An interesting discussion broke out on one of my Facebook groups the other day.
A guy was asking about monogamy.
Like I’ve said before , he affirmed that monogamy is a totally okay choice.
As long as you’re choosing it FOR YOURSELF.
Even a polyamorous person can choose to be practically monogamous if he or she wants to. The only place where things get sticky is if monogamy is required of you by someone else.
At that point they are trying to make YOUR choice.
One that only you can make.
Your partner can never make it for you.
That was this guy’s point too.
He asked why it is legitimate in monogamy to choose only one partner for your spouse or significant other.
The discussion that ensued was interesting to say the least.
Most people agreed with him.
Choosing for someone else violates their autonomy.
But they insisted nonetheless that you could still enter such a relationship.
One where your partner required that of YOU.
As long as you did so freely.
This brought to memory the classical liberal discussions of the “willing slave.” Is it okay to be a slave as long as you’re willing to be one?
How is monogamy different than slavery?
You say, “No. Monagamy is based on love!”
How is it loving to try to control the actions of somebody else?
If you love someone don’t you respect their freedom?
Their right to live their life as THEY please?
Why should your romantic life be allowed this glaring exception? Why would you accept in your love life a condition you would reject in any other case?
People bantered back and forth.
Trying to make sense of this.
But this guy kept bringing it back to this main point.
Again and again and again.
As long as you have to limit yourself to only one partner, you’re not really free whether or not you do. You are allowing your partner to choose this for you. You are not making the choice for yourself.
Finally I decided to chime in.
I started out by saying, “I agree with you.”
“In actual fact it’s very clear.”
“Monogamy is just an ILLUSION.”
“You are always free to choose to be with someone else and always completely unable to prevent your partner from doing so as well. Monogamists are just UNCONSCIOUS polyamorists.”
The response to my statement was mixed.
Some people liked it.
It made other people angry.
I’m used to not being the popular guy!
But the fact remains, the only thing that holds your monogamous relationship together is that you and your partner continue to choose it.
Getting him or her to commit makes no difference at all.
If your partner is not committed to you TODAY?
No commitment he made yesterday matters.
Her commitment to you right now?
It doesn’t guarantee that she’ll do so the very next minute.
The only thing that matters…that ever matters…is your current, PRESENT connection. Your present desire to enjoy sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed.
Your connection in the here and now.
That’s what romantic love IS.
That’s all it is.
So what do you say? Is it time to quit chasing illusions and being an unconscious polyamorist and finally admit you can’t avoid polyamory anyway?