Before I begin this post, I would like to state that I emphatically and wholeheartedly agree with the concept of Monogamy.
What is monogamish?
Monogamish as a term is exactly what it sounds like – being mostly monogamist. We haven’t heard it much til now… but be prepared…this open relationship model is onto something – and I think I know why.
In a world where we are so educated, we have so many experiences, we want for so much, and we have such high expectations, is it reasonable to assume that only one person will meet all these needs, in every way we want them met, for the rest of our lives?
The article explained that this term wasn’t an excuse for people to sleep around and have affairs.
Even if the idea of settling down forever and a day with one partner floats your boat, you have to admit, as a species, we kind of suck at it. While it seems like a dream to many, to have only one soul mate to share your hopes and dreams with, and to reminisce with, this is rarely the case for many people in 2018.
I first heard the term ‘monogamish’ a few months ago whilst reading a mag at the hairdresser. I was disgusted, repulsed of the mere suggestion that monogamy had lost its place in 2018. But, by the end of the article (which was supported by research and phycologists) they had me allllllmost utterly convinced. It made sense. Monogamish could have a role in some modern relationships.
The article explained that this term wasn’t an excuse for people to sleep around and have affairs. It was being in a loving and committed relationship (the ‘monogamy’ part of the word), whilst having the flexibility to embrace whatever opportunities life may throw your way, without having to sneak around, and without the backlash of enjoying those experiences (the ‘ish’ part).
I was still not yet fulllllly convinced.
I have never cheated, or been cheated on, but the devastation I have seen it cause left me skeptical of any concept that was not exclusively based on two people in a relationship, and two people only. So I had a question – how would the other person feel knowing that their other partner was cheating… But… what if… what if it wasn’t really cheating at all? What if these were relationships (often sexual) that you discussed with and confided in your partner about? Although hard for a strictly monogamous person to swallow at first, that seemed slightly different than ‘cheating’… if somewhat unorthodox.
It’s all about sex
Sometimes, I have people contact me asking for relationship advice. I firmly and emphatically assure them I have no qualification except for my own life experience… before jumping in head first with my personal opinions regarding their situations. Recently, I’ve noticed an influx of people talking to me about their completely loving and caring relationships, but somehow, for one reason or another, it emerges that they are not happy – and more often than not, it’s to do with sex… lack of it completely, or the loss of passion, variety or experimentation.
Sex and love can be two completely different things. When combined they are earth moving, and soul shaking, and incomparable. But they can also exist in isolation from each other (as my Saturday night escapades have taught me…). Whether someone entered a relationship super young, and feels they have missed out on the adventure and experimentation that you often get throughout your 20’s which allows you to express yourself and learn your likes and dislikes, or whether simply bored with the same missionary routine that happens once a week on a Thursday at 8.30pm… that doesn’t mean there is no love in that relationship… but it does often leave some kind of void that needs filling; a void that can’t be filled by the monogamous partner, who wasn’t meeting these needs to begin with. Your monogamous partner may be a dream – they might clean and smell good and make you laugh, they could be empathetic and considerate and loving and kind… but there’s just something missing for you… that sexual excitement.
You don’t want to cheat to itch that scratch… because you’re a decent human with a conscience, so… do you stay in the otherwise wonderful relationship and let this one need build and grow resentment?…
Enter – monogamish.
If you are in a seemingly monogamous relationship, and your partner wanted to sleep with someone else, would you sacrifice a 20 year marriage and prosperous looking future, over a one off sexual fling (if it was purely sexual)? I can’t answer that question, I’ve never been in that situation. But it seems to me, that many of the relationships people discuss with me, might be assisted by one (or both) partners being able to explore and experiment, without the fear and guilt of having to hide it, or be ashamed of it. Many of the people I chat with would never dream of cheating, but that doesn’t change their desires and needs… if only they could be open with their partners without fear of persecution.
I realise this is a can of worms… and not all issues in a partnership are isolated from one another, or easily fixed with sex (or therapy, or putting the toilet seat down)… but it is an interesting thought, isn’t it?
I know there are many people that would want to punch me in the face for writing this article.
I’m actually a very jealous person (although, with age, I’ve learnt to manage it and contain it well), so if I was in a long term monogamous relationship, I think the thought of my man with another would make me want to die… but… if I was confident in his love for me, and if I would give my all for him, would I rather him get his rocks off with a random woman named Susie who likes it up the bum while dressed head to toe in leather, because my man is into that, and I’d rather poke my eyes out with a fork???…Would I rather him fill his need on a purely sexual level, be honest with me about it, and come back to me at the end of the day, fulfilled and content and mine? Probably, yes…. But ask me again when I actually meet a decent guy worth turning monogamous for.
There are so many things that come into this concept – our life expectancy as humans has literally almost doubled since the beginning of time, and it’s all well and good to stick with the one dude if you’re expected to kick the bucket at 35, but how about putting up with that missionary once a week til you’re 90? There are partners I’ve been with briefly in the past who are complete darlings. They are caring, they are thoughtful and kind, but there is no chemistry there – would it be wrong to want to be with that person for ever and ever – as long as you could find the fire-work inducing sex elsewhere, and have that partner be okay with it? What if you fell for the 3rd party? I’m sure that could happen… so many questions, no definitive or absolute answers.
You do you
We have such high expectations of our partners – but is it realistic that they will fill them all?
Whatever the answers are, everyone needs to be on the same page. Don’t go deciding your relationship is now monogamish without first discussing the boundaries, expectations and guidelines with your partner… the couples interviewed in this article said that communication was key. One couple said they didn’t share details, but would always fill each other in on who they were dating and what was happening… they even said their own sex life had never been better, because they learnt new things from the various side partners who frequently came and went.
At the end of the day, we can never know what goes on between two people behind closed doors. And although I was a bit judgemental at first, my mind has been totally opened up to this new concept – and I truly do understand the value this could bring to a partnership… Would I be able to do it? Sit at home and watch Netflix while I knew my love was at some cheap hotel with a girl he met on Tinder?.. Jury is still out on that one… but either way… it’s food for thought, no?