My Monogamy Skepticism

I’ve been skeptical about monogamy for a while now. I used to be very gung-ho on love, having a family, and living happily ever after. But the older I got, the more unrealistic it seemed.

We are constantly changing. It’s hard for me to fathom that with all the changes we go through, we will like the same person for the next 50 years of our life. The only people that have even been in my life for more than 5 years are my family members and I’m stuck with them. Is that what marriage is? Making it work because you’re stuck with them?

It just seems odd to me that we force ourselves to be with one person for the rest of our lives when there are so many other places, other people, and other experiences out there. I see so many more bad relationships than I see good ones. I’ve seen the beginnings and the ends of marriages. And it just doesn’t seem like monogamy is natural for people who live 100 years.

I think it has a lot to do with my inability to live in the present, always looking towards the future. I look down the line and think that I couldn’t possibly be as happy as I am now in the next 10 years if everything is exactly the same.

It just seems weird to me that most people feel the need to anchor down to one person and they do it in their 20’s. 3 years ago I was a different person than I am today and in 3 more years I’ll be different again – can it really be that the person you marry will ebb and flow with your changes along  with their own? That it really does all just work itself out?

19 thoughts on “My Monogamy Skepticism

  1. I think you (or at least this is how it was for me) do continue to change but eventually figure out the core things that will remain the same. And then I figured out (from A LOT of dating mistakes) what was important from a partner long term and what I was okay with compromising on. Then I found a person who happened to meet that criteria that was okay with the core of me and vice versa. We’ve been married 7 years and yes we’ve changed, but so far that foundation we started on has been enough to keep us grounded in each other even through the changes.

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  2. I found it ironic how this post went. Right at the beginning, I was relating your situation to myself and instantly thought, “All I can worry about is right now” and then I read s few more lines and you’re discussing living in the moment. I did not know that this question can be answered, but statistically marriage is only 50% successful and second marriages have a failure rate of about 71%. It almost implies that people who get divorced, should certainly not remarry.
    Granted, I’m no expert and my marriage seems to have all of the characteristics that people cite about why marriages fail, but I do believe that both people must be 100% invested in the relationship. I don’t believe in 50/50 or 100/0…it’s got to be 100/100.
    As to the idea of monogamy, there is a lot of research that suggests that monogamy is constructed by societal norms and not a biological function…but no one told the penguins (I read once that they establish life-long partnerships)…

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    1. Yes! Very few animals mate with one partner for life so I think it’s so weird that we do it! I should really just try worrying about right now and not the what ifs of getting married because it’s so far in the future, but those stats are really discouraging and marriage is just a constant topic when you’re in a relationship.

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  3. I’ve always felt that my early relationships helped me to define what I DON’T want.

    Also through into the mix that as you get older a lot of the changes are due to getting to know who you are…

    I offer no real advice, except to say that the fact that you are so insightful and reflective is a great quality to have…

    It really makes no sense for people to be so quick to settle down in a bed of unhappiness based on expectations of a society. Great post!

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  4. I am skeptical at times of people who settle down so young. I’m not saying that these relationships are doomed. (My friends are 33 and just celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary.) But I do think that humans do a lot growing and changing during their 20s. I think waiting till you’re at least 30 is better. You still change after that but a lot of your core values and things you really want from life have already been figured out.

    I can be a skeptic at times when it comes to marriage and monogamy cause I have seen way too many failures. I do think we’re naturally prone to monogamy. We’re one of the few species who actually practice monogamy. However, I feel like what you care for the other person and the fear of what you’re losing is what stops people from cheating.

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  5. I think if marriage was on a renewable contract, people would stay married longer. I don’t have to divorce you. I just wait five years and if you’re not playing your role, I just don’t renew and I go on my way. Complacency is what kills a lot of relationships and I really think that would help cure it.

    Like you though, I’m not a fan of permanent monogamy. One person at a time and lots of time alone, but one person forever (especially having gone through a bad marriage myself) is definitely not on my to-do list.

    That’s also one of the reasons I don’t want kids. Kids are a lifetime commitment to being civil with someone else for at least 18 years. No thanks. 😂

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  6. For me, I’m all for monogamy. I think a lot of it has to do with our unique individual experiences which have greatly shaped us into who we are now, and who we will be in the future. I also come from a very conservative family and so does my husband, which probably had an impact on our views too.

    I met my SO when I was 21 but prior to that, I didn’t have a boyfriend. In fact, I never dated until late 2012. I actually thought I was asexual or impossible to love, because the thought or relationships terrified me. Fast forward to now, and I’ve been married for almost 5 years! Had none of this happened, I’m not sure what my views would be today. I’m all for stability and predictability which is something I get from marriage 🙂 Also, my core values and beliefs are the same as my husband’s even though we have very different interests. Marriage brings balance and stability, but it’s definitely not for everyone nor do I recommend that anyone should get married for the sake of getting married. Personally, I’m not a fan of divorce.

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  7. My instinct is to disagree with your outlook, but (1) I’ve never been married, so I don’t have a lot of room to talk, and more importantly, (2) I’m going to mind my own business on this kind of thing and not tell you that you are wrong. You do you.

    But I have heard people say that it isn’t about being “stuck” with someone, it’s about choosing to love that one person forever no matter what. A successful marriage involves a lot of self-sacrifice and a willingness to put yourself second, more so than evaluating how the other person fits in with your needs. But like I said, I’ve never been married, so those are all kind of empty words to me, and I don’t know if I have a lot of room to talk. I mean no lack of respect by this. I’ll stop now.

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