Generally, monogamy is defined as a form of relationship where someone has only one partner during their lifetime. Another definition is related to “serial monogamy” where a person can have multiple partners during their lifetime, but only one at any given time.
In terms of modern dating, there is a great divide between the people who choose to live life adhering to the principles of monogamy, and those who don’t give the concept much value until later in their life.
Most women would prefer it if their partner was monogamous, while some don’t care or at least present an air of indifference towards the subject. Men are more apt to consider dating multiple people because society does not hold it against them as much as it does with women.
Monogamy and dating
There are those who don’t like dating more than one person at a time. These people want to devote all their love and attention to the person that they are currently seeing. Different cultures have various approaches to choosing their partner, but it all comes down to whether they will be spending the rest of their life with the said person.
The evolution of relationships and the dating process has given way for many people to approach monogamy from different angles. You can decide to see someone exclusively without having to commit to each other. You can also engage in a temporary dating arrangement until someone decides that the relationship is not working. Some people even engage in monogamous sexual relationships.
These different concepts are not actually definitive of the actual concept of monogamy. If you wish to be truly monogamous, you have to promise yourself to one person for the rest of your life and vice versa. Many people still adhere to this concept, but there are those who would rather explore their options before they settle down. [Read: 10 rules of being in a casual relationship]
Since casual dating has become a normal occurrence in society, the term serial monogamy arose from its predecessor. People are considered serial monogamists when they date only one person at any one time. Most of these people do so due to the need to establish a long-term committed relationship.
They are not the type to explore the dating pool for possible partners. They take their time in choosing one person that they would like to commit to. Before they engage in any relationship, they usually wait until they are certain that their partner feels the same way.
Once a person decides to be a serial monogamist, they will rarely see people on a short-term basis. They will almost always plan their future around their chosen partner. It sounds like the perfect set-up for any romantic, but there are downsides to being a serial monogamist.
Not everyone is interested in seeing just one person. When a serial monogamist ends up liking that sort of person, they will not be able to do anything about it when that person chooses to see other people. Just because you do not want to date other people, doesn’t mean that the person you like will feel the same way. [Read: 6 tips on raising the idea of being exclusive]
Break-ups are harder for serial monogamists as well. They invest so much of their time and feelings in a long-term relationship that having it end can be devastating for them. After that’s over, they will also find it hard to find a new partner. Getting over their past relationship will take time. Finding someone new to love and trust will probably take longer. But that’s just a statistical probability – you still have fate on your side. [Read: Is serial monogamy really easier on the heart?]
How do people perceive monogamy these days?
If you look at how people perceive monogamy today, it all comes down to a simple belief: You are only monogamous when you don’t plan on seeing other people and have agreed to commit to a relationship. But how and when is this established? Here is a list of how people broach the subject.
#1 Verbal agreements. You should always ask the person that you are dating about your situation. Do not assume that you are in an exclusive relationship, just because you act like you’re in one. Those who do not wish to commit to just one partner can claim plausible deniability, if you never agreed to being exclusive in the first place.
#2 The first few dates. We understand that some people need to explore their options before committing to one person. However, there are those who do not wish to date someone who is already seeing or is planning to see other people. It is not a definite rule, but it would be nice to know that your date’s attention is focused only on you for the time being.
#3 Courtship. A long time ago, people in the States needed to adhere to strict social norms before they could go on a date with someone. Many conservative families and numerous cultures still adhere to those traditions, because it tests the will of a person and their determination to win someone’s heart. It’s not even exclusive to men these days. Women can court men as well.
#4 Friendship. Some relationships start within one’s circle of friends. There is a deeper level of trust and a history that necessitates monogamy. Your closest friends tend to hold more value than strangers. That is why monogamy works best when you choose one of your best friends. [Read: 12 ways to become more than just friends]
#5 Marriage. This is a religious, social and economic testament to a person’s willingness to be legally monogamous – unless otherwise stated. It’s basically the largest step you can take to declare your desire to become monogamous. It is also not limited to those reasons. Marriage is a universal declaration of love as well.
People will rarely use monogamy as a label or as a reference for modern relationships. It is too deep a term to delve into, especially for those who are reluctant to commit to any one person for such a long time.
Committing yourself to just one person can seem like a big deal, but it can also be the best decision that you’ll ever make. Some people choose to forego the motions of getting to know each other for years, once they realize that they found the person that they want to spend the rest of their lives with.
Choosing to be monogamous is a huge step, but it does not have to be such a colossal decision. By giving yourself to just one person at a time, you can make a decision without having to consider your feelings towards other people. Aside from that, you get to invest all of your feelings, which makes being in a relationship so much better.
[Read: 25 rules for having a successful romantic life]
Monogamy is not for everyone, and everyone has their reasons for that. Still, setting your sights on just one person can give you a better perspective and outlook on what your life will be together. Besides, you will never know how special that one person is if you keep dating other people.
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