Pros and cons of monogamy
As we all know, monogamy refers to the practice of having one romantic or sexual partner at one time.
Monogamy can exist with or without marriage, and can be practiced by people of all sexual orientations. Monogamy is the ideal in most contemporary cultures, but other options include open relationships and polyamory. Is there a right or wrong way of having relationships?
Is monogamy the perfect situation, or being polyamorous have its perks? Both systems have pros and cons. In an ever evolving, diverse world, is there a one-shoe-fits-all answer when it comes to love? They are complex questions with not easy answers.
Monogamy gets a bad rap these days. People say it’s unnatural, impossible, outdated, stifling. And, yes, sometimes it is! Especially if your wedding anniversary now contains two digits. But anything worth fighting for will usually put you through the ringer, and monogamy is no exception.
We have collected some of the good and not-so-good reasons to embrace monogamy.
Monogamy isn’t just about marrying off before everything starts to sag. Age can also mean that you get to know your body better, you become more comfortable in your own skin, you leave youthful insecurities behind, and your partner learns your body so well they could navigate you blindfolded. Given enough time, you and your partner can discover untold routes to your happy place. This means you don’t have to start from scratch with a new partner every time.
Assuming both of you have embraced monogamy and are true to your vows of sexual fidelity, then you don’t have to worry about contracting any (or any more) STDs, aka sexually transmitted infections. Quite a relief!
Dirty sex, the kind that might involve role-playing or spanking or a little light bondage, is best enjoyed with someone you love and trust completely. Letting a first date tie you up? Not such a good idea. Plus, the more domestic and settled your day-to-day life is, the hotter it is to break out the ping-pong paddle at night.
Intimacy means having a deep personal connection with someone. One advantage of monogamy is that it fosters emotional intimacy, supporting two people in developing a strong, affectionate relationship. In a monogamous relationship, most people expect the search for a partner to be over, building a solid, intimate relationship that will stand the test of time.
Monogamy brings with it stability and routine as partners settle into a familiar, comfortable pattern of life. The novelty and desire might get impacted due to this monotony set in the bond between partners.
Monogamy is a relatively rare phenomenon in mammals (3-5%, from a total of 4000 mammalian species). The duration of the bond may vary from one breeding period to life-long. This type of relationship is an intrinsically unstable mating strategy. Benefits include the (relative) certainty of access to the partner’s reproductive potential, but the chief disadvantage is that access to other potential partners is strongly diminished, particularly in those cases where males exhibit strong mate-guarding behavior.
A tendency to social monogamy has evolved, however, and is subject to strong reinforcement by cultural factors, particularly religion. As a result, in a number of cultures monogamy is the predominant mating system; however, most cultures (about 85%) are polygamic. For humans, the optimal evolutionary strategy is monogamy when necessary, polygamy when possible.
Jealousy can be a factor in any type of relationship, monogamous or not. Jealousy in this kind of relationship is often more a product of imagination or fear of what might happen than a reality. In non-monogamous relationships, jealousy can be a very real threat. At the same time, some individuals may choose monogamy because of a tendency to become jealous, or choose not to be monogamous because of their non-jealous nature.
People evolve over time. The personality you fell in love with can very well change, and you might not be able to get out of the relationship once you are committed to it due to social pressure, financial dependence, children etc.
Settling down could mean giving up the hopes and dreams you had for a future with only you in it. Now, you have to accommodate your partner’s future too which sometimes might not be aligned with your goals and ambitions. Monogamy and polyamory both hold their perks and challenges. In the end, you have to be able to interact with your partners about how you feel and what you want. It is not unusual for polyamorous couples to ultimately return.