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What Is Serial Monogamy: How It Works & 23 Signs of a Serial Monogamist

Is serial monogamy really the norm or are humans built for something else entirely? Learn the signs of a serial monogamist to find out if you’re one! 

serial monogamy

As humans, we’re never ever satisfied with anything – we always want more. You could argue that’s why so many people struggle with the idea of serial monogamy. However, for as many people who struggle with it, there are just as many, if not more, who thrive on it.

Are you someone who has had a series of long-term relationships? Are you hanging on to an unhappy relationship because you fear being alone? Do you notice a pattern when it comes to the people you date? If you’re nodding along, it’s entirely possible that you’re a serial monogamist. 

You might wonder why it’s a bad thing. If you’re monogamous that means you’re not cheating on anyone, right? Well, yes, but you have to question your motives.

Sometimes being single is a good thing. It helps you to focus on what you want and allows you to find someone who suits your values in life. [Read: Top 20 reasons for divorce that most couples overlook]

What is serial monogamy all about?

A monogamous relationship is one where both partners are truly committed to each other, and intend to stay together, for better or for worse.

Serial monogamy is the same thing, but instead of focusing on staying together for life, serial monogamists live for the moment.

A serial monogamist may experience several happy relationships over a short period of time, but at no point of time does this person ever cheat on a partner.

Simply put, a serial monogamist is a person who stays in the relationship for as long as they feel the infatuation, excitement and love, and walks away into someone else’s arms when they start to get bored of the relationship. [Read: 15 reasons why you could get bored of your relationship]

But, serial monogamists are not cheaters. They take the higher moral ground and walk away when they’re not interested in the relationship instead of cheating or enduring a tough period.

Serial monogamy and our lives

For all of us, life is too short and we’re just not ready to compromise anymore. And in a world where instant gratification isn’t fast enough, would you be willing to work on a relationship for years to fix it? Or would you intentionally put up with an incompatible partner just because it’s taboo to break away and find someone else?

Someone once said that the best way to get over someone is by getting under someone else. So instead of dealing with a painful relationship, isn’t it easier to find someone else as soon as the passion of new romance dies away? [Read: 15 signs you’re jumping from one relationship to another too soon]

But of course, like anything in life, serial monogamy has its pros and cons.

The pros of serial monogamy

1. You’re never unfaithful, making you a trustworthy partner

2. You develop strong relationships which enrich your life [Read: What makes a good relationship? 30 Signs of a great relationship]

3. You learn a lot about who you are in a relationship and what you can give to a partner

4. You learn about what you will and won’t put up with in a relationship 

The cons of serial monogamy

1. Relationships don’t tend to last too long, meaning they fizzle out before they really get a chance to start

2. You become bored quickly and move on [Read: The 9 main relationship stages every couple goes through

3. You don’t have time to just be single and learn about who you are as an individual

4. It could be that you’re using serial monogamy as a mask for something else, e.g. lack of confidence

Is serial monogamy a conscious choice or just an accident?

It can be either. Some people choose to be serial monogamists. They prefer this because it allows them to have the security of being in a relationship. But for some, they know it doesn’t mean forever.

You could argue that in some ways it’s a form of casual dating because the monogamist knows that they won’t stay with that person, but they’re not sleeping around either. As the name suggests, a serial monogamist is exactly that – monogamous and never cheats. [Read: Seriously, can someone please define monogamy?]

However, for some it’s just that they adore being in love and can’t help but fall for people easily. That in itself can be a problem. The feeling of being in love and all the wonderful things it brings is meant to be because you’ve met someone special.

So, is it a choice or an accident? For some it’s a choice, for other it’s an unconscious thing that they do without understanding why.

Now, we’re certainly not downplaying the good sides of being a serial monogamist. Fair play for being so faithful, but you do need to know that your motivation is positive and not because you’re simply uncomfortable being alone. [Read: What is cheating in a relationship? The truth most people ignore]

The signs of a serial monogamist – Are you one?

A serial monogamist is easy to find. They’re the kind that usually falls in love with someone else when they’re already in another long term relationship with someone. If you meet someone who almost enters into a new relationship even before breaking up with their ex, that’s a sure sign of a serial monogamist.

Serial monogamists are not bad people, it’s just that they always want more out of love. So, does this apply to you? Read the following signs of a serial monogamist and work out whether you have some work to do. [Read: Love triangles and its confusing complications]

1. You start and form relationships easily

Some may even think too easily. A serial monogamist doesn’t have any trouble finding someone to date. There is normally instant chemistry between the two of you, which may even have you easily smitten by them.

However, you often commit too soon. Shortly after meeting this person, you’re quick to call them your boyfriend or girlfriend. There sometimes may even be talk early about moving in together and marriage. You eventually end up revolving your whole world around this other person.

You want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about them: cats or dog? Hot or cold? Hamburger or hot dog? And that’s all great, but often in the process, you start to lose a bit of your identity in the relationship – that’s not so great. [Read: 10 reasons why saying ‘I love you’ too soon sucks!]

2. You really hate dating

We mean, who doesn’t? However, you are someone who will avoid it all costs. Although you like the idea of dating, when it comes to actually trying it on, you can’t stand it. You need to be with one person, exclusively.

It’s not that you don’t only like being in a relationship, but you actually prefer it. You enjoy the physical intimacy a relationship can offer. Although you have tried dating multiple people, you find yourself interested in only one particular person. [Read: Is serial monogamy easier on the heart? – Why so many people turn into serial monogamists]

3. You have hardly been single, or maybe even never

Are you someone who hangs onto a relationship as long as possible *even if you’re unhappy* because the thought of being alone is far worse than being in a sour relationship? Do you fear that you might be alone forever?

If you’re the type to bounce from one relationship to the next without ever being on your own in between, that’s one of the signs of a serial monogamist.

A serial monogamist tends to have to be with someone to feel complete. But there’s likely a void that you are using another person to fill. Perhaps you’re insecure and need the constant attention and approval from the opposite sex. This only proves that you’re not ready to be in a relationship. [Read: To cheat or not to cheat? A guide to make up your mind]

4. After a break up, you’re quickly onto the next person

This likely ties into why you’re never *or hardly* single. You are constantly on the rebound, and believe the quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

Sometimes, when serial monogamists start to feel things fizzle with their current partner, they will keep their options open. They will start looking for other prospects, even before things have ended, just to be ready. [Read: 18 subtle signs you’re already having an emotional affair with someone without even realizing it!]

5. You choose quantity over quality in a relationship 

At first, things are probably wonderful for you. There’s undeniable chemistry with the other person, but it ends very quickly. You not only go from one relationship to the next, but they’re generally short-lived. This is because your expectations are way too low.

Since you’re someone who is scared of being alone, it’s inevitable that you put quality aside and take whoever comes your way next. But for your own good, you really need to learn to be more selective in the dating process. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad new partner]

6. You’re a romantic at heart

It’s true. You believe in the notion of one true love, and being with one person for the rest of your life. If you can’t see yourself with your current partner for the rest of your life, you end things. This could be why your relationships are so short lived.

However, you are always actively seeking that one person for you. Every time you meet someone new, you’re always so sure this is the one. But then a new prospect comes along, and the process starts all over again. [Read: The single’s guide to creating a perfect romantic meet cute in your life]

7. Deep down, you want to be in a committed relationship, but you find yourself not able to take that next step 

Don’t get us wrong, serial monogamists want to commit to a long-term relationship. You truly want to take the next step in the relationship, whether it’s moving in together or getting married, but for some reason, you can’t.

After reaching a certain point in the relationship *maybe after a few months, or even a year or two*, things start to dwindle. You begin to feel trapped and almost claustrophobic with someone. The arguments ensue.

Why is this? It’s likely because you fear the emotional intimacy a relationship has to offer. So in the end, you call it quits. That’s one of the major signs of a serial monogamist. [Read: 10 sure signs you’ve got the fear of long-term commitment]

8. There’s more of a physical connection than an emotional one 

Do you have this need to give physical affection to someone? Perhaps even crave it? Is your relationship based more on a physical level than emotional? This could be another of the signs of a serial monogamist.

If you can’t connect with your partner on an emotional level, it’s going to be hard to continue it.

9. You generally find being alone quite uncomfortable

A serial monogamist often has problems with independence. That doesn’t mean you’re likely to need someone by your side all the time, but you may find the idea of being on your own quite uncomfortable. This is probably one of the most worrying signs to recognize because it pinpoints a negative reason for your behavior.

Being on your own isn’t a bad thing, even if it’s just to go to the store or head out for a meal alone. It gives you time to think and process the day. [Read: Fear of being alone: How to let go of your fear and find peace]

10. The really serious parts of a relationship are quite terrifying to you

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s not that a serial monogamist doesn’t want to take the plunge, it’s that there’s something stopping them from taking it over the line.

If the serious things in a relationship make you break out in a cold sweat, perhaps that should ring alarm bells. We’re talking about things like making long-term plans, meeting the parents, or even moving in together. 

11. You don’t really take the time to find out about your partner’s relationships in the past

Not that you should actually care too much about whether or not your partner has a long dating history or not, but you should at least take the time to explore the things they tell you. For instance, are they divorced? Were they cheated on in the past and it could be a reason why they’re a little hesitant at the start?

These are all details which help you to get to know your partner better and enhance your relationship as a result. When you don’t take the time to find out, it’s because you’re not intending to stick around. [Read: How to talk about a past relationship with your partner]

12. You don’t actually get to know your partner that well

This one sounds odd, right? A serial monogamist often loves the idea of being in love, but that’s the problem. They love the idea, but not the actual practice.

You can love someone properly until you get to know them, warts and all. If you don’t take the time to do that or you jump in too quickly, you really don’t know this person at all. Yet another of the clear signs of a serial monogamist.

13. You have grand ideas of love

We’ve mentioned that a serial monogamist is romantic, but it’s quite likely that your idea of love is unrealistic.

You have that Disney love in your mind and when real life doesn’t quite life up to it, you become annoyed, disillusioned and decide that there’s something wrong with your relationship. Of course, that leads you to move on to the next on, constantly chasing your romantic ideal. [Read: 20 Secrets that will help you find the one]

14. Your friends can’t remember who you’re dating

This isn’t because they don’t care, but because they’ve lost count and can’t keep up! That’s a pretty solid sign of a serial monogamist and one that you shouldn’t actually be that proud of.

Don’t let your partner hear your friends mention their lack of knowledge about your current relationship. Not only is it hurtful but it will lead them to question your motives and commitment to them. 

15. You find the honeymoon period a serious thrill

Perhaps you hate dating but you love the honeymoon period. You skip past the confusing dating part and you’re straight into those crazy, butterfly-laden early days when everything is hearts and roses. For you, this is a serious thrill and something that you find quite addictive.

Once the relationship settles down and becomes more mundane, as it always will at some point, you move on. [Read: 13 Signs the honeymoon phase is starting to wane in your eyes]

Serial monogamy isn’t all glorious

Serial monogamy is fun and high-inducing. But a relationship based on selfish needs is never going last forever, is it?

If both partners don’t work hard to make each other happy and don’t believe in unconditionally loving each other, flaws and all, they may become selfish and self-centered. They’re only bothered about satisfying their own sexual and romantic needs.

A relationship takes a bit of effort and understanding throughout the years. And if both partners don’t want to give, but only want to receive, the relationship is doomed to fail from the very beginning. [Read: 25 relationship rules to have a successful romance]

Serial monogamy and monogamy – Whatever works for you

Serial monogamy is definitely easier on the heart, especially if you start looking for a new person to date the very next day after your break up. You can avoid all heartbreak within a few days and cover it all up with a brand new romance and happy infatuation in no time.

On the other hand, a monogamous relationship may need a bit of effort after several years to keep it exciting, but it provides emotional stability and security.

There’s a bit of good on both sides. But which would you prefer if you had the choice?

[Read: How to have a monogamous relationship with a sexy polygamous twist]

So what do you like more, a series of sexual infatuations or long term emotional stability? The answer to this question can tell you what you are, a monogamous lover or a true believer of serial monogamy.

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Natalia Avdeeva
Natalia Avdeeva sometimes feels like she’s an 80-year-old woman trapped in a 29-year-old body. She loves buying makeup and ends up not wearing them most of th...
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