This joking article was emailed to me providing some comic relief on the challenges that come with commitment. And this article from a therapist that deals with infidelity popped up in the NY Times prompted me to not wait any longer to post this piece on Monogamy.
Let's get it on the table:
Our species survived and thrived to pass on the next generation's genes not because people paired up until they were 80 in marital unions.
All sorts of side action riddled our rise to the top of the food change and is even credited biblically as starting one of the major religions.
Monogamy has it's benefits, but it doesn't come easily.
We have mating cycles, times in our development to try on partners, times appropriate for elbowing our way to a more desirable partners, and times to really consider settling down to build, feel safe, and grow.
We like sex, we like variety in our sexual partners (for differing strategic chemically motivated reasons by gender), and yet we still crave stable love and partnership.
History has shown what we actual do, what actually affects our behavior irregardless of any rhetoric & negative shaming attempted by the powers that be, (you 'heathen!'). So if we're not biologically monogamous long term, why attempt to partner?
What we're motivated by & what's marketed to us
We're motivated by the full life "have it all" experience paradigm in the west, the pursuit of blissful joy bio-chemically, and the value system we identify with culturally and spiritually.
We're a little entitled in Western culture which skews our perspective on what we deserve and steals our gratitude for what we have.
Oh yeah, and we're way over-marketed ideal mating partners compared to what's actually out there. >>>
with men and women having varying incentives based on differing parental investments and motivators that change with chemicals over time, it can be really confusing to try to force ourselves into the monogamous box over the course of a lifetime.
There so much stimulation and options and we should PICK JUST ONE!???
5 reasons Partnering can lead to happiness:
1. A.D.D DATING = less HAPPINESS.
"IS THIS ALL THERE IS?" disillusionment is the result of 'GRASS IS GREENER' THINKING / quick turn over dating.
LOOKING FOR A GOOD PARTNER IS An importANT SELECTION PROCESS that deserves thoroughness. HOWEVER, CHECK your dating PATTERNS AND CRITERIA BECAUSE GRASS IS GREENER THINKING COULD BE denying you A GREAT PARTNER. Being selective may be protecting you from the crazies but overly selective is keeping you from the good ones too.
'MY UBER SUCCESSFUL MALE FRIENDS WAKE UP ON A HEDONIC TREADMILL OF "IS THIS ALL THERE IS?" AFTER RUNNING THROUGH THEIR 7TH MODEL OF THE MONTH PICKING APART WHY EACH ISN'T QUITE GOOD ENOUGH TO GIVE UP THE PURSUIT OF BETTER.' MY DESIRABLE FEMALE FRIENDS STACK DATES LOOKING FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE MATES ALWAYS UNSATISFIED.
IT'S NOT THE WORST PROBLEM TO HAVE, BUT A.D.D DATING DOESN'T LEAD TO HAPPINESS THE WAY IT SUGGESTS.
PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE LIFESTYLE CHOICE IF THE DRUG RUSH IS YOUR IDEAL life. HONOR YOUR PATH. IT'S OK TO HAVE YOUR DATING EXPERIENCE BE ALL ABOUT THE HIGH OF THE CHASE, BUT LISTEN TO YOUR INSIDES IF THEY CRAVE MORE MEANINGFUL CONNECTION, CRAVE BEING FULLY SEEN, OR CRAVE DEEPER GROWTH. The thrill of the chase may not be worth the sacrificed benefits of partnership.
IF YOU'RE EXHAUSTED & UNFULFILLED, SWAP YOUR STRATEGY & WORK ON PERSPECTIVE. THE HAPPINESS BOOKS ALL POINT TO OPTIONS OVERWHELMING THE BRAIN LEADING TO LESS HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE.
2. growth areas get highlighted
"LOVE IS SHOWING UP FOR OUR PARTNER IN LITTLE UNSEXY WAYS, DAY IN AND DAY OUT. It's ONE OF THE FASTEST WAYS TO PERSONAL GROWTH."- DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, LATE PHILOSOPHER & WRITER.
ONCE THE DRUG ADDICT PHASE OF LOVE DIES DOWN, WE'RE FORCED TO LOOK AT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO IDENTIFY WITH, WHAT WE'RE GOING TO LET MOTIVATE US.
WE CAN WORK ON OURSELVES SOLO, BUT HAVING A PARTNER TO REFLECT BACK OUR QUIRKS, ABUSE TENDENCIES, ANNOYING HABITS, OR NEGATIVE DEFAULT SETTINGS GIVES US MEANINGFUL THINGS TO WORK ON that we can't avoid seeing. you'll find Those hiding from growth BLAMING theiR PARTNER AND continuously SWAPPING THEM OUT for a supposedly shinier model..
ARE WE GOING TO BE THE 55 YR OLD TROLLING THE BAR LOOKING FOR BIGGER AND BETTER version BECAUSE IT WAS ALWAYS OUR PAST PARTNERS' FAULTS?
A consistent partner lets us work on our sh#t and get better and healthier faster. ALOT OF GOOD WORK DOESN'T GET DONE WHEN WE AVOID & TRADE in.
3. stability helps us feel SAFE ENOUGH TO WORK ON THE higher level PROJECTS OF LIFE.
YOU'RE NO LONGER OBSESSED WITH PARTNERING AND NOW CAN WORK ON THAT LARGER SOUL PROJECT. you have the comfort of roots, and can work on the height of your branches.
PART OF WHY womens' 20S and early 30s ARE SO STRESSFUL IS the HARDWIRING TO BE HYPER FOCUSED ON FINDING PARTNERS, RESOURCES, AND SAFETY TO MAKE BABIES WHILE CRAMMING IN EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE.
men at this age are often plagued with an urge to both partner with someone awesome while being equally drawn to youthful sexual variety and empire building.
Each gender has their own tricky hill to climb but we all want it all And we're marketed that we can find it and have it.
THE BASE LAYERS OF MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS COMMAND ATTENTION BEFORE WE CAN ATTEND TO OUR LOFTIER LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SEARCH FOR MEANING.
MAKING A DECISION IN A LIFE CATEGORY frees up PSYCHIC ENERGY TO FOCUS ON MEANINGFUL ENDEAVORS IN OTHER AREAS.
4. choosing a partner can make other choices easier.
Once you've decided on a person, the other categorical choices get a bit easier. what athletic, social, professional, charitable, and spiritual groups you two are going to identify with and spend time are discussed as you define your existence as a unit.
This union is a safe way to join and contribute to larger organizations and stick to them with your new built in accountability partner. It's often easier to gain access to certain groups as a pair.
With relationships and community being such a high ranking happiness indicator, this side benefit of stable relationships is quite significant. Relationships & community connection = happiness.
5. healing nourishing bonding
Attachment Theory research has found that the "similarities between romantic relationships and parent-infant relationships are obvious."- The Happiness Hypothesis.
The face to face gazing, holding one another, nuzzling, comforting, and enjoying the bonding hormone oxytocin release creates such a strong attachment that the conscious development of a more meaningful, stable relationship can actually give us the benefit of our initial comforting, growth allowing parents. (or replace them if your parents sucked.)
What this means is that you get a rush of comforting bonding chemicals by working on the relationship you've chosen to classify as stable and safe.
What a gift to give to another person just by choosing to show up for them. Sure some of the chase excitement will be missed, but you trade it in for a chance to make a real difference in someone's life, choose to strengthen your character, and choose a baseline of happiness induced by stability and love.
Note: Why it's so important to select for certain qualities when looking for your partner - if monogamy is the way you're going to grow.
All of the above benefits sound great, but we can't control for our partner's abusive tendencies, anger impulse, or addiction pronation that override their better intention.
You working hard to build something meaningful at the expense of some lost excitement will feel like a waste of time if you picked a hot fun sparkly drug like partner rather than stable considerate communicative one.
Our happiness benefits from selecting certain qualities from the start that point toward sustainability.
Qualities to look for in a longer term partner: Kindness, Consideration, Communication, Consistency (within range), Shared Values, Trustworthiness, humor / perspective, and ambition to continue working on them self to stay interesting and inspiring to you as well as nourish their own growth and journey.
These Qualities will give you a fair chance in the upward battle of monogamy & partnership without the distracting negativity of abusive cycles, derailing anger, and poor-communication induced resentment .
A marriage doesn't have to last forever to be a wonderful experience / growth opportunity. It's the attempting to choose well and then bring your best self forward often that counts toward your growth and happiness level. sticking it out (within reason) has benefits.
"It'll be good in the end so if it's not good, it's not the end."
This is the THE CUTEST QUOTE I REMEMBER A GIRLFRIEND'S GRANDMOTHER SAID THAT KEPT HER GOING THROUGH THE HARD TIMES of her marriage.
It gives me that warm hopeful feeling of hallmark commercials. I love it & it aligns with my personal goal to make it to the end with my wonderful chosen partner.
I saved the extramarital sex / polyamory conversation for other forums- if you and your partner share the same view and can navigate the sexual jealousy and allocation of attention in the polyamory or occasional hall pass world, rock it out.
I've seen it work and I've seen it tear apart relationships. Your biology will tempt you but the brain is a tricky place and it's not worth it if your partner isn't ok with sharing that side of you.
So for this article, let's call it partnering with the goal being monogamy for all it's benefits. you can reap the benefits above while not being totally sexually monogamous as long as both people are open, honest, and on board.
Zero judgment here - there's definitely an argument for both & the progressive couples either choose such lofty empire building that their energy is redirected higher than new sexual conquests or they honor each other's biology and allow for outside play together or alone.
really not trying to step on any religions toes. If I'm not speaking your language, please disregard this section.
We'll delve deeper into how the genders see sex, our chemical motivators and mate selection strategy, as well as what each gender craves at each phase of their life in a future book / podcast / seminar / article.
18 long term studies on Marriage & Happiness - Psychology Today
How the Sexes view Cheating - Huffington Post
The $ and Happiness value of Marriage- How Stuff Works.com