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 Questioning the practice of Monogamy

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PostSubject: Questioning the practice of Monogamy   Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:27 am

I know this is controversial, but bear with me.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time now, and recent events in my life have caused me to reach a sort of epiphany point on the subject.

I don't mean marriage, as marriage in itself is an ancient and flawed concept. I mean relationships in general.

The idea of one mate came into play, I think, for a variety of reasons. The most important, of course, are jealousy and lack of available mates. Back when the concept of monogamy was formed, there simply weren't all that many people to choose from. Humans found one mate, and married for life. As far as the jealousy concept, that's fairly obvious.

But is monogamy still the way2go? I'm going to explain why I think it's not.

Society as a whole (I mean, of course, advanced society... not third world countries) has reached a point at which we must question these things. Humanity as a whole has a hell of a lot more time to sit around and wonder "why." We have different wants and needs from the wants and needs of the people who so happily formed monogamous relationships in the past.

"Cheating" is a concept everyone is very familiar with. It's almost inevitable. On some occasions, two people are such a good "match" and fulfill eachother's wants and desires quite successfully. But that's not often true. In fact it's fairly rarely true. That's why people "cheat." There's a need, a want, a desire that is not being fulfilled by their current mate. They want that, and their mate is either incapable of providing it or is against it. It could be anything, from emotional gratification to merely the feeling of a "new relationship" or a sense of danger.

But is "cheating" wrong? I don't think so. But that doesn't mean I don't believe in rules.

Everyone has social niches they let others slip into. What I mean is, everyone has roles they want filled by others. There are rules to this, too. There are emotional needs, sexual needs, and all kinds of various wants and desires that no one person can fulfill. One person can fill multiple roles, but it's incredibly rare for one person to completely satisfy any other person. At the same time, however, no one role should need to be filled by multiple people. Once a role is fulfilled, satisfied, and complete, it doesn't need to be filled by more people.

A lot of problems could be fixed if people would realize that there are multiple roles that can be filled by multiple people. If you have three people you form meaningful relationships with for three very different reasons, why should any of those three people be concerned? The only reason they would be jealous at all is if they are jealous and needy and want one person entirely to themselves.

The idea I'm trying to put across in this topic isn't just about intimate relationships, though. Human interaction as a whole is ready for change, but people need to accept that change. The advent of the internet, especially, has brought on a lot of change. Some changes have been accepted already, and others have not. I think we all need to look at the world from a very different perspective.



This topic might be a little out there and out of the blue, but I'm honestly curious as to what others think of this idea and how other people might respond. I'm going to post this topic first, and if it goes well I will either bring up other topics about human relations that I feel need to be discussed in another topic itself or in this one.

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PostSubject: Re: Questioning the practice of Monogamy   Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:00 am

I understand your point, but I disagree.

Yes, nobody is perfect, and therefore no relationship is perfect, but that goes without saying. I think that just because a relation is imperfect or missing something, doesn't mean you either have to sit idly by feeling miserable, NOR go to someone else entirely. Forging a relationship is about teamwork and compromise. If your partner isn't satisfying a particular aspect of your desires, you can talk to them, and see what they can do about. That goes for everything. Sexual, behavior, conversation, etc. Ideally, your partner will be able to think of a way to satisfy those needs, even if it doesn't come naturally to them.

In some cases, your partner may not be able to, or maybe just refuses. In such a case, you have to decide, how important is this issue? Will you be able to deal with and continue a healthy, loving relationship, or will it tear your lives apart? If the latter, then I don't think it's time to get someone else on the side... I think it's time to break it off with your current partner, and find a new one altogether. Part of loving someone so deeply and intimately is saying, "Hey, I know you aren't perfect, but I love you and so much about you, I'm willing to look past those flaws, especially because I know I have flaws that you are looking past."

Even if you don't go for the gushy "my one and only" shtick, and it doesn't seem like you do, think of it this way: Starting, maturing, and maintaining a relationship takes a lot of effort, from the day it begins to the day it dies, whether by breakup, or someone actually dying! I honestly can't imagine how ANYBODY would be able to fulfill all the obligations required of a close, intimate relationship with more then one person, and keep everyone happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Questioning the practice of Monogamy   Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:11 pm

Does your permanent (or long term) partner need to fulfil your every need ? Just because they're your emotional / sexual partner doesn't necessarily mean they have to fit every other role as well. When you choose a partner, you don't then withdraw from society. All of the most successful long-term couples I know don't live completely in each other's pockets. They are happy to let their partner go out and socialise on their own at times.

Also, no matter what your position, it's important that your partner knows what it is and is OK with it. 'Cheating' is wrong pretty much by defenition. Because it implies that you're doing something that your partner doesn't know about and is alsmost certainly not OK with. If you want an open relationship then it's important that your partner is on the same page. I've known a few swinging couples in my time who have had very stable, loving and healthy relationships. The key being that they were both in on it. No secrets.

Personally I believe in monogamy, despite not being married or even in a long term relationship at the moment. For me, there's a big difference between simply screwing or simply spending time with someone, and being with someone you love. And I think that most of us only have the capacity to feel that way about one single person. There are people who think differently, and who are able to make their arrangements work.

So like practically everything, it's on a case by case basis. But I think for most people, monogamy is about all we can handle.
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