This post was updated on Nov 29, 2022
Monogamous relationships have long been the only type of relationship that permeates our daily lives and gets representation in the media. While the ideal of a picture-perfect marriage is ingrained in most people’s minds, reality is far less rosy.
Divorce rates are high and many people fail to make their monogamous relationships work. Many start wondering if monogamy is for them or if they should seek an alternative relationship model.
Read on to find out what exactly is monogamy, who can benefit from it, and whether you can opt out of it if you wish. You’ll also learn about its different types, so you’re able to define and explain your needs better. If you’d like to discover more about yourself and create more fulfilling romantic bonds, you can consult a reliable relationship coach online.
What Is A Monogamous Relationship?
In a monogamous relationship, partners commit exclusively to each other. They agree not to be romantically involved with anyone else apart from one another. It’s a concept opposite to polyamory, where people can have sexual encounters with or develop romantic feelings for others outside their relationship. While monogamy is almost a given in our society nowadays, there are people who choose not to conform to this concept.
Who Benefits From Monogamy?
Depending on the people in question and their preferences, monogamy may offer multiple advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’ll benefit from it or not will depend on your personality, experiences, and wishes.
For example, some people find comfort in the simplicity and constancy of a monogamous relationship. It comes with a rather clear-cut set of rules, which align with many people’s religious and moral views. It’s also the most universally accepted relationship model in the USA, making it the most palatable for the majority of families and friends.
Many people find the concept of growing old with the person they love romantic and highly desirable. They enjoy the focused attention they receive and the exclusivity of their partner’s affection.
On the other hand, monogamy may feel too constricting to some people. They may be underwhelmed with the predictability of making a lifelong commitment to one person only. Some also value the flexibility and practicality of polyamory. For example, they can engage in different activities with different partners, without attaching all of their needs to one person.
Some people would like to be monogamous, but they struggle with remaining faithful to their partner. This may create friction in the relationship down the line, leading to arguments, grudges, and the death of the relationship. This person may either seek a compatible partner who doesn’t mind being in an open relationship or find relationship coaching to help them work on their concerns.
Because everyone’s different, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what works for you and communicate that honestly with potential partnerships.
Is Monogamy A Choice?
Although in the West it has generally been the norm for centuries, monogamy is linked to culture, not nature. Throughout history, some societies imposed it, while others favored polygamy as the dominant relationship model. Although mononormativity is deeply rooted in our society and only monogamous marriages are legal in the USA, every couple is different and can decide whether to actively practice it.
It’s important for partners to establish the groundwork for their relationship early on so there are no unmet expectations or bitter disappointments down the road. Once you set certain boundaries together, you and then respect them. However, they don’t have to be set in stone.
You can revisit this discussion at different times, when the situation calls for it. For example, a couple may agree not to be financially monogamous in the beginning of their relationship, while they’re dating and living apart. Later on, when they decide to share a home, they may find it more convenient and practical to have shared finances. They can rethink and reshape these aspects of their relationship as it grows and changes.
What Are The 5 Types Of Monogamy?
Monogamy comes in different forms. A couple may be monogamous in none, one, several, or all of these aspects. Knowing how to differentiate between them can come in handy. These types are a handy tool that can help you define and discuss your and your partner’s needs.
- Physical: This is what most people mean when they talk about monogamy. The partners sexually engage with each other exclusively and physical contact with other people is considered cheating.
- Social: The partners typically live together under one roof, introduce each other as their partner, and become a part of each other’s families. They may be your emergency contact or your plus one in any social situation.
- Emotional: People who are emotionally monogamous agree to share a deep emotional connection only with one another. While they may choose to be physically intimate with other people, only the two of them share the feelings of romantic love.
- Financial: The couple has joint finances that they don’t share with other people without the permission of the other partner. They have insight into each other’s financial situation and decide on money matters together.
- Activity: This applies to doing certain things with each other only, without involving other people. These may be different hobbies or interests that the couple bonds over.
Where Can I Find Compassionate Relationship Intimacy Coaching?
Whether you’re in a monogamous or polyamorous relationship, PIVOT can guide you toward better self-understanding and more fulfilling connections to others. Many difficulties people face stem from early traumatic experiences, which leave emotional wounds that reverberate throughout their lives.
Through the PIVOT process, you can explore yourself profoundly and establish what makes you repeat harmful and ineffective patterns. Ultimately, this deeper self-awareness leads to a more satisfying relationship with yourself and others. You can attend our couples workshops to learn more about yourself and your partner or change for the better by joining our individual workshop program.
We offer a tailored approach that will help you take control of your past hurt. Join us today!