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You may be in a monogamous relationship already, but are not quite sure what it actually means.
A monogamous relationship is a relationship between two people. This relationship can be a casual relationship or serious. By default, it is an exclusive relationship reserved for the two people involved. Seeing other people outside of this relationship is considered cheating. This is one of the most common problems monogamous couples face.
In this article, we will have a look at the pros and cons of having a monogamous relationship to see if it is for you. By the end, you will have a better understanding of what it is and how you to make it work.
What Is a Monogamous Relationship?
According to the dictionary monogamy is defined as:
“The state or practice of having only one sexual partner at a time”. Commonly used to refer to the state of being in a romantic or sexual relationship with one person at a time.
“Having only one mate, spouse, or sexual partner at one time”
Characteristics of a Monogamous Relationship
- You are only seeing each other
- You are no longer looking for another partner
- There is a high degree of involvement and commitment
- Tends to be a serious relationship
- Usually for people who got to know each other and decided to have a more serious relationship
- Tends to be long-term
What Does a Monogamous Relationship Involve?
A monogamous relationship means that you are romantically involved only with one person.
In a monogamous relationship you:
- Spend a significant amount of time with your partner
- You are no longer interested in being romantically involved with other people
- You have a commitment to your partner
- You are interested in a future with your partner
- Your relationship is serious
Types of Monogamous Relationships
An Example of a Monogamous Relationship
You met someone either online or in real life and with time you’ve grown closer to each other. You develop a great degree of trust and your communication allows for much understanding.
Over time your relationship developed into something serious and you started to make future plans together. At this point, you are no longer interested in seeing other people romantically because you are happy and satisfied with each other.
Monogamous vs Polygamous vs Polyamorous Relationship
The only difference between a monogamous and a polyamorous relationship is the amount of people involved. Monogamous relationships involves only 2 people, polyamorous relationships involves 2 or more.
Both, monogamous and polyamorous relationships have the same problems. Although, the more people that are involve in a relationship the harder it is to solve the problems.
Another big difference is that a polyamorous relationship provides variety in terms of physical and emotional intimacy.
Whereas, in a monogamous relationship physical intimacy is limited to one person, unless it is an open relationship.
A monogamous relationship means having one partner. While a polygamous relationship is the idea of a man having more than one spouse.
Pros and Cons of a Monogamous Relationship
Pros of a Monogamous Relationship
- More stability
- Make plans together
- Plan for the future
- More predictability
- Social acceptance
- High level of commitment
- Spending more time with each other
- Getting to know each other better
- Reassurance of knowing you are not alone
- You can introduce your bf/gf to your family and friends. You can attend social events as a couple
- Learning about yourself and getting to know another person at a deeper level
- You get to learn more about yourself and how you are able to handle the challenges
Cons of a Monogamous Relationships
- You have less time for yourself
- Putting your relationship first
- Dependency (co-dependency)
- Having to consider the other person
- You have more rules and boundaries and less freedoms
- You exclude yourself from the world of dating as well as interactions and connections of different kinds
Is a Monogamous Relationship Right for You?
A Monogamous Relationship Is Right for You If:
- You want someone to rely on
- You are getting on really well together.
- You are sharing common goals, values and beliefs.
- You feel comfortable around each other.
- You are happy to share the space with this person.
- You want to plan a life together, have a family and children
- You want to form an intimate relationship.
- You want to share most of your time with one person
- The social status of a serious relationship is important for you
- You want a fully committed relationship
- You are open, honest and trust each other
- You are able to solve your disagreements in a healthy way
- You met someone who has all the attributes and qualities that are important for you in a partner
- You are ready to prioritise your relationship above other things in your life
- You are developing strong feelings for the other person and both of you want to be together.
A Monogamous Relationship Is Not Right for You If:
- You are not ready to commit to one person
- You want to keep dating and see other people
- You have other personal priorities in your life
- You prefer to keep things casual without much commitment.
- You are not looking to create a deeper bond or emotional connection
- You or your partner are not ready for a more serious relationship
- You or your partner are unsure of their feelings towards each other
- You have different values and beliefs
- You don’t get on that well to form a more committed relationship
- You are not ready to open up emotionally
Starting a Monogamous Relationship
How to Find a Monogamous Relationship
A monogamous relationship is a commitment you develop from a desire to dedicate most of your time to getting to know another person.
So, rather than looking for a monogamous relationship. Allow yourself the freedom to explore different people until you you find someone with whom you feel most connected. At which point, you can agree to have an exclusive relationship and remain monogamous. Then, you can start planning your time together.
Before Starting a Monogamous Relationship
How to talk about having a monogamous relationship?
- Understand what it means to have a monogamous relationship and what it takes to make it work
- Make sure neither of you have no need or desire to see other people
- If your feelings changed or you want to see other people agree to discuss it openly and honestly
What to Expect from a Monogamous Relationship
- Spending most of your free time with each other
- Getting to know each other better
- Deciding you want a more serious relationship with this person
- To be included in some plans such as social events, going out with friends or visiting each other’s family.
How to Start a Monogamous Relationship
- Talk about considering a monogamous relationship
- Discuss what it will involve and look like for both of you
- Agree on the rules and boundaries that satisfy both of you without having to compromise
- Consider having a monogamous relationship for a specific amount of time to see if it works for both of you
Having a Monogamous Relationship
Reasons to Have a Monogamous Relationship
- You don’t want to share your partner
- You want to get to know each other better
- You want to build a more meaningful relationship
- You would like more security and stability in your relationship
- You want to dedicate your time to get to know each other
- You are considering a serious long-term relationship
How to Talk About Having a Monogamous Relationship
It may seem too obvious, but asking your partner how they feel about you and your relationship is the best place to start.
- You express what you want as clearly as you can
- Ask them to say it back to you to make sure they heard you correctly
- Ask how your partner feels about you and your relationship
Recognise what your partner wants, respect their choice and don’t take it personally. Rather than asking for a monogamous relationship. You are sharing with your partner how you feel and what you would like, in this case, is to be fully exclusive.
The goal of this conversation is to bring up how you feel about each other and where you are with this relationship.
By having this conversation you are not trying to persuade them to have a monogamous relationship with you. You just want to express how you feel and what you want. If your partner isn’t ready or don’t want to have a monogamous relationship, that’s ok.
Maybe it’s not the right time or it may not be something that they want. Don’t see it as a rejection, show your appreciation for their openness and honesty. Trying to rush into something that either of you isn’t ready for it’s a mistake and nothing good is gonna come out of it.
How to Maintain a Healthy Monogamous Relationship
A healthy monogamous relationship is based on the desire of the people involved to be fulfilled by being with each other. By far, the one thing that can compromise a monogamous relationship is the suppressed desire to be with someone else. If you want to see people outside of your relationship, the best thing you can do is to talk about your needs and the reason you would want to see someone else.
The key point here is to be honest with yourself and with everyone involved. Take the time to understand yourself, your needs and desires. Getting to know yourself first will help you better express to your partner. This will allow you to remain connected with yourself, your needs while being honest with the person/people in your relationship.
How to Handle Problems in a Monogamous Relationship
Aside from general problems that come with any relationship. In a monogamous relationship you may encounter specific problems related to this type. But, as long as you are open and honest with a your partner it will be easier to navigate your relationship. You can adjust to the changes of feelings and circumstances.
If you are getting on well with your partner, but having some issues in your relationship. It may be the time to change the type of your relationship. However, if the problems you are having is with the person, perhaps it’s best to end your relationship.
It may happen that your partner meet some of your needs, but not others and you start wondering if another person could meet them your needs better.
We will look at some of the problems next, but generally as a rule of thumb always be honest about your feelings and needs with your partner.
Rules and Boundaries in a Monogamous Relationship
What Are Monogamous Rules?
In a healthy relationship rules are made based on boundaries.
Rules are agreements on what to do and what not to do under certain conditions.
Rules in a Monogamous Relationship
The rules in a monogamous relationship mostly focus on maintaining a fulfilling relationship without getting romantically involved with other people.
What to Do in a Monogamous Relationship?
- Agree that you and your partner will only see each other
- Agree that you will only have sex with your partner
What to Avoid in a Monogamous Relationship?
- Not giving priority to your partner
- Going beyond what you agreed on in terms of relationships with other people
What Are Relationship Boundaries?
Boundaries are based on preferences with the limits showing how far these preferences extend.
The limit of the boundary is the extend of your willingness to do something.
It’s up to you and you partner to define your freedoms and boundaries based on your beliefs and preferences. The key is to agree on something both of you are comfortable with to avoid future compromise.
What Boundaries Should You Have in a Monogamous Relationship?
- Agree on the extend of your exclusivity
- Define what flirting means for each of you and what constitutes flirting with others
- Agree on the extend of flirting, if any, is ok for both of you
- Agree on what is acceptable in terms of having relationships with other people
How to Set Boundaries in a Monogamous Relationship?
- Discuss what both of you are expecting from a monogamous relationship
- Set the rules and boundaries of your monogamous relationship
- Talk about what do you want and expect from each other
- Agree whether or not is ok to still kiss, text, talk, see, or go out with other people from the same and opposite sex
Common Problems in a Monogamous Relationship
- Bad Communication
- Losing Feelings
- Sexual Boredom
- Unfulfilled Needs
When you are with the same person for a long time, you may have the need to see someone else. Most people assume that their partner would not approve of their need to see someone else.
So, when this need becomes strong enough, one of the partners ends up seeing someone else behind their partner’s back.
Cheating is a combination of going outside the agreement of your monogamous relationship and lying about it. The bigger problem of these two is lying.
When you trust someone, you are essentially taking a chance that this person will be honest with you. Once the trust is broken, your relationship will never be the same, even if you choose to stay together.
If you feel the need to be with someone else, it’s better to tell this need to your partner before you act on it. This way, your partner knows what you are going through and both of you now share the responsibility for the choices you will make. For example, you may choose to include an extra person into your sexual experience or have an open relationship.
Finally, depending on how strong this need is, you may consider having a break from your relationship. Doing it this way, whatever happens at least you can remain honest with yourself and with your partner. As well as recognising your needs and respecting your trust.
2. Bad Communication
Effective communication is essential to have a healthy monogamous relationship. You and your partner need basic understanding to solve everyday problems. As well as develop better understanding to connect at deeper levels.
Bad communication creates many misunderstandings, frustration and a toxic environment that overtime will deteriorate your relationship.
Good communication doesn’t come automatically. It requires the ability to express yourself, willingness to hear your partner and perseverance in trying to understand something you may not understand straight away. Achieving this takes constant work.
3. Losing Feelings
Loosing feelings is not as straight forward as people make it. Our feelings change all the time, that is just our human nature. The more relevant part of this question is how your behaviour change as your relationship develops.
For example, in the beginning your partner was probably spending a lot of time and energy trying to learn about you and connect to you. This will naturally feeling special, appreciated and cared for.
Now, after some time, your partner may not be spending as much time and focus on you. This can leave you feeling alone, without the sense of connection with your partner.
When it comes to your feelings, it’s worth learning the vocabulary of human feelings and emotions. Then, you can observe how your feelings and emotions change. It will help you become more aware about your feelings and how the events in your life and relationship affects them.
4. Sexual Boredom
Being with the same person for a long time, almost inevitably results in sexual boredom. Rather than just getting on with it, it’s worth addressing this problem in a way that works for both of you.
You have several options to spice up your relationship. They vary from trying different things in the bedroom to opening your relationship up to other people. The latter may be an open relationship, polyamorous relationship, swinging, etc.
5. Unfulfilled Needs
Being with the same person for a long time in a monogamous relationship puts a lot of pressure of expectation on the person to fulfil all of your needs. The more time you spend together, the bigger the expectation. Ironically, with time couples tend to spend less energy on trying to understand each other. This inevitably leads to conflicts and disagreements.
If you are feeling unfulfilled in some ways, the best thing you can do is talk about it with your partner. Doing so, will get them involved into finding a way to resolve the problem, sparing you from guilt and the belief that you have to solve it all by yourself.
Signs and Red Flags in a Monogamous Relationship
Signs of a Healthy Monogamous Relationship
- You have a plan
- You achieve your personal and relationship goals
- You have a healthy balance of doing things together and separately
- You have fun together and also spend time working on your relationship by learning about each other
- You support each other
- You share your thoughts, doubts and concerns
- You help each other resolve problems rather than visiting each other to moan and complain about things
- You maintain free expression, openness and trust
- You feel fulfilled with your partner
- You have no sexual need to be with another person
Red Flags in a Monogamous Relationship
- Feeling of being trapped
- Desire to be romantically involved with others
- Desire to be sexually involved with others
Ending a Monogamous Relationship
If your relationship isn’t working, you have 3 options:
- Identify the problem and try fix it
- Change your relationship type
- End the relationship with this person
When to End a Monogamous Relationship
You should consider ending your monogamous relationship when you tried to make it work, but nothing did. You may still have feelings for each other, but maybe is not the right time for you to have a monogamous relationship.
Likewise, you may no longer have the feelings you have before. In this case, is not worth staying together just for the sake of it.
Signs Your Monogamous Relationship Is Over
- You had enough of feeling enclosed or restricted
- You or your partner secretly start seeing other people
- Neither of you want to be exclusive
- You feel you are missing out on being with different people
- You are not satisfied with this relationship
- You are arguing more often than not
How to End a Monogamous Relationship?
- Acknowledge that you are no longer fulfilled in this relationship
- Reflect on what is working for you in this relationship and what doesn’t
- Express your thoughts and feelings to your partner
- Take time to hear how your partner feels about having this monogamous relationship
- Try to find the way forward that works for both of you
How to Move On from a Monogamous Relationship
After you end a monogamous relationship take some time for yourself. Reflect on your relationship and find some takeaways that you can apply to your future relationships. Reassess your life in general and understand what type of relationship suits you best at the moment, if any.
A monogamous relationship is the most common type. It is characterised by two people choosing to be exclusivity together for a long time, developing their relationship with the intention of building a family.
A monogamous relationship can feel restricting, but at the same time it allows you the opportunity to get to know the person you are with deeply.
To have a healthy monogamous relationship, you as a couple need to continually work on your communication. This way, you you will develop trust and understanding.
Great communication can also help you solve the problems that you encounter along the way.
Help and Advice for a Monogamous Relationship
Tips for a Monogamous Relationship
- Take time to understand what it is that you need and want and why before making any suggestion or commitments about your relationship. Make sure you are clear on what you want.
- Check that being in a monogamous relationship means the same for both of you. So, you can create realistic expectations.
- Be open and honest about your feelings and desires rather than going along with something you don’t want.
- Consider the pros and cons of having a monogamous relationship.
- Create specific rules, boundaries and freedoms that both of you want.
- Make sure these are things that both of you want rather than something you are restricted by.
- Reserve the right to change your mind if you decide it’s not for you.
- Check in with your partner from time to time to see if they are still happy with how your relationship. Or if there’s anything they would like to change or do differently.
If you need professional help and advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a polyamorous person be in a monogamous relationship?
A person who has romantic feelings for two people would struggle to be in a monogamous relationship. As it implies suppressing the feelings for the person that they cannot be with.
Are monogamous relationships better?
Monogamous relationships work for two people who feel happy and satisfied being together. They can have a healthy monogamous relationship provided they don’t have the need to see other people romantically.
What is non-monogamous relationship?
A non-monogamous relationship can be an open or a polyamorous relationship where each person has more than one partner.
How to be in a monogamous relationship?
A monogamous relationship implies being romantically involved only with one person.
Is a monogamous relationship possible?
A monogamous relationship is the most popular form of relationship. While a monogamous relationship is the most common type. The amount of divorces and cheating suggests that a healthy monogamous relationship that las a long time is rare.
How to stay monogamous in a relationship?
Try to make your relationship as fun as possible and constantly work on developing emotional connection. You can try to spice up your relationship by bringing variety in your sexual repertoire.
Is it possible to have a monogamous long-distance relationship?
It is possible to have a monogamous LDR. However, the longer it lasts, the harder it becomes.
How to tell if a monogamous relationship is over?
A monogamous relationship is over when you separate or when you start seeing other people.