The fact is dating, sex, love, basic human connection is hard. But we’ve got just the little snack to help. Ask An Alfawhore, the sex and love advice column from the tell-it-to-ya-straight, sex-positive, uber feminist older sister you always wanted is back. This week: is serial monogamy… a bad thing?
At the age of 32, I have only been in committed relationships. Not because I’ve been consciously looking for them, but because, one way or another, I always end up in long term relationships. I’ll date someone for a few weeks and they are ready to jump into something serious right away. Am I missing out by not hooking up and having one night stands? Will I regret this down the road?
All the best,
Dear Commitment Whore,
Many of us are serial monogamists. Either out of fear of being alone, habit, social pressure, or (hopefully) because connecting with another person in a meaningful way awakens something beautiful inside of us, something truly divine. While I don’t believe in regret (thank god, because I would certainly have a laundry list of my own if I did), I do think life is about learning, and so I try to honor this gift of life by paying attention.
You say the pattern is that you meet someone, they want more so you go along with it. I’d say if you’re passively being sucked into romantic partnerships, it’s unfair to both of you. Relationships are difficult in the best of circumstances, and if you don’t really want to be there they are downright exhausting. It’s counterproductive to your own happiness to put all that work into something you could take or leave.
I suggest you take fear of regret out of the equation and ask yourself the bigger questions. Did you learn something from your partners? Did you love them? Was it worth it? Were you good to each other? Are you better having known them? Most importantly, do you want to be in a relationship now? I promise you that if you are doing what makes you happy, you will never regret what you didn’t do. It’s completely okay to be a serial monogamist or be single and hook up, the problem only arises if you’re not being honest with yourself and repeating destructive patterns.
Being with someone should be your active choice, not something you do out of boredom or laziness, or because you don’t want to cause hurt feelings. If you look inward and drown out expectations and the fear of regret, what do you want now? Marry, divorce, have a baby, don’t…. it only matters that you’re happy now because everything else is a lie. Are you happy now?