For many of us getting to “I do” is a big deal.
Millions of dollars a year are spent on weddings, engagement rings, bridal parties and showers.
Socially, we are inundated with messages (in movies, media, literature, you name it) about finding the one we can ride off into the sunset with…living happily ever after.
When you’re single for longer than what is socially acceptable people begin to wonder what is wrong. For those of us who have struggled too long in their search for that happily-ever-after monogamous relationship, we begin to feel a sense of shame.
There are thousands of self-help books and therapists who specialize in helping us get back to the socially accepted track of love. But what if there were more options than monogamy as the ultimate love relationship?
We’ve been told by society and religion that monogamous relationships are what we’re supposed to want, desire and have but does this mean anything outside of this framework is bad, wrong or abnormal?
Relationships are a personal choice between two people. Serial monogamy is practiced by a lot of people. Granted, it may be less sociologically accepted or promoted than monogamy but there is nothing wrong or abnormal about that personal choice. Serial monogamy is being in a committed sexually monogamous relationship but doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll being with that person til death do you part.
Dan Savage coined the term for another version of monogamy called, “monogamish” where two people are socially bonded to each other but get a little sexual play time with others too, which is is not the same as cheating. When two emotionally mature people agree to a monogamish relationship no one is lying and sneaking around.
Another option to relationship happiness and love is polyamory. Polyamory is a consensual intimate and sexually committed relationship between more than two people. Polyamory doesn’t necessarily mean marriage but it does mean commitment. Specifically, polyandrous relationships allow wives to have multiple husbands and polygynous relationships allow husbands to have many wives.
Monogamy is what mainstream culture knows best, thanks to some amazing marketing that started with the spread of Christianity. But the Christians were just that, great marketers.
Before the spread of Christianity the elite Greeks and Romans were using monogamy as an incentive to lesser statured men to fight in the army by promising them women for marriage. (Yes, women were seen as property back then, and for a long time afterwards.)
If we go back to the old testament, (and we consider some of those stories to be somewhat truthful), both Solomon and Abraham had lots of wives, making them polygamous. Given that The Bible is one of the most read books in the world, it’s amazing that very few people realize how popular polygamy was “back in the day”.
Both monogamous and polyamorous relationships have benefits and disadvantages so one isn’t better or worse for us.
More importantly, both are normal and have made many people happy in their love lives.
The most important thing to remember is to keep communication clear with your partner and make sure everyone is on the same page and wanting the same thing.
Author: Heather Dawn
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Keoni Cabral/ Flickr