The Harsh Reasons Women Get Bored With Monogamy

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The default relationship style in mainstream society is monogamy, whereby two partners are in a closed, committed relationship. However, this is not necessarily the case for all.

In fact, many women will tell you that monogamy often becomes boring.

Ethical non-monogamy, otherwise known as consensual non-monogamy, is another option and is becoming more acceptable in modern society, with roughly 4-5 percent of the American population identifying as polyamorous in particular. The exact numbers of consensual non-monogamy are currently unknown.

Not all women get bored with monogamy, of course — but those who do leave for various reasons. I spoke with a number of people who practice polyamory and noticed some themes as to why women (or anyone) would leave monogamy.

There are women who are bored with monogamy who will not be suited for polyamory. For them, exploring variety in their primary relationship may be the answer. Before you can know, however, you should learn why women who choose non-monogamy have done so, as well as some of the healthier boundaries people in non-monogamous relationships prefer. 

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Here are four reasons women may become bored with monogamy

1. They may be attracted to someone else

While many people tend to believe that being attracted to someone other than their partner is a moral failing, it is actually a normal, human response. Being attracted to someone else does not have to mean that they are no longer in love with their partner, but it can be hard to stay committed when someone else makes them feel desired. Particularly if they are not happy in their current relationship.

This can be due to a number of factors, including a lack of emotional connection, a lack of communication, or simply drifting apart.

2. They may want to explore their sexuality

Some women may feel that they have not had the opportunity to explore their sexuality fully within the confines of a monogamous relationship. They may want to experiment with different partners or different types of sexual activity. It can feel as though they are trapped and as if their feelings make them bad or a "slut" when they are actually likely to be very natural feelings for themselves. 

As one of my interviewees stated, “I couldn't stop myself from being interested in dating/loving/being attracted to women even though I was married to a straight man. I just thought there was something deeply wrong with me until I learned about polyamory and found out I wasn't alone.”

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3. They may believe that monogamy is not natural

Some people believe that humans are not naturally monogamous creatures, and that monogamy is a social construct that is not always healthy or realistic.

“I don't think anything ever got me into it. I never understood monogamy," an interviewee told me, "and as soon as I was in college with unrestricted internet access, I discovered there were other people that didn't follow monogamy and was able to put words to that.”

4. They consider love 'infinite'

Accoding to a few of the women I spoke with, they simply see love differently than many others may. Here are a few of their explanations:

“A combination of things, including my mom explaining how love for her children works, and that it wasn't a competition. I didn't understand how love is infinite in certain relationship types, like family, compared to it being singular only in romantic relationships. So in that way, monogamy never made sense to me. I always knew I could have feelings for multiple people, but I stuck with monogamy longer than I should have.”

“I love multiple family members and friends, so why can't I have multiple partners? My heart is too big for just one person. I have a lot of love to give. I felt pressured to be monogamous. It feels very restricting.”

“For me, it’s about living with an open heart and an open mind. It is having the freedom to follow your true feelings and explore deeper relationships with others, and also learn a lot about yourself in the process.”

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Polyamory defined by polyamorists

In reaching out to people in polyamorous relationships, I found some variety, but overall, it seemed that the general theme was simply the concept of infinite love. I asked some respondents how they would define polyamory.

  • “The ability to — although not always the reality of — having multiple loving and intimate relationships simultaneously. And that love/intimacy may take different forms with various partners. It’s not always sexual. Sometimes it’s a super close friendship without sex. Some partners do have sex. And they all know about each other and are okay with it. If someone isn’t all right with what’s happening, it’s discussed. And that discussion may change things. It might not. It depends on what happens during the talk and what people agree on/understand.”
  • “It means that I can love multiple people, and share my life with multiple people. Those relationships may or may not resemble each other at all. It means that my relationships can change and evolve over time without becoming less. It means that my affection is not confined by labels.”
  • “I just want to love who I love without being judged, and I don't want anyone in a position in my life to harm me because they judge me.”

If monogamy is boring to you, polyamory may be the answer

The overall themes I have found, based on the stories I have collected, show that love is infinite and love and intimacy can take different forms with different partners.

I also noticed that polyamory consists of two key principles: boundaries and communication. However, while these are discussed at great length in polyamorous circles, these principles are essential regardless of one’s relationship style.

Boundaries and polyamory

Logan Hailey defines healthy boundaries as “the limits you place around your time, emotions, body, and mental health to stay resilient, solid, and content with who you are.” It is not uncommon for people to find difficulties with communicating boundaries, or even understanding what their boundaries are.

When defining your boundaries, you can make a list of past situations that have not worked out the way you wanted them to, as sometimes the best way of determining what you need is by ruling out what you don’t.

But let’s say that you already know your boundaries. What then? Brene Brown states that when communicating your boundaries, “clear is kind; unclear is unkind.” A lack of clarity can lead to boundaries being broken incidentally, leading to anger and resentment. Being clear, precise, and direct is key.

Communicating boundaries can be scary, particularly with those whom we’ve interacted with for the longest. Any change in the status quo can be intimidating. You may wonder, “What if they don’t respect my boundaries? What if they push back?”

In all honesty, there may likely be some level of pushback from a partner. It is important to keep in mind the motivation behind this, as it may not be disrespect, but rather, your partner may be adjusting to the changes that you have communicated to be made. And change does not happen overnight. So do not fear if your partner needs time.

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Communication in relationships

Many relationships strive for honesty and transparency in their communication. However, not everyone knows how to communicate effectively. One reputable source on ethical non-monogamy, Multiamory, has an excellent worksheet for partners to utilize, known as the R.A.D.A.R. technique. It is used as a way to do monthly relationship maintenance check-ins with your partner(s); however, the worksheet can be used more frequently as well, with the key being consistency.

This communication technique works across all relationship styles.

Regardless of the reasons why people explore ethical non-monogamy or why they feel bored within monogamy, we know that relationships thrive when there is open, intimate and honest conversation flowing between partners and when boundaries are communicated and honored by one another.

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Miki Anderson is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in North Carolina, with in-depth knowledge on anxiety, depression, trauma, ethical non-monogamy, and kink lifestyles.