From an early age we’ve all been taught to think that monogamy is the ultimate ideal, and goal, for any relationship. But in 2018 with a rise of so many ‘non-traditional’ relationships should monogamy still be the goal, or is this something we should re-evaluate?
In the last year two close friends have confided in me that their relationships are healthy, happy, and open to the possibility of being open. Hearing this sometimes comes a little as a surprise, especially when it’s coming casually out of your friend’s mouth when you previously thought they were a little vanilla, but is it really that weird of a concept? If both partners are fully OK with this, with neither pressured into it and both consistently checking in that both are still fully on board, is there anything that wrong with it?
The answer is no, but it’s a complicated no.
For a lot of people the idea of an open relationship is one that ultimately they believe reflects on them, and how their partner needs to go outside of the relationship to find what’s missing. This realistically comes from the aforementioned idea of monogamy being considered the ideal – and with so many people who feel this way, it’s fair enough that it’s a dealbreaker for a lot of us. For these people to enter into this kind of relationship it would be unhealthy, and destructive.
Which isn’t to say there isn’t a middle ground between being completely onboard, and comfortable with the idea of your partner exploring outside of your relationship, and just being a hell the hell no. There are those, and typically I’ve found they tend to be millennials, who fall more into the grey area. It’s something a lot of us would be willing to have a discussion with our partners about; it’s not off the table, but it definitely isn’t a free for all. Will Smith said it best when talking about his relationship with his wife, she never hears about anything after he’s done it.
A monogamous relationship is definitely realistic, there are people who have and will continue to do it. Committing to spending the rest of your life with just one person in all forms is admirable, but it’s hard work. If you and your partner are comfortable with the idea, why not discuss something a little less traditional? There are those of us who are polyamorous, those of us who are happier in a throuple, and those of us who want the freedom to do what they want outside of a relationship (with their partner’s blessing) but remain emotionally faithful.
At the end of the day a healthy relationship, in whatever form it may take in 2018, is one where everyone in it trusts one another and nobody does anything to break that trust. As long as everyone is 100% on the same page as to what is and isn’t allowed if your relationship diverges from a more traditional one, and even covering what constitutes cheating in a traditional one, then who the fuck cares? It’s your business.
So while monogamy may be the ideal for some people does it have to be the ideal for you? Ask yourself seriously if something different is something that you think would work for you. If the idea makes you uncomfortable, and if I’m being entirely honest it makes me a little uncomfortable when imagining this relationship for myself – at least in a young relationship, then it’s probably best to not kick that hornet’s nest. But if not then think about what it is you want, and want it is you’ll do to get it.
Just don’t be a cheating douchebag.