That’s right. I said it. Just like any other lifestyle decision, monogamy is a choice.
Unfortunately, many of us haven’t actually made most of our lifestyle choices, and this one is no different. We may expect it from our partners, but most have never really committed to it themselves… and many won’t.
Lately there have been a plethora of articles, blogs, and if you ever leave your house, probably a few friends telling you about so-and-so cheating… and how monogamy is a crazy notion to begin with because it goes against human nature.
There are a few problems with this rationale. For starters, we do all sorts of things that go against human nature… like going to work, paying our bills, only eating what we need, getting out of bed, participating in any form of exercise, etc. Is it human nature to want to screw everything you find attractive? Sure it is. But it’s also human nature to be as lazy as one can get away with. It’s also human nature to be gluttonous. It’s also human nature to lie to get what you want.
Many of us have decided to go against our nature on a daily basis; yet, this doesn’t seem to raise any eyebrows. It doesn’t hold any water either. Here’s an argument that makes a bit more sense: monogamy is one of many lifestyle choices.
Here’s why it matters: monogamy tends to be assumed / expected, but if it’s not something you’re committed to (or haven’t really given much thought to), it’s something that will become an issue at some point… there are plenty of temptations and opportunities. You’ll have to make a choice sooner or later.
If you choose not to commit to monogamy, ok. But this is something you should address with any potential partner, because pairing up with someone for whom monogamy is important will prove 100% disastrous. This may mean that you won’t get to date someone you’re interested in, but that goes both ways, right? With each decision, there are consequences. Just like choosing monogamy. So, if this is something you aren’t committed to, it’s best not to let someone else think that you are. Give it some honest thought and make some choices. Then, like the adults we one day hope to be, be honest and forthright about what you’ve chosen. You’ll see that it can greatly simplify your life. (And we could all use a little less stress/turmoil in our lives, right?)
If you choose monogamy, don’t be chintzy. Be prepared to dedicate some time and effort, like you would any other lifestyle choice (jogging, diet, sleep habits, social relationships, etc.), and acknowledge that you’ve chosen this lifestyle (not that it’s a burden you are bearing). AND, if you don’t think you can live up to your choice, let your partner know – you can remain an honorable person even if you decide that you cannot, or don’t want to, remain monogamous.
Go forth, and live respectfully.