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Thread: Is monogamy worthwhile; is there a point to it? page

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    AMonkey's Avatar
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    Is monogamy worthwhile; is there a point to it?

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    I'm looking for some perspective on this from you guys, since I find myself in a quandary and a lot of you are older and have more life experience. For reference I'm 23 years old. This is a lengthy post, so you you donít need read it all, but it explains my perspective of the situation. You can look at the issue of monogamy from a more cultural academic approach, or a personal one. I'm interested in your thoughts.

    Generally monogamy is idolised in the West, something to be striven for and maintained, doubly so once married. Partners stay faithful, they stay together for years and everything is simple, yay!

    I've had my doubts about the status quo for a while. At university this year I was the guy that girls cheated on when they had boyfriends. The most innocent was flirting with and dancing with a girl all night (she used a fake name and never mentioned her boyfriend), the worst was having sex with a girl and her cheating turned her on more. I knew great girls who were tempted to flirt, flirted or cheat with guys. The take away message of Woody Allen movies, for me, was that cheating is natural since we regularly fall out of love, or find somebody better. One of my older friends (27) told me to never get a girlfriend. So I had a dull view of monogamy and decided that investing in a single girl was pointless, since people cheat, you should just date multiple girls.

    In June I had at least one date with 5 girls, but 3 weeks after meeting one particular girl, I decided I wanted to be exclusive. Its 3 months now, she is quite in love with me, I enjoy my time with her a lot. Recently she told me she is/used to Skype a guy whom she found attractive, before she met me she wanted to have a drink with him, at one point he told her he wanted to have sex, at one point she mentioned we were dating and had sex outside, he asked her to join her for poker recently and she declined. I didn't ask the last time they Skyped or what details they share/shared about our relationship.

    I wasn't insecure or bothered by this at all, I told her I didn't care. However other people seem to think it is inappropriate and could be borderline/emotional cheating if they are having conversations about our sex life, when they find each other mutually attractive. When it came to the subject of cheating I told her if someone is to cheat then they never really cared for their partner. I explained it apathetically, as if recounting a corporate quarterly report. I also told her if she were to cheat, we would be done.

    This brings me to what I'm pondering now; is there any point to monogamy? Is there a point in investing in a single person, when cheating seems such the norm? Is there a point trying to navigating the murky depths of what is appropriate and inappropriate between your partner and the opposite sex? Is there a point when you feel that cheating should mean instant break up, but you donít know what constitutes cheating? Wouldnít it be simpler to date multiple people, so there is never any ambiguity? So you never waste your time?

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    bloodorchid's Avatar
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    it works for the people it works for, it doesn't work for the people it doesn't work for

    that's what all the conversations i've seen here amount to
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    yeah you are

    I mean there's so many ants in my eyes! And there are so many TVs, microwaves, radios... I think, I can't, I'm not 100% sure what we have here in stock.. I don't know because I can't see anything! Our prices, I hope, aren't too low!

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    There could be some points to monogamy.
    Monogamy could be tied to hunter gatherer evolution and not just something invented by modern society:
    1. We were not naturally equipped hunters, so we hunted in groups and an "assured mate" back home is very important to cooperate among other men.
    2. Young ones take very long time to be able to fend for themselves. You need someone sticking around that long to rear them.

    Modern cities resemble more like ape-lands than hunting plains. And you see women "hunting" as well. So the ape like "fukkk around" tendency rears its head every now and then.

    Point 2 above implies that the moment you settle down to have babies monogamy could be an important ingredient in nurturing your babies into mateworthy adults.
    Few but ripe.

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    I think monogamy can work if both parties are moral, honest, and able to 'settle for less' when the next "bigger, better deal" comes along...

    That said, people are so out for themselves that I am not about to sign my title over, period. I don't need someone swearing to love, honor, and cherish until she's bored with it, then leave with half my hard-earned things... Better to 'stick and move', make some 'mutually beneficial/non-binding arrangements', or just move along for the most part.

    Had I been in the mix in the early 70's or earlier... Yeah, I could see myself finding some raven-haired beauty to make into a wife and having a real shot at the American Dream... Not these days. Shit has changed for the worse, but hey if you're able to get out into the world and find some lovin' go for the gold!


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    AMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70in2012 View Post
    There could be some points to monogamy.
    Monogamy could be tied to hunter gatherer evolution and not just something invented by modern society:
    1. We were not naturally equipped hunters, so we hunted in groups and an "assured mate" back home is very important to cooperate among other men.
    2. Young ones take very long time to be able to fend for themselves. You need someone sticking around that long to rear them.

    Modern cities resemble more like ape-lands than hunting plains. And you see women "hunting" as well. So the ape like "fukkk around" tendency rears its head every now and then.

    Point 2 above implies that the moment you settle down to have babies monogamy could be an important ingredient in nurturing your babies into mateworthy adults.
    I think the historical importance of monogamy was: A mans imperative (apart from survival for himself) was spreading his seed. Once he spread his seed he would put his time, energy and effort into raising that child successfully. By having a faithful woman, he was confident that child was his, and thus he wasn't wasting resources bringing up another man's child. Women got security; a man that would stick with them, support them and protect them for life.
    Additionally human communities were much smaller. In hunter gather times a tribe might be 20 people. In colonial times you might live in a community of 100 people. 100 years ago most of the Western world lived outside cities, in small farming communities where everybody knew each other. People tended to have few relationships and when they got married, they stayed married. So when you proposed, you could be reasonably confident that would be the best you would get and you would be together forever, for better or worse.

    But in todays society, we use contraception and don't have kids until we are older. The idea of child security is irrelevant until the later 20's. We live in communities of tens of thousands, hundreds, or even millions. A new compatible partner is a few clicks away. We go through many relationships, people break up after proposals, divorce rates are above 60% in some countries.
    Does monogamy still make sense?

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    I am against monogamy as a blanket rule, but i think it is a good default rule.

    Monogamy was a way for a man to ensure paternity certainty and to prevent the problem of using his resources to raise someone else's kid. (Like mentioned above). Monogamy is also good for societal stability and child rearing.

    Cheating is a mate-switching tactic. It also points to the evolutionary need to procreate with as many people as possible to create the max number of genetic variations of self that can surivive a host of conditions.

    Studies have shown that monogamy is rare in societies where the male:female ratio is low. Marriages might last a weekend in some extreme societies and be normal (no joke). Monogamy is almost the law with the gender ratio skewed the other way toward much less females. Females are treated somewhat like a resource... When it is rare, males hold on to it and cherish it more.

    Takeaway? We are not programmed to be monogamous, but we can be under certain circumstances.

    Does monogamy work for me? Maybe, probably, maybe not. I personally am not morally offended if a dude cheated on me. It is really the fact that he *lied* to me that bothers me. I can't trust him if he actively tried to withhold information. If Bipasha Basu walked into his office I would not expect him to turn her down...Hell, I would gladly do things to her and I am straight. I definitely don't care if the dude was merely doing things like checking another girl out or going to the strip club. Whatever...life is too short to try to change a guy against his male nature. I also am not going to give up my close platonic guy friends and my salsa dancing just to date some guy.
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    Mine is a long not a simple response but you can skip to the last paragraph for the bottom line.

    I really think we are fighting our evolutionary biology with monogamy. That said, could i be in an "open marriage/relationship"? no way. It's a stupid battle in my brain but I want monogamy, even though in the back of my head I know it's probably impossible.

    After my divorce, I was good friends (w/benefits) with a guy who felt the same way, we talked about and recognized the pitfalls of monogamy. We had great times together. He eventually met a woman (she's so much like you, she looks like you, she acts like you, she could be your twin), he fell in love with and married her. When he told me he was getting married he said "I'd have married you if I thought you'd ever get married again". I was crushed, thankfully it was on the phone cuz i was pushing mute to cover my sobs, but he was talking about how she was ok with him sleeping with other women so long as it was only physical, but we could still hook up because she understands about me and she was promising 3 ways... (I don't necessarily think she was lying on purpose, more like she was lying to herself).

    I thought about what could have been but then i realized if I'm in a committed relationship I need to at least "think" we can be monogamous even though in my brain I know it's probably impossible.
    SO STUPID my brain is, but I could never have married him knowing he would cheat.

    He's been married 5 years and we still Facebook, I'm SO tempted to ask about his marriage, we have not hooked up, only seen each other twice at functions, he seems happy and everything is wonderful and great but I just highly doubt she carried that whole "just sex is fine" idea any longer than a year. It's his 3rd marriage and I really think he's likely to stay to avoid the whole "3 failed marriages!?!?" thing, plus he just likes to be married (his words).

    It's the apathy that is dangerous and why i stayed married at least 5 years longer than i should have. it can lead you eventually to stay in a bad relationship. i had a dream(thought is was an epiphany). I met a new guy, decided to leave my husband, felt bad, then realized "in 4 years I'll feel the same way about this new guy that I feel about hubby". I woke up and thought, wow profound, I have to make this relationship work. Huge mistake, HUGE mistake, although monogamy was not the problem, he was an alcoholic with a gambling problem. God, what I put up with thanks to my "brilliant epiphany".

    So what's my opinion? As fucked up as it sounds I want monogamy but i believe in being brutally honest in relationships, BRUTAL. I can't have both. I just can't. Again, so screwed up but I hope to have long term monogamous relationships. So i will keep my monogamy opinions to myself and will try and hopefully they will try and hopefully we can enjoy the ride as long as it lasts, 2 too many hopefullys in this sentence.

    I said it was fucked up. Can you do this with this woman since you made your opinions about monogamy known? I don't know. Is she thinking about the same thing you are, wondering if its possible or if its pointless? Maybe. Is this Skype buddy cheating? Not necessarily. Maybe its a novel way for her to relive the thrill of her experiences with you, plus some women don't want to cheat, they just want to be desired. this gives her a way to feel desired and pursued by a man that is relatively safe. It's thrilling to share intimate details to impress people so she's getting that, but the fact that she told you about it instead of keeping it secret probably means that what she wants is the safe thrill not the actual cheat.

    You've given your "cheat it's over" ultimatum but your apathy is probably really confusing even though its brutally honest. Think about having a talk with her, explain that you think biologically its almost (notice i said almost) impossible to sustain monogamy but explain that she is more than enough to make you want to try. Explain that you are uncomfortable with this Skype guy and that you are going to give 100% effort(notice I said effort). Let her know you are committed but if she does not feel like its something she can commit to you'd appreciate her telling you now. Then talk about the thrill of pursuit/being pursued and how to fill that need. I think there are websites where people can write about their experiences and fantasies anonymously in an erotic way. Tell her you'd love to read something she written about your experiences. Don't ask her to just tell you, she obviously feels comfortable with the online medium although talking and writing are different she could write it as a Skype conversation. The one thing I KNOW is keeping the sex good is imperative to any attempt at a relationship.

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    I think monogamy works for some not for others and you have to do what is right for you.

    I would only be in a monogamous relationship as I don't want the hassle of getting tested for STI's often.

    I feel that a lot of times people give up with their relationships too easy, not everyone obviously, but I now hear of so many people that seperate for various reasons and I think " path you have that one up easy, didn't even try"

    Do what's right for you at the end of the day it's you that you have to live with

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    I really think we are fighting our evolutionary biology with monogamy.
    Some Zoologists think differently i.e. monogamy is intimately tied to our evolution from apes to erect, bi-pedalled hunter-gatherers.

    Desmond Morris's book is an interesting read.
    Of Bacteria and Men: The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris
    Few but ripe.

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    I honestly think that there are two types of 'us'....

    The first part of each person is the emotional part, the part that loves, cares, feels and rationalizes. That part needs the security of a loving relationship but with that comes the stress of getting the perfect partner. Your genes tells you that you need somebody who can give you healthy babies/offspring and you want somebody faithfull to raise the offspring with because honestly you can't really survive with out support.

    (However evolutionairy it's not said it has to be the person you make offspring with. for a female support in raising a child can come from family, while the male is off making more offspring)

    Anyway, these days stress to your emotional part also comes from worrying if your spous is cheating. we often ask ourselves, "will he/she run away from me?" "what will I do when I'm alone?" "Will I manage financially alone?".
    It's a great stress to deal with and I can't imagine our early ancestors dealing with that.

    The second part of us I think is more primal, it's the sexual part, the need to mate. To find a strong healthy partner to make offspring with.
    I experience this part once in a while. I am in a monogamous for about 13 years now and I really love my partner. I couldn't imagine life with out him. However once in a while I see a guy that I feel sexually attrackted to. Normally those guys are the strong slightly wild men that draws me in. However it's purely sexually. I couldn't imagine making a life with them and I never ever act on that feeling. If things come too close I walk away. I couldn't give up what I have nor could I hurt the one that I love like that
    That's part that draws you to people I think is purely sexual and primal.

    I honestly think that we aren't made to be monogame but I think that if you can have a perfect exlusive relationship that you should go for it. It takes away the stress of doing it alone but it returns a bit of worry like always.

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