A serial monogamist is someone who bounces from relationship to relationship without much time in between.
They just don’t know how to be single.
It’s generally recommended that you spend at least half the duration of the relationship on your own to truly heal and find yourself again. (For example, if your relationship lasted a year, you should take roughly six months to yourself before dating someone new.)
That said, I’ve witnessed a lot of people completely ignore this advice and dive headfirst into a new relationship as soon as they get the chance.
I get it: life is short. But also, this line of thinking can be reckless and harmful for a number of reasons.
One — there’s a high probability that you’re on the rebound.
When you start dating again right away, you may not truly like the person (but rather enjoy the security of being in a relationship). This can make it really hard to decipher whether or not you’re in a good relationship the next time around.
Two — it gives you very little time to actually work on yourself and heal from your heartbreak.
Healing isn’t linear. It takes different amounts of time for each person, but the fact that it takes time should not be disregarded.
If you always need to be in a relationship with somebody else, what does that tell you about your relationship with yourself?
To me, it signifies that you have a hard time being on your own. This may be because you constantly need external validation, or because you derive your sense of self-worth from the affections of others. It may also indicate that you don’t truly know who you are, apart from your relationship status.
All of these indicators are areas for self-improvement.
Why are we afraid of being single?
I was single for most of my life. I never felt any less valid because of it. Although I longed for love one day, I knew deep down that it was better to be single than settle for the wrong person.
I have also known young women who constantly felt they needed to be in a relationship. One of my college acquaintances had a high school boyfriend, then a college boyfriend, then a boyfriend after that — swapping between these three men over the span of maybe six months.
“Girl, you work fast!” I told her, maybe a little too candidly. She laughed and playfully smacked my arm.
Lucky for her, the last guy she dated in college ended up being the one, and they got engaged not long ago.
This brings up another point.
Can serial monogamy work?
Is it possible to find the love of your life while persuing consecutive romantic relationships? Is it possible that you don’t have to wait or heal or delay dating for any amount of time? Is there a chance that you could meet the right person for you just shortly after becoming single?
Yes. But it’s possible in the same way that you’re likely to hit the jackpot or win the Mega Millions.
It can happen…but it probably won’t.
As mentioned above, the likelihood of you being in a healthy emotional state right after a breakup isn’t very high. You are far more likely to be emotionally compromised.
And, hey, we haven’t even talked about the partners who play the horses on the serial monogamist merry-go-round.
If you had just met a woman and she told you that she was fresh out of a relationship, would your first instinct really be to date her as soon as possible?
Wouldn’t you want to make sure there weren’t any residual effects left behind from her breakup? Wouldn’t you wonder if you were just a rebound? Wouldn’t you be careful to take things extra slow to make sure she’s in a healthy place to start something new?
I would like to imagine that any self-respecting man would care enough to do that.
Women, especially, are emotionally vulnerable post-breakups. I find it kind of sleazy to use heartache as a way to weasel your way into a relationship. Just my two cents.
There’s nothing wrong with being in more than one relationship over a lifetime. Very, very few people get lucky enough to get it right the first time (though it’s not unheard of).
However, it is always important to make sure that you’re in a healthy mindset before diving into a relationship.
More often than not, serial monogamy is a symptom of a deeper fear and one that should be addressed for a person to reach their fullest potential.
So if you’re going through a breakup, or are currently single, know that there’s nothing wrong with taking time to heal before your next love story comes around.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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