There’s been a lot of talk lately about monogamy and commitment, and a lot of people who don’t seem to understand that the two are not the same. How on earth can that be? Let’s take a look at definitions shall we. Monogamy is defined as ‘the practice or condition of having a single sexual partner for a period of time’. So if I decide I’m just looking for some harmless fun and I only have sex with one particular woman for a week then, based on the definition, I have been monogamous (and if your idea of a committed relationship is one week than you’ve got more problems than I can help you with). A commitment implies monogamy…monogamy doesn’t necessarily include a commitment.
It always amuses me when people cite the animal kingdom for their own means, without knowing anything about it. They’re always quick to say that no other animal practices monogamy (which is not entirely true by the way) so why should people, but liken them to an animal in any other respect and suddenly it’s an insult. If you want to act like a bitch in heat then you should be able to take having people say so. Personally, I like to think that I’m not just some creature that’s driven by nothing more than the instinct to mate with as many willing females as possible, especially since I have no seeds to sow. To each her own I suppose, but it’s when you mix monogamy with a commitment that the real trouble starts.
That’s because a commitment is a promise that either implies or overtly states an intention to be faithful, and some people just can’t keep it in their pants. There are many reasons why a person might stray in a relationship and, to be honest, I can’t say that there are situations in which I might not be tempted myself. Some relationships are just not destined to work and can be so painful that you feel you have no choice but to seek solace elsewhere. Of course I’ve also been tempted to throttle certain people with my bare hands, but I’ve managed to resist. Sometimes a person just isn’t at a point where they really can settle down with one person, even though they may be willing to try, because they feel like they haven’t experienced enough of life yet. And sometimes they just plain get bored easily.
Being in a committed relationship takes work. That’s the bottom line. And sometimes it’s easier to just not make the effort. Sometimes it’s easier to think that this is going to end anyway, and that hot chick has been giving me the eye, so why not go for it? If you go into a relationship already convinced that it’s not going to last, or that your partner is going to stray, then what’s the point? You’re never going to be 100% in it, and it’s never going to work because you’re just fulfilling your own prophecy. Trust is not something that comes easily, especially when your heart has been brutalised, but your alternatives are either to remain alone or become the kind of person who hurt you in the first place.
It’s funny how quite a few of the people who insist that commitment isn’t possible are the ones who’ve proven that they can’t make one in the first place. Hey, I’m not without fault. I have been cheated on and I have been the one cheating…once. It’s something that I have sworn that I will never do again. Quite frankly, I believe that if you want to be with someone else then just make a clean break and move on with the new person. I would rather be dumped than cheated on because at least I’ll know that you have some respect for me. If you know that monogamy is not for you, even within the confines of a committed relationship, then don’t try. There are women who are willing to pursue an open relationship. I am not likely to be one of them since I am both insanely jealous and a firm believer that, if the stakes are high enough, it is possible to be monogamous in a committed relationship. I have been, and I’m willing to be again, because when I love someone (and I feel loved by them) no temptation is big enough to make me turn away from them.