Monogamy is the practice of being romantically involved with one person at a time. It is common practice. It is what American society accepts and encourages. But is monogamy for you?
The thing is, monogamy isn’t for everyone. Not only can you be happy being single but you can also make an open relationship work. Monogamy is not the only option. So, why be forced into it?
Monogamy is the standard for most American relationships. For many people anything that doesn’t fit the mold is wrong. Of course, monogamy is deeper than the broad term we are familiar with. To some, it may mean just no cheating. Others could consider masturbating or flirting as a breach in monogamy.
But, monogamy, generally, is a sustained loyalty and commitment to one person. It is what you think of when you watch a romantic comedy, an elderly couple sitting in rocking chairs, or newlyweds on their honeymoon.
[Read: Seriously, can someone please define monogamy?]
The thing is, monogamy is not the go-to everywhere and hasn’t always been the “only way.” In many other cultures and in the past, relationships were not always assumed to follow this social construct. Monogamy can be wonderful and healthy, but just like any other form of relationship, it requires work.
Without honesty and communication, monogamy can lead to manipulation, jealousy, and dysfunction. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone, but it shouldn’t be the only option either.
[Read: How to be in a relationship when the world of monogamy is so new]
Have you tried monogamy?
You may have always found monogamous relationships limiting or confined. Maybe just from seeing your parents’ marriage or in movies, you’ve felt that monogamy wasn’t for you.
With society’s eagerness for monogamy, it can be hard to admit that you want something separate from that. It isn’t something everyone accepts. Because of that, you may feel pressure to try a monogamous relationship. It is expected.
[Read: Answer these open relationship questions to see if it works for you]
Naturally, every relationship is different. You may not want to be monogamous until you meet your person, and that is okay. But if you’ve tried a monogamous relationship and felt stuck, it may not be right for you.
And if you haven’t, I will not tell you to try and see if it is for you. That is like telling someone who is gay to try to be straight. If you don’t want a monogamous relationship, don’t be in one due to someone else, societal pressures, or anything else.
Is monogamy for you?
Whether you crave a polyamorous relationship or an open relationship or to be single, you can figure out if monogamy is for you.
[Read: Could you be happy in polyamorous relationships?]
With some deep thought, questioning, and analyzing, figure out if monogamy is for you or not.
Now, simply answering these questions with certain answers doesn’t mean you are exclusively monogamous or not from this point on. Monogamy is complicated just like polygamy or any other non-monogamous relationship. But, these question may help ease some of your confusion.
#1 Are you an extrovert? It can be easier for extroverts to enjoy a non-monogamous relationship. Gaining energy from being around others is something that benefits people who prefer to casually date or be in an open relationship.
If you are an introvert, you can still be non-monogamous, but it may be a bit more difficult to communicate openly with others. [Read: The benefits and complications of a triad relationship between three people]
#2 Are you open? Non-monogamous relationships, as I said, are not the norm. They can be hard to navigate for some because there isn’t as much open discussion, guidance, and consideration for these relationships in public.
You should be willing to compromise and consider that what might work for you may not work for someone you’re interested in. [Read: Very obvious signs you are a serial monogamist]
#3 Do you love meeting people? If you thrive on meeting new people and gaining new experiences, you are more like enjoy the benefits of non-monogamy. If you thrive in new environments and click with people easily, committing to just one person can feel limiting for you.
#4 Do you enjoy dating? As someone who is a monogamist, I despise dating. The whole idea of meeting someone new and getting to know them in a high-pressure environment is not for me. Just the thought of it gives me hives.
But if you love going on dates and getting to know people no matter the outcome, you may love the idea of something non-committal or branching out from a duo.[Read: Polyamorous dating and what you need to know about it]
#5 Are you a jealous person? If you are easily jealous or suspicious, being non-monogamous may trouble you in more ways than one. Any relationship requires communication, but if you are jealous, knowing what is going on with your partner’s outside relationships or even someone you’re casually dating can drive you crazy.
You may think knowing is better than being committed and worrying, but jealousy comes out in all ways. [Read: Why am I so jealous? How to recognize and fix it]
#6 Do you love your independence? Not to say that you can’t be independent in a traditional relationship, but if you thrive on alone time and handling things on your own, you may benefit from a more casual dating setting.
You may also feel comfortable with your partner getting what they need from outside your relationship if you can’t meet certain needs they have.
#7 Do you share easily? I don’t mean sharing food. Something about monogamous relationships that turns people off is their possessiveness. People believe they have the right to control their partner and their opinions or actions.
If you are happy sharing your connection with someone with others and want them to be free to share their light with the world, being non-monogamous may be better for you. [Read: How to get past the jealousy of sharing love in a poly relationship]
#8 How do you face challenges? There is no hiding the fact that non-monogamous relationships of any sort will require challenges. Even if you lay out your needs and your partners and discuss every detail of what you share and don’t and what you keep between you two, things will come up.
There will always be uncertainties and difficult conversations. If you appreciate a challenge and can take them as a learning experience and growth opportunity, you are more likely to thrive in a non-monogamous relationship.
#9 How have you felt in a monogamous relationship? If you have been in a monogamous relationship, how did it make you feel? Did you crave the attention of others? Were you feeling trapped or suffocated? Was it a healthy relationship?
Think about the parts of that relationship that could have been altered to suit you and your needs. Was the monogamy the problem or was it something else? [Read: How to manage your expectations in a relationship]
#10 Do you connect with others easily? Being non-monogamous can be lonely if you struggle to connect with others. There is a lot of connections to be made when you choose that lifestyle. If you are shy or hesitant to meet people, it makes dating in anyway more difficult.
#11 Do you have trust issues? This is different than jealousy. Trust issues are often brought on by a past relationship whether romantic, platonic, or familial. These issues don’t just lead to jealousy but guilt, suspicion, and general distrust.
An open relationship will not work if you cannot trust the open communication needed for this type of relationship.
[Read: How to date with trust issues and learn to trust again]
So, is monogamy for you? No matter what your answer is, just know there is no right or wrong one. This isn’t set in stone.
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