6 Things Being A Serial Monogamist Means For You — Both Good AND Bad

You might identify with one of these six characteristics.

6 Signs You're A Serial Monogamist — And What Serial Monogamy Means For You weheartit

By Locke Hughes

It makes sense that plenty of us prefer to be partnered up. Having an S.O. makes certain situations much more fun, like Friday nights with lots of red wine and lazy Sundays spent watching Netflix. And while most of us like to be in a relationship, we all know someone (maybe it's you!) who paired off with their first boyfriend in seventh grade and was never single again for more than a week.


But what does it mean if you’re the one who’s always dating someone with little to no downtime in between? We asked the experts for a few things—both positive and negative—being a serial monogamist could say about you if you’re that girl.


1. You're learning about love.

"It can be a good thing—there’s nothing wrong with being in relationships," says Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay area and co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families.

Plus, it can be helpful to have a number of relationships in life, Coleman says. Being with many types of people gives you an idea of what’s possible and what you can expect from a romantic relationship (and what you don’t want). In other words, you can see just how good love can be.


Dating different people can also give you a sense of what you need to work on, Coleman says. “If all your exes complained about the same thing—that you're a bad listener, for example—then you start to realize where your faults may lie and you can work on them.”


2. You enjoy the chase.

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying close connections to others, watch out for signs that you’re in it for the thrill of a new relationship, says Wyatt Fisher, Ph.D., a psychologist in Denver and founder of Colorado Marriage Refresh.

Some people are “addicted” to the early infatuation stages of a new relationship (the fun dates! the first kiss! the first sleepover!). When that glow of getting to know someone starts to fade, you may search out a new relationship to replicate those exciting early feelings, Fisher says. So keep an eye out for that.


3. You felt neglected growing up.

People who didn't have a relationship with one or both parents or felt unimportant, unseen, or uncared for in their childhood may become co-dependent in relationships. That means that you derive your identity and security through love from a partner, Fisher says. "You're trying to fill that 'hole in your soul' through your romantic relationships."

That feeling of being uncared for becomes acute when these types of people are alone, so being with someone else can help quiet that feeling, Coleman adds.


4. You're overly critical of yourself.

Being with someone can help silence that inner critic we all know (and hate). So always having a partner can help you tolerate or downplay things in your life that are actually more serious than you’re acknowledging, Coleman says.

Ask yourself: Are you actually attached and in love with the person you’re with or are you with them because you can’t tolerate being with your own thoughts? 

RELATED: 4 Ways To Find That Person You Actually WANT To Be Monogamous With

5. You crave structure and support.

Yes, we all know that “adulting” can be difficult. As bills, responsibilities, and car payments pile up, it’s easy to want someone else to help you deal with all of it. Some people need to be in a relationship to have someone to provide structure and advice for them, Coleman says.


But that’s a bad sign. If you’re too dependent or anxious to be alone, you’re probably not choosing the right people to be in a relationship with, which creates the perfect storm, Coleman says.

6. You need to work on yourself.

You’ve probably heard this advice before, but without truly being happy alone, it’s unlikely you’ll be happy with someone else. “Without self-reflection, healing, and growth, most people continue to repeat their pattern in subsequent relationships,” Fisher explains.


The next time you find yourself single spend some time working on improving yourself. “Use the single season to pursue your dreams and things that would make you feel happy, whole, and accomplished,” he suggests. "The more satisfied in life you become, the more likely you'll be content in your next relationship."