I’ve had some conversations lately — I feel like every blog post I write could start that way — with self-identified “monogamous” people, and they’ve left me wondering: what is this “monogamy” they’re talking about? I also had one conversation with Shaun, my very dear oh-so-poly boy, and it became clear (after much warm debate) that we were using very different definitions of “monogamy” and “polyamory.”
So, people who identify as monogamous, tell me what that means to you. I’ll get you started with a few ideas.
1) It means I hate the thought of my partner sharing sexual or romantic intimacy with another person. The idea of it gives me an awful feeling, and if it ever really happened I would be devastated. (If your answer is something like, “I don’t mind sharing a partner sexually, but I don’t want them to share romantic intimacy with anyone else” then can you please define “romantic intimacy”? Because it seems to be a concept that means something to people, but I really don’t know what.)
2) It means I can’t imagine giving sexual or romantic attention to more than one person. When I’m in love with someone, I’m blind to all other potential interests.
3) It means that even though I’m occasionally attracted to other people, I don’t want to assume the risks and possible costs of developing those relationships. I’d rather focus my time and energy on my single relationship.
4) It means that one of the most important things about a relationship to me is knowing we both come home to each other at the end of the day, every day. I want one person to be at the center of my life and my plans, and I want to know that I’m at the center of theirs.
Do any of these ring true? More than one? Do they capture the whole story or is there something I’m missing? I’m just curious about what monogamy means to people who choose it.