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

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  1. #1
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    Is monogamy worthwhile; is there a point to it?

    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?

  2. #2
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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
    beautiful
    yeah you are

    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
    lol

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodorchid View Post
    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
    that's because it's pretty much the truth.

    dude, you're in college. bag it up and stick it in anything that moves. it's hard enough to find "the one" (if you even believe in that) in real life. you'll pretty much never find her while you're in a college atmosphere full of drunken horny, hormone filled sexpots.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodorchid View Post
    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
    +1000
    Breathe. Move forward.

    I just eat what I want...

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
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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?

  7. #7
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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.
    This, I believe, is a misconception of what hunter-gatherer societies were like. See, for example, The New York Times Misleads on Monogamy | Psychology Today

    I'm about to start reading this book, Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan and his wife. Ryan is the author of the above article. One of my facebook friends is obsessed with that book, and I'm intrigued. It's supposed to show that monogamy came into existence at a later time in human history--when women started to be treated as their husband's property. And hence the 9th and 10th Commandments. Coveting your neighbor's wife is really just like coveting his goods.

    To the OP, no, I don't think there is any point to monogamy. I think it is unnatural. It is imposed by social and moral norms that are inconsistent with our species's natural inclinations. And that is why people cheat.

  8. #8
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    OP wrote: 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?

    To OP, you wonder if there is any point to monogamy. There are plenty of people that are monogamous. Just like there are plenty of people that aren't. Being monogamous means means staying with your partner and not cheating. People stay together for different reasons. It could be financial, societal pressures, sexual or emotional (or all of them together). Anyway, you mention how your g/f is quite in love with you. And if cheating occurred it would be over. You are wondering if it's all worth it.

    Several people are trying to say that monogamy is unnatural...but humans are more than just sexual beings. You need to define what your limits are...not everyone will agree with your limits (or lack thereof). You are 23. If you fear certain outcomes, then you'll never take a risk (except sexually).

  9. #9
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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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  10. #10
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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.
    Last edited by turquoisepassion; 09-16-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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