Why does anyone choose to enter monogamous relationships? I had a monogamous relationship once. I don't think I chose explictly to be monogamous, it just fell into place. It was what was expected.

I think many people "choose" monogamy for the same reason many people "choose" heterosexuality... because everyone else is doing it! Not because there is a recongnition that this is a good choice, or the best way to organize sexual life or whom one plays with.

But how does one change this? The first step is recognising that what you're doing (heterosex, monogamy) is infact a choice! Often this step is combined with discovering alternate methods of existance.

The second step is learning about all the alternate choices. And the third is actually carrying out a concious choice to live differently than what is "default".

I unconciously choose to have a monogamous relationship, but no more.

A response to Jaez... I do not see compelling argumentation that monogamy is the ethical choice. I would like to seperate and say that "ethical choice" does NOT equal "culturally acceptible choice". They are seperate things, and people often confuse the two. I don't see any fundemental compelling reason why we have to feel jealous. Infact I submit that we don't need to feel jealous and its culturally conditioned behaviour.

I agree that relationships require trust and loyality, but I disagree that implys sexual exclusivity. You say that its better to be emotionally dependent on one, I say its better to be emotionally dependent on many. So if one is also needy, you do not have the problem of falling on deaf ears.

And a final note... while we may have monogamous instincts (but this is not necessarly proven, many cultures have extended support families, multiple marrages, multiple sex partners, etc), I think that as a human being, I can overcome and control my instincts and not let them control me. That is what it means to be human, making concious choices at every step.

For those who are interested in more, try reading The Ethical Slut. And no those two words are not contradicting.

It could also be because it is the moral choice of lifestyle.

Remember, sex involves powerful feelings both biological and emotional. It is only recently that we have felt the need to separate them out, and many believe that this is detrimental to society. If I give my love to someone, emotionally as well as physically, I would very much like to know that they would wish to do the same with me, and me alone. Regardless of how cosmopolitan the current fashions in society seem to be, we still feel very much betrayed when we discover that our partner is having sex with someone else, not to mention the cold feeling when they shrug it off as unimportant.

Long lasting relationships rely on loyalty and trust, and grow towards exclusivity because the couple become independent of others for emotional support. Concious choice or not, it is better to be monogomous, and this behaviour is perhaps built into us genetically as it is likely to lead to a greater chance of successful offspring, than the alternatives.

In response to synx's enlightened comments I would like to submit the following:

while the two may not be exactly the same, in most cases the ethical choice IS the culturally acceptable choice. Were this not the case, we would be living in hell. When it is proven that the culturally acceptable choice IS NOT ethical, then it inevitably follows that reasonable people try to change the culture to become more ethical.

Monogamy is a case in point.

It has survived so long, and spread so wide simply because it represents the keystone to a stable family environment that all parties would agree is mutually beneficial. Only in recent decades has the family model been under fire from highly individualistic trends from society, I believe this will pass. Families are necessary for society.

Jealousy isn't conditioned, it is natural. Ask any child, or child psychologist.

I didn't say it was better to be emotionally dependent on one, and not many. I IMPLIED (and still agree with the fact) that it is far better to be emotionally dependent on a *stable* one than a fluctuating many. As it is highly unlikely that you are able to command and give the same level of love and devotion from and to five partners than if you only have one. This isn't a radical new social theory. It's just common sense. Or failing that, maths.

As for the final note, fair enough, but WHY BOTHER? If the natural alternative is better (see above for proof) then why take the stupid option and be wreckless with not only your own heart, but with lots of others as well?

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