Monogamy, is it natural?
I’ve been single now for almost 3 years. I came out of an 11 year relationship with my high school sweetheart and I think I’ve learned more in the last 3 years than I did in the whole 11.
Something that has consistently crossed my mind is the idea of monogamy. Does it really mean anything? Why did we create this construct? Does it really serve us? Why, even through all these questions, do I feel it’s something I want?
In conversations I’ve had, it seems that other people have questioned the construct too. So, I did some very light reading and found out that there are a few theories out there around monogamy.
The first one is around nomadic times when humans lived in small groups and found that by having many partners they would contract STDs that could make them infertile. With the idea that survival comes from ‘spreading the seed,’ so to speak, people began to partner off.
The second theory is around agriculture and farming causing people to want to maintain and keep their wealth within the confines of a marriage. Marriage being the key part of how wealth was passed on or inherited.
Lastly, there’s a theory around men having to wait too long to breed again with women after they gave birth because babies are so dependant. It meant that in tribal situations, some men, wanted to kill the babies so that they could have sex with the female again. So, the men, whose child it was, chose to partner off to protect their offspring.
I feel like our society has taken what was for survival and turned it into a modern day love story. The idea that there is a ‘one’ person for everyone. But, what if there isn’t? What if there are a few people for every person? What if we miss out on our others because we stick to the construct of the ‘one?’ What if the one we choose doesn’t choose us back? It seems such a human failing to only consider one person. It also seems like a potential religious idea that fell into the hands of men to control the modern day society to what we see now.
It’s interesting that in some cultures, monogamy isn’t really a thing, and in some religions too.
Something I find interesting is modern day ‘open’ relationships. I feel like you’d need to have more trust and better communication. You’d have to be so open and so willing to share. I wonder if someone in an open relationship has fallen in love with someone else because of that openness. And, if or when that happens, how does the other partner feel? Is it like, well that’s good, at least they found something deeper? Or is there regret around having so much freedom that lead to finding something better? Is it better? Is it more? Are we just searching to fill a void? Are we just lonely?
Just some meanderings on love.