Epilogue

Hey folks! Remember me from here and here?

I just wanted to pop in to say that Michelle and I have reached a pretty good place. I think Mono was right, I am a serial monogamist. I'm not sure how I'm going to adjust to this, since I love Michelle being her polyamorous self, but at least I can dial down the angst a bit.

I miss Bree terribly. I haven't heard from her in weeks. I suspect she's licking her wounds and focusing on classwork. I'm surprised we're not talking at all. I hope she's not mad at me, and, maybe I'm too optimistic, I still hold out hope for a rekindling. Eventually.

Anyway, I've chronicled the whole thing over at YourTango. Take a read, let me know what you think.

FYI, I changed the pseudonyms for the blog:

Natalie = Bree
Allison = Michelle
Rafael = Ralph
 

sage

New member
Glad that you seem to have found a happier place. Interested though in how you see "serial monogamy" working long term? Can serial monogamy be a positive thing?
 

redpepper

New member
I think basically serial monogamy is just what people in general are. It is extremely rare that a person only is intimate with one person in their lives. Sure, the time between partners is longer of some, but most people seem to go from one partner to another, to another.
 

Tonberry

New member
I think you need to make a distinction between the NRE addicts who are serial monogamists on the short-term, and "regular" serial monogamy as is the most common form of monogamy (up to years with a person, more than one partner during your lifetime).
I'm pretty sure ThatRomanticGeek means he is the latter, not the former.
 
I think you need to make a distinction between the NRE addicts who are serial monogamists on the short-term, and "regular" serial monogamy as is the most common form of monogamy (up to years with a person, more than one partner during your lifetime).
I'm pretty sure ThatRomanticGeek means he is the latter, not the former.


Yep, that's the conclusion I'm drawing.

Wish Michelle/Allison and I had been able to recognize that and discuss it with Bree/Natalie before it was too late. Sigh.
 

Lemondrop

New member
I think basically serial monogamy is just what people in general are. It is extremely rare that a person only is intimate with one person in their lives. Sure, the time between partners is longer of some, but most people seem to go from one partner to another, to another.

Redpepper, the definition I'd heard for serial monogamy was someone who sought out monogamous relationships, but eventually would seek out a new person and cheat. Then the first relationship would go down in flames, the serial monogamist would swear to be faithful to the new love, and then repeat the cycle. I don't see that as quite the same as someone who has more than one monogamous relationship in their lifetime.
 

redpepper

New member
Redpepper, the definition I'd heard for serial monogamy was someone who sought out monogamous relationships, but eventually would seek out a new person and cheat. Then the first relationship would go down in flames, the serial monogamist would swear to be faithful to the new love, and then repeat the cycle. I don't see that as quite the same as someone who has more than one monogamous relationship in their lifetime.

At the debate I went to the other night about "is monogamy natural" this is what was come up with; that our society is about serial monogamy, which includes what I talked about and also what you have said lemondrop. Humans apparently, according to those debating, as far as I could tell, were saying that we fall in and out of love through out or lives. We don't just once. That can be in a short period of time which can lead to cheating or long term where we might have a long term relationship and then break up and find someone else. The point being that the feelings are the same and common.
 

redsirenn

New member
Can serial monogamy be a positive thing?

I don't see why not?

I think that this form of monogamy can have its pluses and minuses as well. You still spend time with one person at a time, learn their inner workings without distraction of another relationship, and then move on when you discover that either you are not as compatible as you should be to stay together, or things just didn't work out.

Then you try again.

This behaviour has given me the opportunity to learn what I want in my romantic (and platonic) relationships and to seek those traits in people. If something doesn't work with someone, and yet I or they want to remain mono, then we can break it off in search of what will work "better".

In the end, It is just another relationship style that WORKS for some people. The problem with any relationship comes when you are not being honest with your self or your partner. I don't understand why people shame serial monogamy as if it is a bad thing. It's just different!
 

redsirenn

New member
Humans apparently, according to those debating, as far as I could tell, were saying that we fall in and out of love through out or lives. We don't just once.

Some people do just once, and some don't ever.

I understand your generalization here is not purposeful, RP. But, I think it is important to always note and be aware that everyone works differently. Some view love differently than others and just that can make it impossible to love twice in a lifetime. Others - as you know - do find that possible.

One thing that I have learned through my adventures with O and on this forum is to never think that something HAS to be the way it is. I can shape my own relationships, others can too. Nothing is better than another, and nothing is the same. Anything is possible, and to be open minded means understanding that this is truly the case.
 

redpepper

New member
Some people do just once, and some don't ever.

I understand your generalization here is not purposeful, RP. But, I think it is important to always note and be aware that everyone works differently. Some view love differently than others and just that can make it impossible to love twice in a lifetime. Others - as you know - do find that possible.

One thing that I have learned through my adventures with O and on this forum is to never think that something HAS to be the way it is. I can shape my own relationships, others can too. Nothing is better than another, and nothing is the same. Anything is possible, and to be open minded means understanding that this is truly the case.

Oh I I'm not saying I agree or disagree. I'm just saying that these profs of evolutionary psychology were coming up with this conclusion about monogamy as being more of the serial variety than otherwise at this debate. That that was somehow more natural. Of course it was being debated if monogamy is natural and serial monogamy is what they thought was more on the natural side.

Of course its totally a generalization. I thought I indicated that in saying that there is some what of a scale. Maybe not. *shrug* :)
 

Lemondrop

New member
At the debate I went to the other night about "is monogamy natural" this is what was come up with; that our society is about serial monogamy, which includes what I talked about and also what you have said lemondrop. Humans apparently, according to those debating, as far as I could tell, were saying that we fall in and out of love through out or lives. We don't just once. That can be in a short period of time which can lead to cheating or long term where we might have a long term relationship and then break up and find someone else. The point being that the feelings are the same and common.

Hmmm...by this definition, all monogamy would be serial except in the very rare case where a person only loves and is in a relationship with that love once in their entire life.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Hmmm...by this definition, all monogamy would be serial except in the very rare case where a person only loves and is in a relationship with that love once in their entire life.

I think people are more serial mongamous than "lifelong" monogamous. I certainly have always been one. I don't mean that all mono relationships will inevitably end, just that one ends before another begins. I don't equate the word monogamous with eternal bonding, I equate it with intimate exclusivity.
 

TruckerPete

New member
I think people are more serial mongamous than "lifelong" monogamous. I certainly have always been one. I don't mean that all mono relationships will inevitably end, just that one ends before another begins. I don't equate the word monogamous with eternal bonding, I equate it with intimate exclusivity.

Agreed!
 

sage

New member
I think the word "serial" is this problem. It conjures up a picture of regular episodes in relatively quick succession which isn't really what you guys are talking about.

A fellow blogger did quite a nice post about the seasons of a relationship: from spring through to winter. My take on this is: spring full of promise and beauty; summer ripe and luscious; autumn being the harvest but also getting a bit rougher and winter giving yourself the choice between cold and bleak or wrapping up cosily by a fire together in harmony. In reality the winter of a relationship is a bit of both.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
When I head serial monogamist, I do understand it to mean quick successive monogamous relationships. I think that is the intention of the term.

That could well be an assumption of mine though :)
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
maybe people use the word monogamous incorrectly by adding in the idea that it implies forever and not just exclusive while in a relationship.
 

Tonberry

New member
Hmmm...by this definition, all monogamy would be serial except in the very rare case where a person only loves and is in a relationship with that love once in their entire life.

Yes, the argument here is that people who say "you can't love more than one person that much" can be replied to with "most people do, just usually not at the same time".

maybe people use the word monogamous incorrectly by adding in the idea that it implies forever and not just exclusive while in a relationship.

As far as I know, that's what it originally meant (only one spouse in your lifetime, no sex outside of marriage). For many religious people, that's still what it means. After all adultery technically includes sex with your spouse before you're married, too.

I think serial monogamy makes sense from a biological point of view. You find someone, stay together long enough to have a child and get them out of the most vulnerable time, then part ways and get another partner and do the same, thereby multiplying the DNA variety or something.
With that definition, the amount of time with each partner would probably be something like 3 years, which I think is the longest NRE can last, so it makes sense.

While "serial monogamy" might sound like a succession of quick relationships (but really, what's your definition of quick? 3 years can be considered quick or very long, depending) to me really the point of it is saying "if someone new shows up, you might fall for them and stop loving the person you were previously with, and leave them".
I feel it's different from lifelong monogamy where it's assumed that if someone new comes along, it won't matter because you have found your partner already.

I went to check Wikipedia's article on monogamy and found a part on serial monogamy (emphases mine):

Serial monogamy

Serial monogamy is characterized by a series of long- or short-term, exclusive sexual relationships entered into consecutively over the lifespan. [...] In common usage referring to humans, the two partners need not be married, but may be involved in a sexually monogamous relationship. This behavior is sometimes referred to as a form of,[21] or replacement for,[22] polygamy.

In animal sexuality, serial monogamy often means that an animal will have a different, but exclusive, breeding partner each mating season. Generally, any animals that do not mate with one partner, for life, but do mate exclusively with one partner per mating season can be considered serially monogamous, including those who find a second mate only upon the death of the first.

Western culture

Within Western culture, several academics have put forth the position that serial monogamy is considered more fundamental than "full" monogamy.[23][24]

Break up

Serial monogamy has always been closely linked to divorce practices. Whenever procedures for obtaining divorce have been simple and easy, serial monogamy has been found.[25] As divorce has continued to become more accessible, more individuals have availed themselves of it, and many go on to remarry.[26] It has been suggested, however, that high mortality rates in centuries past accomplished much the same result as divorce, enabling remarriage (of one spouse) and thus serial monogamy.[27][28][29]

I think as part of the polyamorous community, we tend to hear about serial monogamy in a negative light, because it can be used as an argument ("we stay with the people we love instead of dumping them for the next one that show up!") or equated with NRE-addiction caused serial monogamy (in which the relationships are generally much shorter and pretty much never long term at all). (EDIT: I don't think that's in itself a bad thing, the problems arise when the other party is being taken for a ride /EDIT)
But outside of the polyamorous community, it seems to me "serial monogamy" is a term that's already used, and it simply refers to the fact of having more than one partner in your lifetime, but only one at a time.
 
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MonoVCPHG

New member
I guess a lot of ideas around words are regional. Regardless at the very basis of mongamy is one love at a time...I'm comfortable with that...serial or whatever else:)
 
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