It might be thrown out as a joke, but being a serial monogamist is a real psychological term. You may know someone who is always in a relationship. As soon as they break up with someone, it seems like they are either lamenting about their newest love or introducing you to “the one” a month later.
A serial monogamist is someone who gets into relationship after relationship following a break up rather than spending time single or dating.
On the surface, it can sound romantic or sweet that someone can so easily find the next person they will be in love with after experiencing heartbreak. The goal of dating for many is to find a long-term relationship or to eventually marry the person you love.
The serial monogamist doesn’t date.
They leave one long-term relationship and then the next person they are attracted to becomes their next long-term relationship.
It’s not problematic if the people in relationship with them are just looking for companionship or to be in a long-term relationship that may never proceed.
The problem is when the serial monogamist isn’t processing the feelings from their breakup, never getting too deeply intimate in their relationship or using the relationship to avoid dating or being alone.
I’ve been in relationship with two serial monogamists. I even jokingly called my first boyfriend one without knowing that it was a thing. It was when I was looking in his closet and there were women’s clothes in it. I asked who they belonged to and he told me that he had just broken up with his former girlfriend.
I assumed he meant he had broken up months before. I didn’t question it then, but when I did he informed me that it had been days before he started dating me. When he told me the progression of his relationships, I teased him about being a serial monogamist because the relationships either were back-to-back or they overlapped.
Then I wondered if he was even over his ex because he didn’t take any time to grieve her absence. When we broke up, he had another new girlfriend right away.
My next serious relationship would be with someone who again told me about a long string of relationships. Again, I would overlook it. He broke up with a girlfriend two weeks before we dated. He also had a girlfriend shortly after we broke up and was in a long-term relationship.
To be fair, I was a serial dater when I was without a boyfriend. I was in a constant search for my next “the one”. I dated guys who approached me or who I thought were cute, but they ran is succession without much break in between. I thought that was normal. I watched shows like Girlfriends and Sex and the City where women were constantly dating men trying to find their future husband so I assumed that I was supposed to do.
I had no idea that I was obsessed. Looking back between the dating and boyfriends, I don’t know how I got anything done.
Following my last relationship, I took a 5-year hiatus to figure out what I really wanted in a relationship and more about myself as a person. I’m still taking my thoughtful time and will get into a relationship when it feels right.
What did I realize about being either a serial monogamist or a serial dater? That either one has very simplistic ideas about the reasons behind getting into a relationship. It’s results-oriented. It’s about checking a box.
You are more likely to hide aspects of yourself and suppress your true self even in a relationship because the main goal is to have a relationship, not as much about deepening intimacy with the person. Red flags are overlooked.
It makes your feel easily replaceable. Because the person is focused on having a relationship with whoever, you can’t feel special. They won’t even mourn your loss or examine how they lost you. They just move on to the next person.
This doesn’t mean that if someone has a string of long-term relationships that they are a serial monogamist. The serial monogamist is someone who uses relationships to avoid dating. They like the aspects of the relationship, but won’t do the deep work necessary to create a lasting commitment. They also may always have someone ready to be the next “one”.
If you are looking for something that might end in marriage, you aren’t likely to walk down the aisle with a serial monogamist. Or, you still might not be their last relationship.
This post is republished on Medium.
The Good Men Project gives people the insights, tools, and skills to survive, prosper and thrive in today’s changing world. A world that is changing faster than most people can keep up with that change. A world where jobs are changing, gender roles are changing, and stereotypes are being upended. A world that is growing more diverse and inclusive. A world where working towards equality will become a core competence. We’ve built a community of millions of people from around the globe who believe in this path forward. Thanks for joining The Good Men Project.
Support us on Patreon and we will support you and your writing! Tools to improve your writing and platform-building skills, a community to get you connected, and direct access to our editors and publisher. Your support will help us build a better, more inclusive world for all.