Are you dating a serial monogamist?
Of course we think of monogamy as a good thing, especially as a term applied to the person we are in a relationship with. But for some people, serial monogamy becomes a substitute for long term meaningful relationships. Marriage & Family Therapist Kelly Hoffman says "This is ok if you do not want to be in a relationship, but most serial monogamists I have worked with DESPERATELY want to be in a relationship. Indeed, many serial monogamists often become engaged or talk about marriage early on in the relationship. Serial monogamists often cause and experience tremendous heartache and disappointment in relationships".
Here are some signs that you or the person you are dating may be a serial monogamist:
Do you or the person you are dating have a short list of exclusive relationships? Did you seem to jump right into your relationship together? Is your relationship heavy on the chemistry and light on the relationship? If so one or both of your could be a serial monogamist, and being in a relationship together will present unique challenges.
How to tell if you are a serial monogamist or are dating one:
1. Serial monogamists frequently have good / ongoing relationships with their ex's, so get ready to keep the Jealousy under wraps
2. If you are a Serial monogamists you very much want a lasting loving relationship, but something always goes sour as the relationship passes the one to two year mark.
3. You are rarely in a relationship more than 2-4 years, and the last 1/4 of the relationship can be particularly rocky, marked by lots of fighting and arguing, and misunderstandings .
4. It is easy for you to start a relationship,
5. you find that you enjoy a variety of personality types and physical appearances, you have no "one type".
6. Your relationships begin with a high intense degree of chemistry. You take your "time" to get to know a person, but only once you are already in the relationship. You rarely take things slowly or formally progress from one dating stage to the next you tend to jump right in.
Plus side to dating/being a Serial Monogamist:
1. They are monogamous, which is nice.
2. they usually are intensely fun and interesting to be around. Because they have the habit of "being interested in what their partner is interested, they will do your stuff with you.
3. They genuinely care about you, they are not trying to gain anything other than a rewarding relationship.
Serial monogamists often do not know their own mind leading them to feel: 1. trapped after a while 2. dissatisfied but unable to articulate what is "wrong" with the relationship
Serial monogamists will WANT to be in a loving committed relationship, but usually are carrying hurt and fears of emotional intimacy. If you are in a relationship with one and are relatively emotionally healthy, you will not understand some of the things that trigger disagreements. This is because you will be arguing about an event, but the real problem is that the serial monogamist is feeling scared and irrationally keeping themselves at an emotional distance. The flip side is that the serial monogamist will CRAVE physical touch, feeling close, they will enjoy doing thoughtful considerate things for their partner. This is because they very much want to be in a loving relationship but do not know how to do more than the chemistry/attraction element of a relationship.
What to do if you are a serial monogamist or are dating one:
1. Don't panic, just realizing that you may be in a cycle will help you break out of it.
2. If you are dating a serial monogamist, the best thing you can do for them is to really connect with them emotionally and intellectually. A serial monogamist will shy away from connections that are not romantic in nature, so if you can slowly develop a habit of talking and connecting on these two other levels you will begin to break the cycle.
3. If you are a serial monogamist, the best thing you can do for yourself is to explore your own interests. Stop revolving around your partner and the physical affection of the relationship. You are using it as a crutch. You need to become your own person, with interest es and talents all your own to offer.This may be the hardest thing you have ever done, since more than likely you have spent your dating career as a chameleon, absorbing the likes and interests of who you date in an attempt to get the intimacy you crave. . This can actually a wonderful strength and gift to a relationship. Just stop doing it exclusively, be your own person and allow people to like you for who you are.
4. When you are ready There are some great self help books and of course I always recommend seeking the help of a professional if you are really ready to make a change.