There are certain ideas pretty much everyone grows up believing in when it comes to romantic relationships. Everything from the movies we watch, to the music we listen to, to the values our parents work hard to instill in us idealizes two people “together forever” as the best and only choice… but what if that doesn’t work for everyone? More importantly, what if it doesn’t work for you?
Despite what polite society would still have us all believe, monogamy isn’t right for everyone and that’s perfectly OK. Alternative choices like polyamory, open relationships, and casual sex-focused lifestyles are becoming increasingly common as more and more people figure this out. Here we’ll go over a few telltale signs that one of those choices might actually be a much better fit for you than monogamy. Do any of the following statements sound familiar?
- Monogamy makes you feel trapped for reasons you don’t totally understand.
Many people that are naturally non-monogamous love the beginning phases of a traditional relationship. They love the process of connecting with another person on a deep, meaningful level and they may greatly enjoy the experience of falling in love as well. The minute it becomes time to make a commitment though, everything changes and not in a good way.
If relationships tend to lose their luster for you at that same point, even when you’re really into the person you’re with, it might be because monogamy isn’t right for you. Naturally non-monogamous people can even be deeply in love with someone, but still find the prospect of total commitment stifling and uncomfortable.
- You know (or strongly suspect) you’re capable of loving more than one person at once.
Some people really do believe that true love is total, leaving no room whatsoever for similar connections. That may even be true… for them or others they know. However, it can also make little sense to those that are polyamorous or naturally non-monogamous. To such people, the capacity to maintain more than one relationship without one connection detracting from another seems not only doable, but normal.
Are you the sort of person that’s always believed loving one person doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t also love another? Have you actually had experiences that involved feeling truly in love with more than one person at a time? The chances are pretty good that not being cut out for monogamy is part of who you are.
- The thought of being with one person for the rest of your life ties your stomach in knots.
When a monogamous person pictures their ideal future, they typically see themselves in a loving, committed relationship that lasts the rest of their life. Whether or not they think they’ve found that person yet, the basic idea of lifelong commitment makes them feel secure, happy, and content. It’s something they want for themselves and might even consider their lives incomplete without.
Naturally non-monogamous people, on the other hand, feel instantly anxious when they picture the same thing. It’s not because they don’t like the idea of building a life alongside someone they dearly love either. What they dislike is the idea of being cut off from every other possibility, as they feel they have a lot to learn from many different people.
- Your relationship needs and wants are too varied to be fulfilled by any one person.
Some people know exactly what they want in a partner and in a relationship. They know they want a sexually adventurous partner as opposed to a modest one or a quiet intellectual type as opposed to the life of the party. They want a partner that is very similar to them, very different, or somewhere in between instead of any of the alternatives.
If you’re naturally non-monogamous, you’re not only more varied than that, but feel different sides of your personality are best expressed with different people. You love the idea of exploring the world and having kinky social sex with a free-spirited wild card of a person, but also want to come home to a tender, affectionate, reliable type when you’re done. The idea that one person could somehow be everything you want seems preposterous to you, not to mention undesirable.
- You feel you have just as much to offer multiple partners as you have to learn and gain.
Some people really are made better by monogamous, committed relationships. They like the idea of learning and growing alongside just one person and they prefer the idea of giving that person everything they have to offer. Naturally non-monogamous people don’t feel that makes sense, as they know they have different things to offer different partners.
They like the idea of challenging one partner to come out of their shell and expand their horizons while being a source of support and comfort to another. They have as many different ways they enjoy showing love as they have of receiving it and see no reason why they should limit themselves in ways that don’t make sense to them.
- The idea of your partner being with someone else doesn’t bother you in the least.
If someone’s naturally hard-wired for monogamy, the chances are pretty good that they’re also familiar with the feeling of jealousy. The idea of their partner giving any part of their romantic or sexual energy to someone else is unacceptable, as they feel that should be reserved only for them. Non-monogamous people are more focused on happiness – both their own and their partner’s – and don’t see the point of denying either party the chance to seek happiness in other people.
You might be naturally non-monogamous if traditional jealousy is a completely foreign concept to you. Not only do you not mind the thought of your partner occasionally sleeping with or dating hot sexy people, but you see it as something to be encouraged. Instead of expecting your partner to go without when it comes to personal needs you can’t meet, you feel it makes more sense to let them get those things from others. Most of all, you love the way such an arrangement allows both partners to truly be themselves and behave in a way that’s natural to them.
- Maintaining multiple meaningful friendships is a breeze for you.
Are you the sort of person that only has one best friend at any given time or can you think of multiple people that easily tie for that “best friend” title? Do you find it difficult to maintain multiple deep connections at once or is it simply second nature for you? How you approach friendships when allowed to do what comes naturally to you can say a lot about what type of romantic and sexual relationships are best for you as well.
Naturally non-monogamous people truly believe that like friendship, love can come in many forms. They don’t feel the need to compare one friendship to another and they don’t see the point of doing it with romantic relationships either. Most people have well more than one good friend and feel it makes sense to non-monogamous folks to apply the same logic to others types of connection as well.
- You find regular routines limiting and stifling, as opposed to helpful and comforting.
If you know a routine-oriented person, it’s impossible not to realize it. Such people like knowing what to expect every day and seem to thrive when life’s as consistent as possible. This includes in regards to their relationships. Other people are at their very best when life comes attached to plenty of novelty, excitement, and unpredictability.
Committed monogamous relationships naturally fall into a routine after a while. You reach a point where you can literally finish each other’s sentences because there’s nothing you don’t know about one another. While a monogamous person prefers that, a naturally non-monogamous person can miss that spark that comes with exploring someone new. They like the way being non-monogamous as a rule allows them to experience the best of both worlds.
- You’re an extroverted type that feels energized by others.
Some people feel the most refreshed and energized when they stick close to home socially. They prefer hanging out mostly with people they know very well and can take or leave meeting a lot of new folks on a regular basis. Other people may like connecting with people they know, but they definitely crave fresh encounters with people they don’t know yet as well. While not every extrovert is hard-wired for non-monogamy, quite a few do find it rewarding enough to call it a lifestyle.
That said, non-monogamy might be worth some consideration if you’re the type that not only loves diving into new sexual experiences, but craves it on a soul level. You’ll never hit a limit on the number of new connections you can make because there simply isn’t one. No, non-monogamy isn’t for everyone, but it might be worth a try if you strongly suspect it might be for you. Both you and your partners will be better for it!