5 Harsh Reasons Women Get Bored With Monogamy

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man and woman in their 20s, man looking at woman while she looks away, smiling

Despite the stereotype, it’s not only men who get bored with monogamy.

There is an age-old assumption that women crave monogamy more than men, but research into female desire is uncovering the truth that women are just as likely to get bored with monogamy, if not more quickly, than men.

Research by Wednesday Martin, Ph.D. says, “Most of what we’ve been taught by science about female sexuality is untrue. Starting with two basic assertions: that men have a stronger libido than women, and that men struggle with monogamy more than women do.”

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Here are five top reasons women get bored with monogamy

1. They miss the thrill of the chase

Flirting, courting and the beginning part of a relationship or a mutual attraction to someone new is exciting and can feel euphoric. If you’ve been with one partner exclusively for a while, the hormones and chemicals involved in the beginning phase (dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine) that give you that passionate, can’t-eat-or-sleep-excited feeling naturally begin to wane after a few months and are replaced by attachment hormones (oxytocin and vasopressin) that help you feel more stable, calm and bonded to your person.

The rub? Overfamiliarity and lack of novelty play a big part in romantic relationships turning stale, especially for women in heterosexual monogamous relationships. Marta Meana, Ph.D., of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, discovered that the “institutionalization of the relationship, overfamiliarity, and desexualization of roles” in long-term monogamous partnership mess with female passion and desire for the same person.

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2. The mystery is gone

Desire flourishes when there is enough space for anticipation and longing to grow. Doing everything as a couple, knowing every secret, and being emotionally enmeshed (you no longer know which needs or feelings are yours or your partner’s) kills mystery and longing. Individuality and freedom can become stifled in order to remain emotionally and physically faithful to the point of suffocation.

Few monogamous couples actively allow the right balance of just enough emotional autonomy and space for the mystery, elusiveness and individuality needed to keep boredom at bay and interest in each other alive and hot. Do you do everything with your partner? Now is a good time to encourage separate activities and interests with just the right amount of devoted reconnection time. 

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3. Their needs aren't being met in bed

It can be difficult to ask for what you need and desire, especially in bed. If she feels like you’re not on the same page or open to exploring new ideas or dynamics in bed, she may get bored, pull away emotionally or think about getting those needs met elsewhere. She also may feel the need “for more” but may not know how to express this or may be afraid of rejection or a negative reaction from you.

You can let her know you’re open to communicating about both of your wants and needs in bed — this validates that her needs are important and can spark desire.

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4. They want to be desired 

Just like men do, she has a strong need to feel wanted, seen, heard, and that she's still attractive to you. She needs to feel special and that her attempts at getting your attention and interest are valued and reciprocated. Sometimes she might pull away to see if you will still chase her. She may be testing the waters to see if she is still desired by you.

If she is not getting these needs met, she may lose interest over time and seek out or accept attention from someone else.

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5. They're bored with life, in general

If she is bored and unfulfilled in other aspects of her life, this can affect how she feels about her relationship. For example, if her career, childcare and social obligations leave her bored and drained with little time for herself, it may spill over into a routine of monogamy monotony. She may be so depleted by the pressures of daily obligations and everyday tasks that this can leave her little space and energy for her to explore or initiate the excitement and novelty within the relationship she deeply craves. T

he worst part? She may start to associate you with all of the obligations (especially if she feels like she’s doing most of the work in the relationship or at home) and resentment can build up over time. She may look for the excitement and newness she dreams of with someone else who has nothing to do with family life or the daily grind in order to feel alive, renewed and connected to her individuality or a new part of herself she is curious about.

When you’re armed with the understanding that women (just like men) can become bored in monogamous relationships, you can let this be a springboard rather than a panic button for more honest conversations around your relationship, sexual satisfaction and evolving desires. Have you noticed she may be drifting away or more disengaged? Now is the perfect time to reconnect by letting her know you are listening, that you see her, appreciate her and still want her, too.

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Stephanie Lazzara is an NYC-based ICF-certified holistic life, health, and relationship coach. She helps her clients build healthier habits for better relationships.