If you’re not familiar with the term serial monogamy, it’s a good time to get acquainted with it; it just might apply to you. Simply put, it’s the practice of having consecutive monogamous relationships without much (if any) break time in between relationships. This practice can actually be quite damaging to your mental health and can cause future relationships to sink quickly because you’ve taken no time to yourself. Here are five signs you’re a serial monogamist, and why taking a break is a necessary part of having healthy relationships.
1. You’re Always Dating Someone
Picture this scenario: You’re meeting up with your friend later today for lunch. The last time you saw her was about two months ago when you were with Jeff. Before that, you saw her briefly at a party when you were with Brad. Now, you’re with Kevin. You show up to lunch, and she’s amazed that you’re already dating again. In the past few months, you’ve had three separate monogamous relationships! (Ladies, don’t think we’re picking on you here; the guys do it, too)
If you can’t go more than a few weeks or months without being in a relationship, you’re a classic serial monogamist. This need to constantly be with someone can arise from several factors, but a common cause is a fear of being alone. Why do people fear to be alone? Well, for one, we’ve idealized the concept of a “perfect” relationship.
It’s in our movies, TV shows, books, etc. Stories of perfect love, the perfect partner, and a perfect relationship have saturated our minds and led to a practice of moving from person to person searching for that love.
2. Your Relationships End Quickly
This one’s going to sting, but it needs to be said. When we have failed relationships, we tend to point the finger at our exes, citing how they weren’t right for us, they cheated, they lied, etc. While certain behaviors can certainly be to blame for a breakup, there’s one very important factor we always forget: we are the greatest common denominator of all of our problems. Simply put, that means if there’s a pattern in your dating life (like relationships ending quickly), you’re playing some part in that pattern.
This is why alone time is so important to developing healthy relationships. Before you have a healthy relationship, you need to know who you are; what your strengths are, your weaknesses, how you handle problems, etc. You can’t know yourself until you spend some time outside of a relationship.
Serial monogamists often enter and exist relationships quickly, and the reasons are usually quite similar. These patterns are important to figuring out what you need to do to improve your dating life, so don’t ignore them!
3. You Can’t Seem To Commit
Serial monogamists often become addicted in a way to the thrill of new relationships. You might find it difficult to commit to a serious relationship because you’re anticipating the next new one that you already know is on the horizon.
This can leave you feeling lonely or dissatisfied because you’ll have trouble settling down with anyone. This is a dangerous cycle, and certainly not conducive to good, satisfactory relationships.
4. You Connect Physically More Than Emotionally
Serial monogamy is often tied to physical pleasure and connections more so than emotional ones. An emotional connection is what binds two people together for many years; the love they share is based on a mind and body connection, not just a physical one.
Let’s be honest; sex alone is not a good basis for starting or maintaining a relationship. Sure, there may be cases where that rule doesn’t apply, but for the most part, if you’re only connecting with your partners on a physical level, it probably won’t last long or be fulfilling in other ways.
The excuse of monogamy is often a good way to fall into the trap of moving from partner to partner. It’s not technically “sleeping around”, right? You’re in a monogamous relationship, after all, but the problem is that you’re unlikely to find the satisfaction you’re seeking that way.
5. You Don’t Spend Adequate Time Healing After a Breakup
I cannot stress this enough; healing after a breakup is absolutely crucial, not only for your own mental health but also for the success of your next relationship! When you enter a new relationship with all of the pain and problems from the previous one, you’re being unfair to your new partner.
They don’t deserve the incredible stress that comes with dealing with your past, and if you can’t handle it yourself, you’ll end up leaning on them for support. This is completely unfair and selfish. You must take the time to let yourself heal (especially after a nasty breakup) before you enter a new relationship. Otherwise, you’re perpetuating a cycle of failure and heartbreak.