Serial Monogamy: Definition, Pros, and Cons


Are you a serial monogamist? Find out what this dating trend is, why it works for some, and how to avoid the potential pitfalls of serial monogamy. 

What Does “Serial Monogamy” Mean?

Serial monogamy is a relationship style that involves having a series of monogamous (often long-term) relationships, rather than taking solo breaks or casually dating in between. Serial monogamists feel more comfortable in exclusive, committed relationships than on casual dates or hook-ups. 

Serial monogamy relates to the traditional Romantic ideologies of monogamy and love. To serial monogamists, the concept of exclusive love is sacred. You want to be the only one for your partner, and vice versa. While you’re together, you want to believe and engage in some form of ideal love.

Signs You Are A Serial Monogamist

Wondering if your current partner is a serial monogamist? Decided you want to avoid serial monogamy? Here are a few common traits of serial monogamists:

You’re Never Single

You tend to hop from relationship to relationship. Sometimes you want to be alone, but not single. If you are single, you’re constantly looking for your next partner.

You Hate Dating

You hate the dating game, and find it superficial. You want a relationship, a deep connection with one person, instead.

You Always Want Company

Whether it’s with a group of friends or a significant other, you don’t like going out alone. Having others with you helps you feel safer and more secure when you’re in public.

You Wear Rose Colored Glasses

You tend to look back on past relationships with a rosy, romantic glow. Even if the relationship didn’t last long. You believe in the idea of true love, and constantly search for the one soulmate for you. 

Your Flings Always Become More

A small, isolated hookup isn’t really possible for you. You’re constantly searching to become more familiar with that person, hoping to form a deeper connection with them.

To Be, Or Not To Be A Serial Monogamist?

Ideal love with a partner sounds pretty good. But serial monogamy isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This dating style may have more complexities than you’d imagine. You may want to think about some pros and cons of serial monogamy if you tend to always be partnered-up.

Pros of Serial Monogamy

Helpless Romantic

You’re caught up in the honeymoon phase constantly. You love the long talks, the big gestures and the sappy moments. You’re constantly trying to show your partner how much you care about them.

Sticking Through Tough Times

Every relationship has tough times, and every person has a moment where they call quits. You’ll overlook the small issues and stick through the problems, partially because you don’t want to be single. 

General Relationship Skills

Since this isn’t your first relationship, you know the basics. You know how to deal with small issues and general relationship etiquette. 

Devoted To The Relationship

You’re loyal because you love being in a relationship, and love being in love. This can make you more trustworthy and devoted. 

Attentive and Affectionate

You like spending time with your significant other and shower them with attention and affection. This makes them feel loved and special. 

Starting the Relationship Is Easy

Your constant search for the “one” makes you more open to starting a relationship with others. You’re less closed off, and ready to jump into getting to know others personally. There’s no “what are we?”, no hesitation. You’re ready to love, and give it your all.

Open and Understanding

Honesty and openness can help build trust in any relationship. You know how important it is to be empathetic, and have no problem listening to your partner.

Cons of Serial Monogamy

Emotionally Draining

Being a serial monogamist can be draining over time. Constantly giving love to others without hesitation is tiring and can eventually cause burnout. 

Past Histories

Because you love being in a relationship, you may accumulate a lot of exs. It can be difficult to carry this emotional baggage around into a new relationship.

Disconnected from Reality

As a serial monogamist, you may not know whether you love someone, or just the idea of them. The distinction is important, because loving the idea of a relationship isn’t sustainable long term. Eventually, reality will check in and the spell will be broken.

Making the Same Mistakes

Since you jump from relationship to relationship, you are prone to making the same errors. You may have broken up before you learned to work through bigger issues in relationships.

Constantly Searching for Their Next Love

Since you love being in a relationship and in love, it’s hard to just date casually. This means you may jump into relationships with people who don’t share similar values or interests as you. You also don’t spend a lot of time single, which can help you learn a lot about yourself!

Codependency 

You may want to spend all your time with your partner. While this is good, it can lead to a lack of independence. This can make it hard to develop a well rounded life.  

Staying in an Unhealthy Relationship

While it’s good that serial monogamists will last through some tough times, staying for love isn’t always healthy. Relationships can be toxic, abusive and just mismatched. You may often stay in relationships they know are bad, just to avoid being alone.

Does Serial Monogamy Increase Your Chances of Abuse?

The cons of serial monogamy are strikingly similar to factors that keep people in abusive relationships, but the correlation isn’t necessarily causative.

Codependency, compromising to avoid single life, and the fear of being alone all play a role in our vulnerability to abuse, but abusive behavior is never your fault. Being in love with love can also keep you in a bad relationship, though that’s not always the same as serial monogamy.

The bottom line is: “When you’re wearing rose colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” In other words, you may be more willing to look past abuse due to your romantic ideals and fear of being single.

If you’re looking to talk to others who can relate, there are plenty of supportive people, here.

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