Did You Know
Serial monogamy has become one of the most popular forms of relationships in recent times.
What is Serial Monogamy?
Monogamy implies having a single partner at a time in a relationship, either sexual or by marriage. The term usually comes with the unstated understanding that the relationship will be a long-term one. The word 'serial' preceding it changes the meaning of 'monogamy' entirely. Urban Dictionary states that a serial monogamist is "one who spends as little time as possible being single, moving from the end of one relationship to the beginning of a new relationship as quickly as possible".
A Key Difference - Time Spent Together
The key difference between monogamy and serial monogamy is time. A serial monogamist may have a fruitful and happy relationship just like a monogamist, but the relationship tends to end sooner or later for various reasons. Almost as soon as one ends, another one begins. They're rarely single. In simple terms, it is monogamy with an expiry date.
It might seem unusual behavior for those unaccustomed to thinking this way, but humans are neither completely monogamous as a collective species, nor completely polygamous. Monogamy is not the norm, but the exception, for research indicates that less than 20% of human relationships are monogamous. Except in a few species of animals like swans, gibbons, lovebirds, wolves, termites, bald eagles or albatrosses, you'd be surprised to learn that a majority of the species on planet Earth were never genetically programmed to be monogamous. David Barash and Judith Lipton, in The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People, state that humans are not necessarily genetically inclined to be monogamous, but are rather flexible in their relationship habits. The more normal thing would be having multiple or inconsistent sexual partners.
Traits and Behavior a Serial Monogamist May Identify With
You Justify the Jumping
Sometimes, serial monos will justify their numerous relationships by stating that one needs to look through the hay to find the needle. Maybe an evolutionary perspective that the youth these days do not necessarily agree with is, that we have to be with someone all our lives. You're fine with moving on if things don't work out. Some may justify it by being stoic about the nature of love and giving things another chance if they have not found Mr. or Mrs. Right.
You're Not Looking for Dates
Dating simply means openly testing the waters and checking compatibility before committing. One may date any number of people at one time, but that does not mean (s)he is in a relationship with any of them. A serial monogamist is, and knows, (s)he is in a proper relationship. You want the stability of a Jurassic-era long relationship, but you just can't seem to find the right person worthy of it. How real is your love? 100% while it lasts. You're either all in or all out.
You're Picky and Choosy
Sometimes a serial mono may end up feeling that the person that they love and are with is not someone they want to be with any more, because they do not have that specific something. You may agree that you have no idea what you're looking for in your partner, until the day you realize that you don't exactly know what you're looking for, but know exactly what you AREN'T looking for.
There's Some Emotional Overlap Between Relationships
Sometimes, the relationships of a serial monogamist may overlap emotionally. One might find a serial monogamist who loves his/her partner a lot, which he genuinely does, but something happens that causes him to drift apart from the partner and get closer to someone else, until one fine day he comes crying to his friends saying it's all over. And the next week, he is with someone new already, whom he declares is the love of his life.
You Believe in True Love
Even though monogamists might not agree on the idea of the existence of true love, most serial monogamists agree that there is the one true person for them, it's just that they have to go through a LOT of people to find 'The One'.
You're Not Peas From the Same Pod
The reasons for being in a relationship all the time vary from one person to another. Some serial monogamists might feel the need to constantly be with someone all the time to the extent that they despise being by themselves. Some might fear being single due to peer pressure, while others feel unloved if they have no romantic relationship.
You Accept a Changing Life
A serial monogamist knows they have really loved every single one of their partners, though others might term this infatuation, lust, or just plain ol' hobnobbing. Your friends give each other that "look" each time you approach them after a breakup. They know you've found the one, again. Contrary to what people (including friends) think, you don't do it just for the nasty, even though people think you're probably a desperate maniac. Hello! Not to be confused with a player either!
The Seeming Over-dependence
People seem to think that you cannot eat or cut your nails without being in a relationship. You have been criticized, advised, condemned, scrutinized, and forced by well-meaning friends and family to be less codependent or overdependent on your other half. How many times has the "be-independent-and-do-your-own-thing" lecture been delivered to you by coworkers at lunchtime?
Too Many People to Remember
You can't recall whether those people in all your photos were your friends or partners. Sometimes you know that you have hurt a lot of people, and you do feel bad about it though no one knows. Your friends are secretly always wondering how you manage to find so many people to date when they go years without a relationship.
You're Backed by Genetics
You know you are not cray-cray because monogamy as well as polygamy is inbuilt in human genetics. Science, man, science. Yes, there is divided opinion about its moral implications and nitty-gritty, but genetically, nothing much to worry about. Takes all kinds to make this world.
You're in the Goldilocks Zone
You think monogamy is a cultural ideal created by society, but you may also believe that one is free to pursue a relationship for as long as one wants because both options are available. Being a serial monogamist is like toeing a fine line between two extremes: long-term monogamy and polygamy. Goldilocks would be proud.
You're Open to New Experiences
You often have deep reflections late at night about where you're going in life with your relationships. You get to learn so many different things about yourself and other people. You have several different interests ranging from collecting cutlery to astronomy because each new partner that you had, taught you something new. You have a part of these partners with you in the new hobbies you acquired while being with them. You're not afraid of taking the plunge when it comes to trying new things.
One might dare to say that monogamy might be a societal construct, and that humans have evolved into monogamy only because of moral guidelines and pressure to conform, coupled with other factors like religion, geography, or culture. Serial monogamists may have evolved their thinking into making serial monogamy a logical outcome of the times, as monogamy is not looked at as the only relationship ideal anymore. The morality associated with one's relationship styles and preferences will finally die out some day, thanks to your efforts.