Everything is quite clear with ordinary monogamy: one man, one woman, life together, and sex without betrayal. Ordinary polygamy is also understandable: one person, many partners. But what if there are one woman and one man, and after a while, one of the partners finds love and happiness with a new person and in other several years – with the third one? Is it monogamy or polygamy? It seems like there are many partners, but over time, there is only one of them. This phenomenon is called serial monogamy. Today we are going to talk about how to define serial monogamy, what serial monogamy is characterized by, and what are the signs of a serial monogamist.
What Is Serial Monogamy?
What does serial monogamy mean? To a certain extent, the principle of serial monogamy is related to traditional marriage, although, at the same time, it makes a stand against it. On the one hand, serial monogamy is based on stable family life with all its attributes, including marital fidelity, common household, budget, joint rest, relations with parents of a loved one, etc. On the other hand, there are no long-term commitments. Spouses do not cheat on each other or have affairs – they just break up relationships with a partner to start everything from the very beginning, but already with someone else. Moreover, the break between relationships is usually very short or absent at all.
Monogamy is fidelity to one person. The fact that the word “serial” is added to it is just a play of concepts. It turns out that one can change wives almost every year and say that he believes in monogamy, but only for a while, and then again finds love and happiness with another person. It is something between monogamy and polygamy.
Serial Monogamy Psychology
In modern (European) culture, there are two main approaches to understanding family and relationships.
1. The family is hard work; people constantly have to work on relationships.
2. Relationships should be enjoyable if they do not bring joy and happiness, then there is no point in maintaining them.
Modern supporters of monogamous relations missed the first wave of serial monogamy. It appeared a few years after the so-called sexual revolution, which affirmed the principle of freedom and equality in love and the absence of any obligations. Advocates of sexual freedom have achieved their purpose – the official number of marriages has been steadily decreasing, and the principle of "free love" has gained popularity.
As an ideology, serial monogamy originated already among the men of the sixties. On the one hand, it was a kind of counterbalance to the hippie ideology and free love without commitment. On the other hand, it was a revolt against traditional “family values,” suggesting that the spouse selected once cannot be exchanged and returned. That is, you have to be a constant lover, but you can do it numerous times. If your relationship has exhausted itself – start a new one.
The modern principle of monogamy has not changed, it is akin to the theory of Frederic Beigbeder, “love lasts three years.” Life goes on – a person falls in love with another partner, and they build monogamous relationships of the same format. Sometimes there are two monogamous marriages, sometimes three, and at times even ten.
What are the causes of serial monogamy? Why do people choose it? It should be noted that contrary to a common misconception, the stronger sex is no more subject to serial monogamy. Both men and women can be serial monogamists. Women most often choose serial monogamy because they are not confident in the current relationships, they think that a man does not match them, and so they are afraid to remain alone.
Monogamous relationships are a very convenient trend for modern men. Their main argument in favor of serial monogamy is sex. After all, they do not need to look for a girl on the side – she is always there, 24 hours a day. The second argument is a pecuniary advantage: monogamous relationships release men from the services of escort agencies – a girlfriend is always at hand. And another reason is health care. Hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases are negative consequences of polygamy. Condoms and other protectors do not provide a 100% safety guarantee, and love affairs can destroy families.
If relationships are built solely on sexual interest, then they a priori cannot be strong and durable. After the first vivid impressions decrease, the state of love is transformed, and romantic feelings move to a new stage of development. Men and women should have something that will keep them together. It may be a common business, the same hobbies, and a similar outlook on life. They should have a common goal. And if this goal is also based on a strong feeling of love, such a couple has plenty of chances to live happily ever after! And it is likely that they will even succeed in moving from serial monogamy to traditional monogamy — that is, till death do them apart.
Can serial monogamy harm a person? Let's consider the disadvantages of this type of relationships.
There is no reliability and stability. These feelings are basic for most people. If a person changes partners very often, it is hardly possible to quickly transfer relationships to the proper level of trust and sexual intimacy.
Lack of confidence in one’s own health. Do you remember social advertising, where loyalty to a partner was called the main AIDS prevention? As cliché as it may sound, a long-standing partner, in whose health you are entirely sure, is true protection against various sexually transmitted infections.
General chronic fatigue. It is the main problem with serial monogamy. A constant state of multitasking makes its presence felt. People are physically unable to live in a state of the ageless search for a partner. And is it necessary? New relationships require huge investments – from emotional and temporal to financial.
Portrait of a Serial Monogamist
What is a serial monogamist? A person who practices so-called serial monogamy often changes their partners in the course of time. They like being in love and constantly
finds themselves in a romantic relationship with someone. Do you think you are a serial monogamist? We would like to bring to your attention 7 serial monogamist characteristics.
1. You are constantly in a relationship with someone
It is one of the main characteristics of serial monogamist psychology. If you don’t remember the last time you were truly alone, then this is a sure sign that you are a serial monogamist. You have been building relationships since you first fell in love with someone, probably even since school or university. When one relationship ends, you spend several weeks or even days finding new love. You are never single.
2. You take a break of relationships in stride
If back in the old days, you suffered a lot, cried, and were depressed about the break-up, then now you endure parting with ease. You know that you can find new love right away, so why worry about losing a person?
3. You start a new relationship very quickly
You tend to act quickly, without wasting time getting to know a person. Why spend time on the initial acquaintance if you can do it being in a relationship? All you want is to be in a relationship with someone. You do not even care who it is.
4. You are ready to start a relationship just because someone has shown interest in you
You do not know much about affection and love. If someone shows interest in you, they are likely to get your attention in return. You will immediately give them a chance – simply because you need a new partner for a romantic relationship. It is comfortable.
5. You are afraid to be single
You have never been alone with yourself, and you are not even sure that you can do it. Perhaps you lack self-confidence or maybe you are just afraid of the uncertainty. In any case, you feel much more comfortable knowing that someone will always be there to support and help you.
6. You always rush to develop relationships
Even if you have just met someone and saw each other only a couple of times, you already call them your girlfriend/boyfriend – this is a sign of a serial monogamist. A serial monogamist does not think about building a future – they are interested only in the present. You always date someone until the relationship gets too serious. Then you quickly move to another person and repeat the same scenario.
7. You cannot count how many relationships you had
You may know people who have married their classmates and have never been in a relationship with someone else. But you cannot even remember all the names of the people you met. You even tried to make a list and always forgot some names of the ex-partners. Were they 15, 20, or 25?
8. You do not know what you want from a relationship and your partner
When people want to build a long-lasting serious relationship, they know exactly what kind of person they want to date. If you do not have the perfect image of a loved one, it is a sign that you are a serial monogamist. You dated all of them – an athlete, botanist, hipster, poet, musician, etc. You know what went wrong and why you broke up, but you are not really sure what you are looking for in a relationship.
9. You like the feeling of being in love, but you quickly get bored
As soon as the courting period ends, you become disinterested in a relationship. You like to meet new people, go out on nice dates, and experience excitement every time you see your loved one. But as soon as all this affection passes, you become bored and set out in search of a new passionate relationship.
10. You are not interested in meeting with the family of your loved one
As a rule, serial monogamists have strong family ties. But lovers should be interested in the family of each other and maintain good relations with them. If you do not have the slightest desire to get acquainted and communicate with the relatives of your loved one – it may be a sign of a serial monogamist.
11. Your life goals are focused exclusively on career
There is nothing wrong with building a successful career. The problem of serial monogamists is associated with a lack of interest in other areas of life. A serial monogamist always talks only about career goals, they do not discuss personal aspirations and common future with their loved one.