, that the majority of people who suck at monogamy totally realize that it isn’t for them, but they bow to implicit societal pressure. As young adults, we generally have the freedom to carve out our own relationship rules. If you don’t want to be exclusive, admit it. Maybe you’ll encounter someone who balks at the idea of a non-exclusive relationship, but then that gives you the opportunity to find someone who is actually compatible. There is no shortage of people who, subconsciously or not, question the validity of monogamy and would be open to exploring different arrangements. While there is definitely a stigma in regards to non-exclusivity, if it appeals to you, go for it. Society attaches negative connotations and values to a lot of things arbitrarily. Non-exclusivity can be safe, consensual, and enjoyable, just like monogamous relationships. It takes open communication and maturity to do it successfully, but that’s the case for any relationship. There’s no valid reason to force yourself into a lifestyle that doesn’t make you happy.
[Image of couple via Strawberry Mood /Shutterstock]