What is serial monogamy? Are you a part of the problem?

Table of contents:

  1. What is serial monogamy?
  2. Serial monogamy psychology
  3. Why is it bad to be a serial monogamist?
  4. Portrait of a serial monogamist

Modern societies are moving more and more clearly towards transforming love and the concept of marital union itself. "Marriage based on sexual love is monogamy by nature," as according to F. Engels. Love is an irrational feeling, which, for many people, is short-lived. The adaptation of the institution of marriage to the instability of love is the emergence of serial monogamous marriages, which begin with a trial marriage. Let’s just look into some statistics, or more specifically, the proportion of marriages that were established after cohabitation. It was about 31% in France, 47% in Norway and 89% in Sweden.

define serial monogamy

The binding of marriage to love deprives it of stability, longevity, and therefore, there are problems of dividing property, inheritance, raising children. It weakens the security of a woman who, having lost some social resources in connection with the birth and upbringing of a child, often ends up being helpless in the labor market. Marxism linked the prospect of a marriage for the sake of love with the destruction of private property. According to F. Engels, "There will no longer be any other motive to get married other than a mutual inclination." Let’s define serial monogamy.

What is serial monogamy?

What does serial monogamy mean? It is when a person has multiple relationships throughout their life, most of which are quite short-term. It is not usually accompanied by cheating, people that “practice it” usually just change their partner altogether. It originated and got popular as the result of the “sexual revolution” that unfolded around the youth movements of the 60s. The Sexual Revolution affirmed the principle of absolute freedom of relationships between people, the absence of any obligations between them arising from these relations, sharply denied the institution of marriage as such, replacing it with the principle of "free love."

The result was a steady decline in official marriages. However, the principle of “serial monogamy” (“monogamy” is about the union of only one man and only one woman) seems like a very traditional idea, although it opposes the traditional form of marriage to the same degree. what does serial monogamy meanOn the one hand, “serial monogamy” is based on stable family life with all its attributes, including marital fidelity, common household, budget, joint rest, maintaining relations with the parents of spouses, etc. However, long-term commitments are absent. Spouses neither cheat on each other nor have love affairs, they just break relations with a partner to start everything from the very beginning with someone else instead.

Let’s now dive deep into the serial monogamist psychology and discuss the inner workings of this phenomenon.

Serial monogamy psychology

The right to choose

If you do not take into account the nuances and ignore all the variations, then in modern (European) culture, two main approaches to understanding family and relationships remain clear:

  • Family is work; you have to work on your relationships.
  • Relationships should be enjoyable and if they are not, then there is no point in preserving them.

The beauty of it is that no one is obliged to fall into religious fanaticism and follow the principle once chosen forever. So, for example, I grew up in a romantic-monogamous family. Naturally, I was convinced that a person should get married once and for all. Therefore, it did not get married for a long time: as you imagine, it’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of pressure, you should marry someone for the rest of your life. But closer to getting thirty, all of the people I knew began to remind me of an even more ancient human notion, “We must get married.” Forever or not – we will see, but at least one thing is for certain, people have to get married! Otherwise, people will think badly about us.

After getting married, I still tried to embody the parental program (which is “once and for all”), and I’ve honestly spent lots of time working on the relationship. I worked on it for 3 years! I’ve got very tired. And very tired women are either completely unhappy or angry. In the worst case, they are angry and unhappy but married. I was evil, and this allowed me to ask myself, being cynical about my life, “For the sake of what, Julia,” I asked myself, “do you keep on fighting for this tedious relationship? ”- “For the sake of decency,” I answered myself honestly. It is ridiculous to suffer for the sake of decency in the 21st century.

The family in a metropolis has no practical meaning. It is not necessary for a wife to just stay at home and watch after a house while a husband is riding through the forest with a gun. The food is cooked in an oven, and there is also a microwave. There is a washing machine, the same goes for the dishes. Food delivery can be ordered online. Under these conditions, happiness and mutual pleasure are the only things for which a family is needed. And, if it does not fulfill this function, is it necessary to “refine” each other or is it better to find a more suitable option? Suppose you have a relationship with your boss at work, your workload has gone up, and your salary has gone down. Or the competitors offered you a salary 10 times higher than you are earning right now- you will probably quit this job and go to a better place, won't you?

Once and for all

I also met some people of the opposite beliefs: a man lived in the belief that marriage is a temporary phenomenon, you can always get a divorce and start a new relationship. But just look at him: it’s his twentieth year of marriage (and he still continues on thinking that he will definitely get divorced if needs be). Let’s talk about my own husband: his first marriage lasted for three years, his second one lasted for six years (five of them were wasted “for the sake of a child”) and in the third – it’s the thirteenth year of marriage, and we have never ever had any serious disagreements. Some are quite lucky to get it on the first try. I personally know five such families: they’ve met at school or in the first year of college, got married at 18; when the first child graduated from school, they gave birth to the second one – they seem to enjoy each other quite a lot. However, it should be mentioned that there are some obvious negative aspects of serial monogamy.

Why is it bad to be a serial monogamist?

The most common problem with serial monogamy is that a person is unable to imagine themselves alone, single and free. It is no secret that people need personal space in their lives, and the presence of a partner may be just enough to ruin that personal space altogether. It may seem like there is no problem with that, you just have to allocate time to your own personal needs and desires, but here’s where it gets complicated.

problem with serial monogamyYour priorities in a relationship are quite different from the priorities you had when you were single, you may not even notice it. A partner implies additional pressure, there is less time for yourself. Think about it, we all aim to find that one true love in life, no one gets engaged with another person and thinks, “Well, this relationship may last a few years, it’s not like I am overly excited about it.” People expect a tornado of emotions; they want to be sucked into that vortex of feelings and never come back. But what ends up happening is that every single relationship gets stale and loses its mojo. And this is when it hits you’ve lost yourself, and you’ve lost lots of time not doing the things you want, fulfilling someone else’s fantasies.

A serial monogamist will just start a new relationship after all of that, after all of the pain of a breakup and all the troubles that it brought. A person is unable to see themselves being single, maybe it’s not about other people, maybe the problem is that they don’t need to be so attached to relationships in general.

Portrait of a serial monogamist

There are some defining characteristics of a serial monogamist.

  • It is easy for them to fall in love and end a relationship. They don’t seem to understand or value any long-term aspects of a relationship, all the things you have to share with your partner, all the bonding that will pay off in the long run, they are just interested in having “experiences” rather than proper relationships.
  • They hate dating. I mean, when you are changing partners left and right when you are unable to stay in a relationship for a long time – you probably will eventually get sick of all the dating, of all the “prelude” before a relationship.
  • They are never single. What is a serial monogamist? It’s a person who is never single. It’s probably one of the most obvious serial monogamist characteristics. It may even become pathological for a person, they may not feel comfortable outside of a relationship altogether.
  • They truly believe that “the true love" exists. It is no wonder that some may perceive these people as being almost paradoxical by their very nature. A person wants to achieve that sacred feeling of true love, yet they are unable to stick to one partner for a long time to truly test out their relationship, every relationship that they enter is very fragile. There may be many causes of serial monogamy, but usually, it’s the combination of two things: being brought up to believe that love is sacred, that there is such a thing as the true love and being very “open-minded” about starting and ending relationships.
  • Their relationships seem to revolve around physical connection, rather than emotional. This is only fitting, as we’ve already said, serial monogamy is characterized by the fact that it is quite easy for a person to fall in love, and what do we feel when we fall in love with someone – we want to get into their pants. And when a physical connection becomes stale and no longer interesting – what is left after that? Nothing.
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