The Monogamy Myth: Would We All Be Better Off Admitting We're Afraid To Be Alone?

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monogamous relationships

Nothing lasts forever ... or does it?

Recently, I heard this line in a movie: "You're just horny and afraid of being abandoned," in reference to a girl who was pining away for a boy who did not appear to love her back. The statement struck me, to say the least.

Obviously true for many people, myself included, I began to wonder if our fear of being abandoned is somehow contributing to this whole myth of monogamy, or is it the myth of monogamy that is causing us to feel abandoned?

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I definitely believe that the concept of monogamous relationships perpetuates a lot of myths. Along with monogamy come many false notions, such as "happily ever after," or the idea that there is one magical person out there for everyone. I think there can be magical connections between people, but I am always biting my tongue when I hear people say, "I think she's the one." The one what?

But the one has come to stand for so much more. It has come to suggest that we will fall in love with the one and never look at another person. The one will fulfill all of our needs.

We identify with the one and then we feel anger, confusion, and discontent when the one doesn't walk, talk, look, speak, or act the way we do or how we would expect to in certain situations. We feel as though we should know everything about the one and we feel blind-sided and abandoned when we realize that the one is an individual, separate from us, with his/her own motives, and reasons for doing and being.

So with all that, we've been taught that the one is the only one we should fantasize about, or think about when having sex, and that in true love we never think about other people, we never look at someone else.

I suppose some would argue that this is true for them, and I can't argue with that, but for the majority of people, this is like trying to fit a circle into a square. Sometimes it isn't a perfect fit.

The majority of people are afraid to admit they have fantasies about people other than their partners. They avoid being open and upfront about it because it completely goes against society's skewed view of monogamy. It contradicts what they were taught about marriage and sex and falling in love, and if they talked about it openly, they would risk being judged and criticized. Additionally, their partners might feel hurt or abandoned.

Fear of abandonment is something we all deal with from the time we are little. When we are children and other kids bully us, we feel emotionally abandoned. When a close friend moves away, we feel sadness and begin to understand that nothing lasts forever. Some children have to experience the loss of a parent or loved one either through divorce, death or some other circumstance, which can only be described as traumatic.

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We are forced to learn at a very young age of the impermanence of things and then we are spoon fed the concept of monogamy — and bam! It's like there is this answer to our fear of abandonment: marriage. Marriage and monogamous relationships become the answer to all our woes.

And then, of course, there is the sex part. We are naturally sexual beings. We want to have sex. Well, most of us do, and most definitely we crave that connection and intimacy with another body, another being. We are taught concepts like "no sex before marriage," and with the fears of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, marriage and monogamy seem to the perfect solution to our desires to alleviate our fear of abandonment and to have unbridled passionate sex all the time.

So, we set out on our mission to meet the one. We ache and suffer, desperately wanting a fix for abandonment.

I wonder if we could only admit that we are horny and afraid of being alone, if we could just suck it up and say, "I'm just horny and afraid of being alone," would we be able to rid ourselves of the oversimplified concepts of marriage, monogamy and the one?

Don't get me wrong. I think marriage is beautiful, and the union of two people when they fall in love and decide to support, nurture and love each other for the rest of their lives is truly amazing. And if people were more realistic about marriage and the true nature of long term relationships — that romance and passion eventually wane, that desire ebbs and flows — then we'd be much better at relationships I general.

We would put less stock in the one, and more stock into the connection right now. We would accept that life is impermanent, that nothing lasts forever, even the most seemingly well matched duos and fairy tales of romances. We would admit that what goes up, must come down instead of holding onto the fantasy that safe and sexy always go hand in hand.

It's a whole bunch of fairy tales and myths if we are honest. In the end aren't we all just afraid and horny?

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If you need help letting your partner know you're in the mood, being attractive or any other relationship problem, reach out to Moushumi. She's here to help.