Serial Monogamy: Not The Breakfast of Champions
While you might not readily find this particular item inside of your favorite box of Fruity Loops, you will find it well within the lives of many of us single—or newly-single—folks. But, “What exactly is serial monogamy?” one might ask. Do a Google search and you’ll find definitions ranging from “the practice of engaging in a succession of monogamous sexual relationships” to “one who spends as little time as possible being single, moving from the end of one relationship to the beginning of a new relationship…” While the case for monogamy might be inherently beneficial in marriage, it’s the almost automatic-like aversion to being single in favor of “coupling” that I’d like to take to task. Serial polygamy, on the other hand, is a topic for a totally different discussion.
For now, we can ask ourselves, “how automatic is our behavior in finding someone?” Nature, of course, doses us with a powerful hormonal cocktail into this direction, as does society where romantic union comes with many implicit benefits like social bonding, emotional support, and sexual outlet to name a few. If you’re anything like me, you’ve invested a certain amount of focus into a pattern which began all the way back in middle/high school where the search for (or at least the pining for) a significant other/love interest began with flirtation, passing notes, holding hands, etc. Before you know it—and fast-forward several years later—you’re not only swapping spit, but are now swapping cars, legal documents, and negotiations for time with friends.
It wasn’t until I returned to the land of the free and began to really reflect that I noticed that this pattern came at a very steep price. Unbeknownst to me the time I spent in relationship was also time I spent away from addressing and improving some rather important personal issues, namely developing the various “blind spots” within my own character and cultivating all sorts of untapped potential and talents that lay dormant…maybe that’s the root of that guilty feeling that some get after having sex. The endogenous opiates that this pattern provided let me off the hook from dealing with self-discovery, and to a certain extent, maturation.
Sure romantic relationships are great, healthy, and even rewarding, however, my argument is that like several things in the external world, they too hold the card of the “Trickster” up their sleeve and are dynamic. They can hurt us just as much as they can help us. This is especially true if we believe that they somehow offer us salvation or escape from the gnawing truth behind our own and personal unmet challenges/potential. In this way we can look at romantic relationships similar to our relationships with the material/external world. We can get into addictive patterns—hence the term serial—with what we want to believe is the pursuit of love (because it biologically hits at our pleasure centers and is basically heralded by the majority of society) just as easily as we can from poor habits with food, plants, video games, sex, alcohol, or virtually anything that we can possibly addict to.
But we’re here for something else. We came here because we now have higher standards for ourselves and refuse to compromise our integrity for what we believe is really available, which as experience has led me to believe is really inside…true love is within. Once we become the men and women that we know that we are truly capable of becoming then will we begin to attract suitors worthy of our best, most attractive and interdependent natures. So the next time the craving hits for a bowl of sugary-sweet emptiness consider passing on the “serial” and instead keep reaching for something healthier. After all, how many of life’s champions do you see on the boxes of Fruity Loops? No offense to any talking birds, of course ;B
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