In a prior post I asked you why you believe in monogamy.
I shared some statistical realities indicating what a poor track record traditional monogamy has.
I suggested it may be time to reconsider your belief.
What I want to do in this post is explore a little closer why you believe in monogamy, despite the evidence against it, and how you can begin to take control of your love life.
The reason you believe in monogamy is because you are not listening to your heart.
I know. Sounds crazy right?
After all isn’t it your heart that tells you that you want someone in your life?
Isn’t it your heart that draws you to be with someone and experience love between the two of you?
Actually, yes it is.
But that’s not a desire for monogamy.
The desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed.
I actually believe this desire should be central in your life and you should build your life around it.
But there is nothing inherent in that desire that says you cannot experience it with anyone you encounter and come to value.
Or that it can only be experienced if you move in with someone and live with them for the rest of your life.
Monagamy is not romantic love, it is just a particular way people have tried to pursue romantic love. You can have romantic love in your life, without committing to monogamy and all the challenges it represents.
If you were truly listening to your heart, you would be open to romantic love wherever you find it.
But something else is telling you that to experience romantic love in your life, you have to find one special person to live happily ever after with.
What is that?
The first thing you need to understand is that “romantic love” as you’ve come to perceive it, is nature’s sell job.
In fact it’s not real romantic love at all. You’re just being duped.
What do I mean by that?
Here’s the news flash!
Nature doesn’t care about your relationship.
It only cares about getting babies born and on their way.
Nature is all about guys spreading their DNA as broadly as possible to keep the race going. And it’s about girls letting them do that.
It isn’t about your love life at all, except as that serves nature’s purpose of carrying on the human race.
Three steps need to be achieved if nature is going to accomplish it’s goal:
Step 1: Make sure babies are conceived
Step 2: Make sure babies are nurtured
Step 3: Make sure babies survive
For Step 1 to be accomplished both you guys and you girls need to be willing to cause conception to occur.
You could call this Step 1 (a) and Step 1 (b).
Step 1 (a): Get guys to make sure babies are conceived
Setp 1 (b): Get girls to make sure babies are conceived
The way nature takes care of Step 1 (a) is it makes you guys naturally sexually addicted.
Because of your much higher testosterone levels, you think about sex most of the time and if you don’t have a sexual release at least every two to three days on average, you start becoming agitated.
Of course you can masturbate to relieve this pressure to some extent.
But here too nature has wired you so that’s no where near as satisfying as having this release during sex with a girl.
And in true addictive fashion, the more you “get some” the more you “want some.”
Step 1 (a): Get guys to make sure babies are conceived.
How has nature taken care of Step 1 (b)?
It could have just wired you girls like guys to want sex all the time, and certainly you girls experience sexual desire too.
But nature also needs something more from you.
It needs you to take care of Step 2 by being ready to not only have sex so conception will occur, but also to nurture those babies when they come into the world so frail and dependent.
So nature has taken a somewhat different course with you.
Your higher estrogen levels make you naturally more nurturing in your emotional tendencies and because of this you usually have a desire to give birth to at least a baby or two sometime before you’re life is over.
Your interest in sex usually has this desire underlying it too.
That’s why you’re usually the most interested in sex when you’re ovulating.
And of course that same nurturing desire makes you ready to care for your child when he or she arrives.
Step 1 (b): Get girls to make sure babies are conceived.
Step 2: Make sure babies are nurtured.
So what about Step 3?
How does nature ensure babies are cared for long enough, that they can grow and become less fragile and utterly dependent?
This is the tricky part.
Because for conception to occur all that has to happen is for you guys to want sex with a girl just once when she’s willing and able to conceive.
You girls’ natural nurturing tendencies makes you quite ready to love your child when he or she arrives.
But during your pregnancy and as you are nurturing your newborn, you are much more physically vulnerable and unable to protect yourself.
Obviously this was a bigger problem before modernization and all the helps available today for single moms.
But it is still a factor nonetheless.
If a guy were to just have sex with you, get you pregnant, and then leave you to fend for yourself, the likelihood of your child surviving would be much less.
Nature needs something more to ensure a guy sticks around and provides and protects until your child is able to make his or her way in the world.
Enter “romantic love” as you commonly perceive it.
When you guys “fall in love” with a girl, this circumvents your natural tendency to leave and move on to new sexual conquests.
You start wanting to keep having sex with this same girl.
And you get some major emotional shots at the brain chemistry level, that pull you in and keep you sticking around and helping out.
You become more motivated by emotional connection than just sex.
This is also why you girls are wired to want emotional connection from a guy before you have sex with him.
So “romantic love” as you usually perceive it, is nature’s way of getting you together so babies can be born and nurtured, and keeping you together just long enough to get them on their way in the world.
But that’s when Step 4 kicks in.
Oh. I didn’t mention Step 4?
I must have forgotten.
Remember how I said “romantic love” as you’ve come to perceive it is nature’s sell job?
Step 4 is why.
Here is Step 4:
Step 4: Make sure couples break up so the whole process can start again.
Yep. You read that right.
Nature does not care about your relationship, except in so far as it further’s nature’s goal of propogating the race.
And the race will do much better if your genes get spread more widely, instead of becoming localized in a single gene pool.
Sorry. This is just the way it is.
Remember all those nice new relationship energy feelings that drew you “romantically” together?
The brain chemicals that produce those feelings of “falling in love” are known to last between 6-36 months on average.
It’s called the Honeymoon Effect.
After that they die down and you begin to have problems.
You and your partner “fall out of love” and cannot revive your feelings for each other.
You can try various strategies, but basically you’re hooped unless you know what you’re doing.
Even then it’s a very hard place to come back from, if you weren’t preemptive before that point.
What this all means is you’re not really wired for monogamy, you just think you are.
Because of your natural sexual addiction you guys are almost not wired for monogamy at all.
This is a primary source of marital unfaithfulness and affairs.
But when you “fall in love,” you can feel like you’re wired for monogamy for a while.
A lot of you girls don’t have much trouble believing me when I say most guys are not wired for monogamy.
What may surprise you though, is that you’re not wired for monogamy either.
You think you want happily ever after but 65% of all divorces are instigated by you, not your guy.
And there are way more reasons than just your guy messing up that causes this.
I’ll have more to say in future blog posts about why this happens.
At best you girls are wired for serial monogamy, which I have also equated with serial polyamory, since you’re essentially wired to have multiple partners in your life too, for nature’s goals to be achieved.
This is the reason you believe in monogamy. Short term serial monogamy serves nature’s purposes. Not yours.
It provides a place for babies to be born and nurtured, until they are up and running.
Happily ever after is not on the menu.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with having babies, if that’s what you want.
But “romantic love” as you normally perceive it, is just nature’s sell job to get you to pull that off.
It makes you think you’ve found “the one” and are going to “live happily ever after.”
But really you’re going to live happily for 6 months to 3 years, so your babies can get on their way.
Then you’re going to break up and start the process again.
I know. I know. You know a couple who…
There are exceptions to every rule.
That’s what makes it the rule.
And the rule as we saw is that 83% of all monogamous relationships end up unhappy.
Then they end.
It is important to realize that monogamy has nothing to do with real romantic love. It only has to do with getting babies born and on their way.
And what you really need to recognize is that “romantic love” as you usually perceive it, is not real romantic love at all.
What you think is romantic love is really just attraction.
Attraction is a natural addiction nature has embedded within you to get those babies made!
You can experience attraction for someone you don’t even know.
Real romantic love is the desire to experience sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed.
It is the real intimacy that comes from truly knowing and valuing your partner for who they are, and wanting to share yourself with them because of this.
That’s your heart talking and you can experience real romantic love with anyone you find that kind of connection with.
You don’t have to make a commitment to live together, so you can live happily ever after!
That’s your DNA talking.
You need to be smarter than your DNA.
Isn’t it time you quit buying nature’s sell job?
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This Post Has 3 Comments
Biologically, we’re most likely wired for serial monogamy. However, in a developed society, if we want to see ourselves that way, we also understand that our biological instincts don’t always serve us in the long run. So we choose not to binge on every carbohydrate we can find just because a survival mechanism in our brains makes us crave binges since food can be scarce in the wild.
The same goes for you being vegetarian. That’s not normal or natural from a biological standpoint, but there are other benefits.
Also, 50% of marriages ending in divorce isn’t quite accurate. If 100 people get married in a year, and there are 50 divorces in a year, they say that is a 50% divorce rate. But those are not the same 50 who were just married. Those are 50 divorces from people who could have been married any time in the last 75 years.
I personally think our dissatisfaction with marriage is because we lack the skills to maintain overall happiness in our society. People who are married tend, on average, to be happier than single people. Men who are married tend to be a little happier than women who are married. This generation of young kids right now might not even be able to handle having a healthy short-term relationship because they’ve been so saturated with porn that they have no understanding of what it means to be intimate. It’s very sad.
Monogamy isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. But monogamy works wonderfully for many people. Having a momentary biological urge to have sex with someone else likely won’t go away, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to follow through on that urge. Just the same as it’s not necessary to strangle someone at work just because the thought comes up, or to eat 20 pounds of junk food just because it would taste good.
My two cents 🙂
@Marie – As always lots of insightful reflections! 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly that nature’s wiring should not be our guide for how we live our lives when it does not serve our values. It is because I believe romantic love is our central relationship value, that I recommend exploring alternatives to monogamy.
Monogamy tacks on a lot of extras that are not required for romantic love to flourish, and it significantly more often than not interferes with our love lives, unless we work very hard to counter balance its natural tendencies in this regard.
You’re quite right too that all the divorce statistic means is 50% as many people divorced this year than married this year, and there is likely a very small percentage overlap between the two groups of the same people marrying who divorced.
Depending on the numbers of people being married today versus in the past though, this could actually mean the percentage of divorces is higher if population growth entails more marriages happen annually today than happened annually in the past. Alternatively if less people are being married today, the divorce percent would skew downward.
The important thing to recognize either way is the number of people unhappily married is significantly greater yet. Experts working in the field put the percentage of happy long term monogamous marriages at between 17-20%. This is abismal no matter how we slice it, and is the real results being experienced by people who monogamously marry, whatever factors come into play in a given relationship.
Regarding sexual infidelity, I think the temptation to stray is quite rare among truly happily married people. By the time that happens the emotional connection in a relationship has significantly deteriorated.
Since romantic love as I define it is the desire to enjoy sexual fulfillment and emotional connection that is mutually shared and enjoyed, the overall statistics for monogamy when this definition is used do not provide a lot of encouragement.
What I’ve tried to do in this blog post is explore a possible explanation for why we cling to our belief in monogamy in spite of all the evidence that it just doesn’t work as a way to pursue romantic love in a high percentage of cases.
We don’t normally bet on horses we see consistently don’t win. But people continue to believe they will win with monogamy no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary. I think the biological explanation I’ve suggested is a very likely source for the persistence of this belief. We simply are wired to believe. But as agreed at the start, when we see our wiring is not serving our true purpose, exploring alternative possibilities makes sense. Hence this website! 🙂
Thanks again as always for the depth of your thoughts…
“Regarding sexual infidelity, I think the temptation to stray is quite rare among truly happily married people. By the time that happens the emotional connection in a relationship has significantly deteriorated.”
We’re in agreement here. I don’t think monogamy or polygamy have much to do with happiness. I know plenty of completely passive aggressive and unhappy people on both ends of the monogamy-polyamory spectrum. Common values and a commitment to mutual growth with the relationship are far bigger factors. People who are unhappy and unhealthy without the motivation to put in consistent work to change their ways, will likely be that way no matter what the sexual agreements are in a relationship.