You’re in another committed relationship, and you’re blissfully happy. This one understands you better than the last. Or this one is more fun.
All your relationships have enriched your life in some way.
But when someone describes your newest attachment as a serial relationship, you feel called out.
You look for a serial monogamy definition to clear things up. And you find one that sounds somewhat like what you’re doing. But isn’t it just how things are done, now?
Not all of us live happily ever after with the first person we marry or move in with.
So, what does it even mean to be a serial monogamist?
- What is a serial monogamist?
- What is serial monogamy marriage?
- 7 Signs You Are a Serial Monogamist
- 1. You don’t have random hook-ups.
- 2. You have low expectations for your partner.
- 3. You hate attending social functions as a “single.”
- 4. Your friends have stopped celebrating your new relationships.
- 5. The connection is more physical than emotional.
- 6. You love being in love.
- 7. After a break-up, you’re on to the next person.
What is a serial monogamist?
Put simply, serial monogamy is having one monogamous relationship after another.
A serial monogamist is someone who wants to be in a committed relationship all the time, with minimal gaps between those relationships.
Those gaps are minimal mainly because being in a relationship is a welcome distraction from issues they don’t want to face.
And who among us doesn’t get at least a little nervous about digging deep?
To a serial monogamist, a committed relationship has become something they need in order to feel valued and complete. It gives them a sense of security they didn’t have before.
Childhood influences typically play a large part in this. Once the serial monogamist sees problems that remind them of those influences, they’re likely to look for a way out.
They want committed relationships; they just don’t expect them to last forever.
What is serial monogamy marriage?
In a serial monogamy marriage, the one most likely to move on to yet another committed-for-now relationship is the serial monogamist.
If that describes both people in the marriage, it’s just a question of who will want to move on first.
It’s not that a serial monogamist expects married life to always be rosy and passionate.
Many stay married for years, long after the passion has cooled somewhat and in spite of the challenges they’re likely to face in any committed relationship.
Whether you’re a serial monogamist depends more on why you stay — or why you leave?
7 Signs You Are a Serial Monogamist
If you don’t identify perfectly with all the following signs, that’s okay. If you’re a serial monogamist, some will resonate. Others, maybe not so much.
For example, if you’ve had multiple committed relationships, and each has lasted for years, you might object to the signs that point to shorter or more superficial relationships.
All serial monogamists are not the same. And wherever you are with your relationships, you deserve a chance to understand yourself better.
After all, there’s more than one kind of happy ending.
1. You don’t have random hook-ups.
A serial dater enjoys spending time with multiple romantic partners without any commitment involved (other than maybe breakfast).
As a serial monogamist, though, the idea of a random hook-up is gross. You want more.
You don’t spend the night with just anyone who’s willing. Every sleepover is a step toward a new or more committed relationship, however brief. It’s never “just a hook-up.”
Once you take that step, you’re “together.”
It’s the start of something new and exciting. And it’s you jumping in with both feet — embracing the next new adventure with someone whose smile sets your insides on fire.
There’s nothing random about magic.
2. You have low expectations for your partner.
On the other hand, your expectations regarding this new lover or about the duration of your relationship can be fairly low.
You don’t expect a forever commitment. You just want to be with someone. And you want that someone to think you’re someone special.
They don’t have to be ideal. For all you know, it won’t last more than a month.
But as long as you’re in love right now, you don’t worry about how long it will last. You’d rather have quality, but you’ll lower your standards if you have to.
And you don’t waste time playing hard to get.
If your new flame is on board, you skip the dating drama and go all in. You’re in this to cram as much fun, adventure, and intimacy into your life as possible.
No time for quibbling over tiny red flags.
3. You hate attending social functions as a “single.”
The idea of showing up at a social event as a single person horrifies you. How could you possibly have fun without a partner who makes you feel attractive and interesting?
And what’s the point of hanging out with other singles unless one of them is bound to become your next epic love.
The word “epic” might be a stretch. You’re not going for a Disney kind of love, after all. You just want someone to stop you from feeling alone, pitiable, and incomplete. And you want to do the same for them.
Why on earth would you go to a social gathering and advertise the painful fact that no one is currently interested in being with you?
Better things to do. And number one on the list is finding a new love.
4. Your friends have stopped celebrating your new relationships.
No one congratulates you on your newest relationship. Your friends might raise an eyebrow or two and offer a vague smile.
But, after all the relationships that have come and gone, it’s hard to get excited about your latest sweetheart.
And how long will this one last? Didn’t you just break up with so-and-so yesterday?
It doesn’t help, either, that you’ve been neglecting your friends to spend more time with your main squeeze of the month (or year, season, etc.).
They hardly ever see you. And when they do, you’re arm-in-arm with someone else.
If you don’t get too invested in any of your relationships, why should they? So, expect to hear ambivalent responses like “Really? Wow. That’s fun,” and questions like “What happened to [your latest ex]?”
5. The connection is more physical than emotional.
As far as you can tell, being in love is more of a blue pill than a red one (Thank you, Matrix).
You want the euphoria and the sense of security that come with being with someone you’re crazy about.
You don’t want to be yanked out of your comfy couplehood to face your inner demons. And you don’t want your S.O. to get cozy with them, either.
So, you don’t feel guilty about keeping the relationship on the physical plane.
Few people have what you have. Married friends sometimes tell you they wish their relationship had as much passion as yours does.
You’re head over heels in love, and you don’t want the feeling to end.
Why mess it up by inviting your S.O. to know you as fully as possible, especially if you’re afraid that digging too deep will ruin everything?
You go just deep enough to keep things interesting.
6. You love being in love.
So, when the romantic high wears off, you start looking elsewhere. You want to be in a relationship where the passion is always running hot — or at least warm.
And since you expect your S.O. to come to the same conclusion, you’re ready to fall in love again, but with someone else.
This relationship has clearly run its course. You’ve both taken it as far as it will go. The best thing for both of you is to move on while you still like each other.
And once it’s over, you don’t waste time. You’re ready to fall head over heels again.
On the other hand, unless you have someone else in mind, you might hold onto a stale relationship or even an unhealthy one, convincing yourself that you still have something.
Because even a less-than-satisfying relationship is better than being alone.
7. After a break-up, you’re on to the next person.
There’s no breathing space between relationships. You feel naked when you’re not joined at the hip to a significant other.
You don’t know how to be alone with yourself, so when one relationship comes to an end, you put all your energy into finding a new one.
Unlike serial adulterers, you’re not likely to cheat on your partners. But when the relationship ends, you’ll quickly move on to someone else.
And the next prospect may be someone with whom you’re already well-acquainted.
You don’t see the point of taking time out to reflect on the ended relationship or how you feel about it.
No need to dwell on what you might have done wrong or what you can learn from the relationship. You’ve closed that chapter of your life and refuse to look back.
On to the next chapter!
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Does serial monogamy resonate with you?
At this point, if you recognize yourself in the 7 signs described above, you might have mixed feelings about identifying as a “serial monogamist.”
After all, how many good things come with the word “serial”?
On the other hand, what’s so wrong with acknowledging that you don’t expect even good marriages to last forever?
You know your serial monogamy does not make you shallow or unworthy of someone’s trust.
But depending on why you stay or why you leave a relationship, you may find it helpful to explore the history behind those reasons.
The better you know yourself, the more clearly you can see the right path to take and the right people to travel with.
May you become better acquainted with your solitary self and learn to appreciate what you bring to every relationship.