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  1. #1

    Monogamy: your thoughts

    Dear MMO-C,

    I have a dilemma.

    For the past year, I have been in a typical, exclusive relationship. The person I'm dating is smart, attractive, and good company, but I have my doubts about the long term potential. Why? Because I think monogamy doesn't work for most people.

    In six months I will have to make a big decision as I think about going to graduate school. This decision will involve moving across the country (and presumably dragging my girlfriend along). But what is giving me pause in my current relationship is that I will be surrounded by many attractive options when it comes to the dating scene. There are going to be tons of smart, attractive, exotic, interesting, etc. etc. single women.

    The main problem is that monogamy asks you to make a unique sort of decision. The problem with the decision is not so much "do I want to date X" but "do I want to not date all of non-X." That is a HUGE decision to make, and given innate human tendencies, I do not think it is rational or practical.

    This is tough for me, because I care about my girlfriend and I think highly of her, but at the same time I believe the relationship will become stale and I will regret my decision to get her involved in a cross-country move, just for me to decide I'd rather have new options.

    I realize that if I keep this attitude, I will likely never find a life partner -- or if I do, it will have to be some sort of open-minded or polyamorous situation. I'm willing to entertain those ideas, but I wanted to hear your thoughts (pro-monogamy or not) on the issue.

  2. #2
    monogamy works for me. i wont pretend it works for everybody, we're all wired different. i will say that i think it makes for far less drama than a more "open" thing, and more security

  3. #3
    To infinity and beyond det's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The forums
    Okay: Most of western societies (apart from the odd religious branches like Mormons) put their value in monogamy. But I dare say it is for a good lot lip-service. Why else would we have so many divorces and couples cheating on each other? Not to mention swinger clubs / parties where everyone is in agreement with partner swapping / sharing.

    So I wouldn't say you " will likely never find a life partner". How would you feel if your partner cheats on you or dates all the others that you reserve the right to date? If you are okay with that I am sure you will eventually find a partner with a similar set of values.

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten Majad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I don't like relationships because of this issue. In my opinion I don't see anything wrong in dating other women/men, even if you have a gf/bf, but the thing is a lot of people are super obsessed with the whole monogamy thing.

    I will never go into a relationship that will deprive me from meeting new people and possibly have good moments, but I think like that because I'm still young and experience is what I want atm.

    In my opinion I think you should talk with your girlfriend first about this, there's no point in doing something if you both aren't in agreement or even if she isn't aware of what you think of this. Just ask her and tell how you feel about this whole thing, otherwise you might "drag" her to wherever you're going and will end up regretting.
    Perfect Illusion

  5. #5
    Nothing is worse than pretending to commit to someone who aren't really committed to. Commitment is a choice. I don't know how many failed marriages could have been avoided if there weren't pretenders.

  6. #6
    Pit Lord Odina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Monogamy works when you got the dating / experimaenting/ trying new things out of your suystem. From your post you have not played the field enough to have gotten all teh thoguhts out of your head and you are not fully 100% ready to settle down. If you have a shred of "wonder what XYZ is like" in your body still then get out and see how XYZ is before setteling down in a real long term relationship only to break the other ones heart in a couple years when you realize you shoudl have played the field untill you were ready to hang your playing shoes up and settle down!

    I slept with, dated,had a casual flig etc etc many women I would consider "not my type" just to see if they were my type and I didnt know it before I got married becuase I wanted to be absolutly sure when I did I knew exactly waht I wanted and what I liked. If you havent quite figured it out yet (and from your post you havent) then man up and be honest with your gf and especially with yourself!

  7. #7
    Whatever you choose, one of you will end up unhappy; who feels that unhappiness is your choice. Either you break up with her now to avoid cheating on her (which seems to be an inevitability to you), or you stay in a relationship with her and change her life while you wind up unhappy in your monogamous situation.

    I think the problem is just your attitude right now. You're always going to have a situation where there will be "other options", unless you live in the middle of nowhere on a farm. You moving to this new place isn't making that a reality, it's just making it easier, so the question really is: are you sure this is what you really want? How did you wind up in this relationship in the first place with an attitude like that? How have you stayed loyal all this time without having some innate desire to stay monogamous?

    I think you might be lying to yourself a little. Maybe you do enjoy the idea of a monogamous relationship, but you don't think you're strong enough to push the desires of being with other women away. You will probably grow into it so I wouldn't worry, but if I were you, I wouldn't drag my girlfriend away to a new place just to end up cheating on her.
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  8. #8
    Scarab Lord Hraklea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    The story of my life.

    I'm on the same situation, and I agree with you. Monogamy sucks.

  9. #9
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Ottawa, ON
    Quote Originally Posted by Illuminance View Post
    given innate human tendencies, I do not think it is rational or practical.
    It's also an "innate human tendency" to eat sugary/fatty foods all the time, to refuse to do any work that isn't fun, to never let anyone have anything that's yours (and everything you touch is "yours"), and to get violent with anyone and anything that annoys you in any way.

    You may notice that these are all things that toddlers tend to be, and which we don't tolerate, and teach them not to be. People who say "I couldn't help it" when explaining their infidelity are precisely as childish as a toddler screaming "NO, MINE" when you ask if you can see their toy for a moment.

    I'm not saying people who are unfaithful are childish, here. But don't pretend it wasn't a deliberate and conscious choice.

    All that aside, you honestly don't sound that into your girlfriend, and shouldn't ask her to move across the country with you. There's nothing wrong with this; I'm not pro-monogamy, I'm just anti-dishonesty, and just caring for her isn't loving her. If you don't love her, you'll probably end up cheating for selfish reasons, because your own enjoyment will matter more to you than her hurt feelings. So do her the favor of hurting her feelings up front and honestly, and before you drag her across the country and away from her support network of friends and family.

    The big question should be; if you ask her to come with you, and she says "no", would you stay or go? If you'd go, break up with her; you might care for her but you're not in love with her. If you'd stay, you might have some serious thinking to do about what you posted.

  10. #10
    Humans do monogamy for a different reason. Things like herpes, aids, and other vanireal diseases. Looks fade over time, so if you are going to whore around do it now before noone wants you. Also have the balls to break it off with the chick before you do it.

    If you do it and do not break it off, then I hope you end up like my ex wife and catch herpes. She wanted to play around with any and everyone, so after I kicked her out she paid the consequence.

    What has been made by QQ can be unmade by QQ!!!

  11. #11
    sounds like you just dont want to commit to a real relationship. thats fine, break up with her and mess around all you like.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Illuminance View Post
    This decision will involve moving across the country (and presumably dragging my girlfriend along).
    I think your first step in all of this is discussing with her if she even wants to move across the country. Do you guys actually live together already or is it more of "she's just always at your place" sort of thing that often happens in university? You can ease into the conversation, and do it sooner rather than later, with the all the info for the schools you are looking at and ask her opinions on each of them. Spending some time apart may help, go visit your parents or some other relative or something, think about how you feel when she's not there; do you miss her and want to get back or are you looking to take the opportunity for something else while she isn't around?

  13. #13
    Monogamy isn't for everyone. Not everyone will end up married in a suburban home, with 2 children and a loving family. Sure, some will; to some that sounds perfect. But some find that idea hellish.

    Polygamy, assuming you approach it in a mature and honest manner (more in a bit), is perfectly fine. If that's what makes you happy, then go for it. Or you remain single your whole life, occasionally dating people but never commiting to anything. People can be happy with that as well.

    There are a lot of options. What's important is that you figure out what is best for yourself. Take the time to learn who you are and what you truly want in life.

    Contrary to what a lot may think, polygamy isn't automatically cheating. I am friends with a few commited polygamists; in other words, they are in a relationship that involves 3 (or more) people, and they are only romatically involved within the group. Alternatively, you can get a 'monogamist' couple that will occasionally go out and pick up a third person for a night of passion. Or maybe date a third person for a while, but staying commited to each other. You could also have a couple in an open relationship; married to each other, but will occasionally go have sex with other people independent of one another.

    The main thing to keep in mind is honesty. Communication. Never lie to each other, and always talk about what is and isn't acceptable. Set the ground rules in your relationship early on and stick to them (or at least, discuss when/if the rules need to change).

    On a personal level, I know that I want monogamy for myself. I wouldn't be able to handle polygamy, much to my own annoyance! But I couldn't sleep with another woman, even with my potential girlfriend's consent. Nor could I handle her sleeping with another man.

    You just have to take the time to figure out what you want. I would also strongly suggest talking about this with your girlfriend: see what is going through her own mind. You may find that she has very similar ideas about men, so maybe you'll end up in a commited open relationship with each other? Who knows.

    Relationships are funny things, and there is no one 'ideal'. There are many ways to make people happy with each other. Figure out what you want, then find someone who shares those ideals. You'll be so much happier for it.

  14. #14
    High Overlord MrPrnfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Well from personal experience all monogamy got me was cheated on atleast 9 times in 7 years (srsly no joke,more and more comes out every time i hear a mention of her name)
    But not to worry, even with all that i'm still a firm believer of monogamy and believe if you "truly" love that person, who cares what other options are out there because lets face it, you're clearly not in love if your checking out other people

    all personal opinion ofc

    Quote Originally Posted by AutomaticBadger View Post
    Oh and anyone who says: "By a Mac" just GTFO... That's like saying cut your d**k off and you will never get an STD.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MrPrnfold View Post
    But not to worry, even with all that i'm still a firm believer of monogamy and believe if you "truly" love that person, who cares what other options are out there because lets face it, you're clearly not in love if your checking out other people
    As nice as this sentiment sounds, it is also entirely untrue. Some people out there will be like this; never bothering to look at anyone else because they are happy in their own relationship, being totally monogamous. There are plenty of people out there though for whom monogamy doesn't make them happy, and that's ok: just be honest about who you are, to yourself and to any potential partners.

  16. #16
    The Patient Daleness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    anywhere you're not
    Well to be honest you're not ready for a relationship, when you find that one person you can see a future with you will know.
    Problem is alot of people just rush into things or take the first that comes around, people being desperate.
    I don't see the desperate need to have anyone, I never have, play aound until you find THAT someone that fits you.
    Woho! post count +1!

  17. #17
    High Overlord MrPrnfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Kisho View Post
    As nice as this sentiment sounds, it is also entirely untrue.
    Yeh i'm one of the people who have always thought like that, i found out about two occasions of her unfaithfulness a good year before we broke up and even then couldn't bring myself to cheat on her despite a few offers.....pass maybe i'm just weird

    Quote Originally Posted by AutomaticBadger View Post
    Oh and anyone who says: "By a Mac" just GTFO... That's like saying cut your d**k off and you will never get an STD.

  18. #18
    If you want your options open, the thing to do would be to break up with her, unless of course she is interested in an open relationship and so are you. Monogamy works when your want for longterm, stable partnership (not sex, not passion, not lust, not love...though typically all of those things are involved to some extent) with one particular person is stronger than your want/curiosity/drive to plow other people. If you're not there -or even if you're *never* there- that's okay, but she deserves to know what's up.

  19. #19
    If you want polygamy then you must get her consent, otherwise it's just cheating.

  20. #20
    America is in a state of "serial monogamy" right now. Meaning that we have an exclusive relationship for a couple years, then a shift happens (like you moving) and then we have another exclusive relationship with someone else. Basically the norm is to have monogamous relationships one after the other and some people put hook-ups between those. It's up to you to decide if this person is someone you want to marry, but marriage is a lot of negotiation and compromise, and it sounds like you don't want to have to deal with her after you move.

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