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What is a Serial Monogamist?

By Garry Crystal
Updated May 23, 2024
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A serial monogamist is a person who has many sexual partners in his or her lifetime, but only one at a time. He or she will seemingly form what looks like a lasting commitment to one person, but the commitment is usually only superficial. Some such people are incapable of commitment for a long period of time. The partnership can either be through marriage or a more casual relationship.

Usually, the serial monogamist is aware of the pattern that he or she follows, and each relationship may be entered into with a how long will this one last? frame of mind. This does not mean that he or she does not try to commit, but it seems that commitment is not something the person feels comfortable with. In comparison, true monogamy is a state in which one person stays with another for his or her entire life.

In the Western world, true monogamy is perhaps becoming less and less common, as more marriages than ever split up within three years. Since a serial monogamist might stay with a partner for that length of time or even longer, he or she might be annoyed by the label. His or her relationship might, after all, last longer than some marriages.

Fear of commitment and perfectionism play a large part in the thinking of this type of person. Childhood influences typically also a play a large part, and bad role models may give them an inherent fear of commitment. They are unable to cope with the pressure of the family unit for long periods of time and eventually seek their independence once again. If the partnership begins to show problems similar to those witnessed in childhood, then it will no longer mirror the ideal the serial monogamist has in his or her head.

Many people think that they can be the one to change the serial monogamist's way of thinking, but this is sometimes a futile effort. The relationship pattern is often so established that the person can even predict the month or year that the break up will occur. It's rare that someone seeks to end a relationship willingly if there are no problems, but for some serial monogamists, the fear of commitment is beyond their control.

Some people hold that this type of behavior is a psychological problem. They believe that the only way to deal with such a state of mind is with psychological help. Other people think that the term is a cop-out that can be used as a way for people to give weight to their incapability of sustaining a relationship. Whether it is a psychological problem or not, it is usually not a state of mind most people are happy to live with forever.

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Discussion Comments
By anon980040 — On Dec 01, 2014

It is a fact that all relationships end by breaking up or death. Marriage is great if the intent is to have a family and raise children. Complacency sets into every relationship and over time for many long term relationships become boring.

A serial monogamist learns that, with every break up they become stronger and does not fear either being alone or getting their heart broken. Serial monogamy is not necessarily about sex. Falling in love is nothing more than a chemical reaction in the brain. A dopamine rush! Serial monogamists are more of a drug addict wanting the dopamine rush without having to consume chemicals. This is just one of many reasons of serial monogamy.

I find it sadder that a couple will stay together for say 20 years and then break up. Can they really say that for those 20 years most of the relationship was just so wonderful?

By anon926101 — On Jan 16, 2014

There seems to be quite a lot of people on this site who are not even 30 years old and seem to be so worried about being a serial monogamist. When I look back I was also jumping from woman to woman until I was getting close to 40 years old and found a very nice girl. We both are not very romantic and I had a hard time committing, but now I am glad I did. The idea of having to settle for just one person to have sex with for the rest of my life was very scary to me. I think it helped that I waited with commitment until age 40. Now the testosterone is going downhill

and after having played the field, I don't have the urge to try somebody new that much anymore. I experienced the real meaning of love when our first son was born. I felt that if I would be in a situation where I had to die to save him I'd do it.

Forget about the whole romantic garbage between people of opposite sex. The real love is for your offspring. So my advice is, just enjoy your serial relationships and don't stress too much. If you end up having children, make sure to stick around at least so long until they are somewhat independent and keep good relations with the mother/father.

I once read a nice study on primates. Turns out it all depends on the ratio of testicle mass to body mass that determines whether a male is monogamous or polygamous. If it's above a certain value, males will not commit. For humans, we are just at that critical value, so it goes either way. So, guys, just wait until your testicle mass falls below that threshold or until you get fat enough. Then you'll be fine and fit what society wants.

By anon339775 — On Jun 26, 2013

Just a few weeks ago when I first read about what a serial monogamist is, I was sure that it was my condition, and it probably is. For me though, I never wanted to end all contact with my partner. I just wanted to move on. I suspect this relates to an absence of maternal bonding that I have tried to achieve.

But this time I got burned by a real pro. This woman sent me a flirt on a dating site. We eventually met and dated. Things didn't move super fast, but there was a lot of affection, lots of e-mails when we were working, etc., then the most amazing sex. Now we are both Christians, and not young. She's 58 and I'm 62. I should have heard the warning bell when she told me she liked to give oral sex because it was a power trip. Yet for six months she professed her love and adoration for me. In my life I never felt so loved. She introduced me to her friends at a Christmas party as the love of her life and as her boyfriend to everyone at her church. We prayed together for her sister who had cancer. As a Christian I was sure that this was the most amazing blessing.

But there were other signs that I discounted. She slept a lot and put down four beers to my one, and then complained that she felt like a "lush" with me. She is also the most obsessive-compulsive person I ever met. There is not a single item in her house that is out of place and she has trained her two dogs to wipe their feet when they come inside.

I think that the turning point came the night before New Year's Eve day. We had been drinking and having sex and then talking and she brought up the topic of group sex and asked me if I'd ever been with two women. I said no and then asked her the same. She said, "Yes, and holy moly it was fun.” Needless to say, I was speechless. I think it always freaks a man out to find out the woman he cares about is more experienced than he is. Plus, this is six months into a relationship and all I knew about were two husbands, the separated guy between them, and one guy five years before me.

O.K., so the partying was in the 70's and everyone was doing it, except obviously not me. Trying to recover my composure I asked if there were a lot of drugs at these parties in the Hamptons, and yes of course, there were. So I asked, "Weren't you afraid of becoming addicted?” So as if this train wasn't far enough out of the station she replies, "The only thing I've ever been addicted to is sex.”

I tossed and turned the whole night, unable to get the image of the object of my love and affection with multiple men in an orgy. The next morning she asked me why I couldn't sleep but I wouldn't say. She knew. She begged me not to leave that morning, New Year's Eve day, but I had appointments.

New Year's was going to be great. She had left me a note on the back door telling me how wonderful 2013 was going to be for us, how much she adored me, and signed S.B. for Sugar Britches; one of the kink names that I had given her and she wore with honor. I kept that note until she finally ended our relationship four months later. I returned it in hopes that it might have reminded her of the great promise of love that she had made. It didn't. I had no idea that the human heart could become so cold.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. When I arrived on New Year's Eve, she was upstairs sleeping. O.K, she sleeps a lot. I turned on TV and she eventually came down. We grilled steaks and ate, but the whole time she is obviously irritated. Typically, if I ask is something wrong, nothing is wrong. There's no room for a conversation in this hostile environment.

Eventually, she took a bath and came down in heavy pajamas. That was a first. She got stuff ready for the morning and headed up to bed. In a bit, I went up and got in bed, but when I tried to touch her, she shook me away. I started freaking out inside. What happened? Was it guilt over the drunken confession, which I had put aside due to my excitement to celebrate the new year with her. Or, had something happened that day with one of her married male friends who often showed up to drink beer with her?

When I eventually asked if there was another man, she avoided the question by saying that she had no intention of dating anyone but me. But then again in an angry e-mail she told me that her sexual relations, past, present, and future were none of my business. Well that should have made it pretty clear.

Over the next four months we saw each other very little, between being sick and two surgeries. She said that she had a lot to think and pray about, along with complaints about many of my shortcomings, none of which bothered her prior to the New Year's events. The part that freaks me out but now starts to make sense is the sex was still great. She told me that she loved me right to the end, but she had stopped saying that she missed me in her messages. I asked about that and she told me, "Of course I missed you, you goober."

The night before she went to see her sister, I spent the night and again the sex was wonderful. Did I fall for her because of amazing sex or was it amazing because I was in love with her? I don't know which came first but I loved everything about her. Hearing her laugh if something was really funny. Even after she dumped me I checked my phone every five minutes in hopes of an e-mail to say "I made a mistake, I do love you," just like she told me for the last nine months.

She sent an e-mail while visiting her sister that they were going to AA meetings, and that they went to a "different" one. I suspect perhaps it was for sexual addiction.

When she returned to her home, she told me to come pick up my stuff, and I needed to pick it up by 5:30 on Sunday or she would bring it to me. I had to assume and now that I understand the M.O. that my replacement was showing up at 6.

I'm working on my issues in a setting called Restoring Your Heart. She was after me for some time to deal with my divorce and my issues. I really thought that she might have a problem with depression but now I understand from my own journey how damaged she is. Her parents divorced when she was six, her daddy killed himself when she was 15, and now I'm convinced that her step-father sexually molested her. She had given me all the clues but the closer I came to her reality she finally had to shut me out.

I made one final attempt to reach out to her by phone last night. She didn't answer of course, but sent me a two page e-mail today telling me that I had misrepresented who I was, that I'm the last man on earth that she would ever want to be with, and if I tried to contact her again she would get a court order.

This is very sad. She is not young and I believe unless she seeks help, her anger will make her more sick, or that she might harm herself.

I have to remind myself that what she says, or even believes does not define who I am. That is for God to define. I continue to pray that The Holy Spirit will some way rescue this precious child of God before it is too late.

By anon336474 — On May 29, 2013

I dated someone who's not even 23 and has had more than three times the relationships I've had (two for me), not including the people they actually slept with. Instead of judging, I took the time to get to know about their past. I'll admit at times it was hard to listen to, but I tried.

When I think about this person's background and things I know, I think they have a version of serial monogamy. Their perception of love and intimacy, in my eyes is a bit skewed and of course, tainted by their past experiences. And though I wanted to be there for them, I couldn't. When I noticed them pulling away, I became scared and felt deep in my heart they were going to leave me. But serial monogamists tend to jump from one relationship to another, so it was not long at all when they left their ex and started dating me. I should not taken have that road. I realize my part but I did. Serial monogamists are not the losers of the world. This person was sweet, very kind and people around them love them.

Like all things, we can't expect them to last. But hopefully, if you understand where a person's been, hopefully you can see where they're going. And if you feel beyond a doubt that it's not going to work, don't wait for them; do what you have to. Why wait for the crash when you can just jump out? Every person is different and depending on how they treat you, that doesn't take away from the good person they can be.

By Zoso — On Apr 23, 2013

@anon331350, post no. 40: “Get out now”?

I wish it were that easy. Thank you, I appreciate your advice. Unfortunately, it’s too late for me.

My original post (see no. 39) was from almost a year ago. Since then, she’s put me through absolute hell on earth. There have been good times, but they have increasingly become fewer and more far in between. I used to like Earth! Now, I don’t believe it’s not such a great place anymore. I’m working on that in therapy now. (It’s going to take a while)

Over the past year I have tried to be the most patient, understanding, loving, giving and accommodating partner for her. I still love her more than I can say. She does not deserve to have someone as kind and loving as me in her life.

She’s into the “Non Violent Communication” thing, but she hypocritically breaks all the NVC rules in our communications by interrupting me before I can convey my feelings and needs. She yells, blames and criticizes and then it’s conversation over (ouch).

She constantly accuses me of not “listening to her feelings”, though I listen intently by giving her my undivided attention. I’ve even started to attend NVC classes myself! (on her advice) Will it help? I am doubtful. It takes both people involved to follow the rules in order for it to work.

She has several never-ending complaints about me that she seems to pull out of thin air and blindsides me with them every time. I am not perfect. I’ll admit that, but I know in my heart that I’m a good person and not the clueless person she accuses me of being. It hurts so bad that no matter what good I do, it goes unappreciated and unacknowledged. She pulls me in, then pushes me away just when things start to feel sweet and copacetic. It’s a pattern that keeps repeating. I fall for it every time. I’m so ticked off at myself for this.

She’s now blocked my number on her phone claiming that she can’t take the “drama.” The reality is that she can’t take facing a truth about herself. Blocking me out is a way to block out something that she’s unwilling and or incapable of dealing with. I truly wish there were a magic pill that would allow one to fall out of love and move on. Wouldn’t that be cool? Unfortunately there isn’t, my friends.

My advice to anyone starting a new relationship who hears that still, small voice inside telling them “something’s just not right here” with their new love, and suspects that they might be a serial monogamist is: Quit now while you still have your self-respect, integrity and sanity, hon! It ain’t ever going to work out with this twisted individual! You are doomed if you think that you can be the one to help them to change their behavior!

I hope that my advice here will help someone before it’s too late and they wind up like me. I feel like a chump. I’m hurting like never before. I feel abused, I feel beaten down to an emotional pulp. My friends are so sick of hearing about the crappy way she’s treated me that some of them have even abandoned me, making matters worse because I now have to deal with the isolation on top of everything else. I am on disability now from having a complete emotional breakdown!

I wish these serial monogamists came with a warning label. They are poison.

By anon331350 — On Apr 22, 2013

To Zosa, post 38. Get out now before you get hurt. It's the only way to "win" with them; if it is a win; is to beat them at their own game. If you stay and she is truly this, you are only delaying the inevitable. And it will hurt triple when you know she's off with someone new.

By Zoso — On Aug 29, 2012

Just found out from a friend that my girlfriend, whom I'm absolutely head over heels for, is a serial monogamist. Never heard of this before.

Should I talk to my girlfriend about this? I'm becoming worried now. Not sure what to do. Any advice?

By anon285122 — On Aug 14, 2012

I am so glad to come across this article and read so many comments. I realize I was a victim of a serial monogamist woman.

We dated for about seven months, I fell in love and she said she was in love too. But just after three or four months, she started pulling out. She would hug me and tell me, "stay with me." We did have lots of fighting because she was distant and I was desperately trying to please her, which of course, overwhelmed both of us and we fought.

We have been broken up two years and she is dumping her current boyfriend (talking to me and telling me to not give up on her and crap like that). A trait of the SM, I just learned about is, they start connecting to other people before calling their present relationship off, which is exactly that happened after she broke up with me and now she is talking to me before she has called it off with this current poor guy who is frustrated, confused and of course, furious.

She was talking to the man she dated after me while she was still in a relationship with me (she admitted that but said she didn't know the man had other intentions and that she thought he was just her friend). I wish I had known about this pattern of behavior two years ago and wouldn't have wasted two years of my life (I have been in a relationship in two years because I am true to my feelings.)

By anon270018 — On May 21, 2012

I married a serial monogamist. I was wife number four. I am OK with it because I was a drug addict on the streets, but hadn't been into it long enough to ruin my looks.

He was so controlling that I was on lockdown for five years. I am totally sober now. We are divorcing (no kids) and I got quite a good settlement. He is a 2012 prepper. He also makes a lot of money. The thing was, I was in love with him. He had temper tantrums that were frightening. That's why I left. He lived in a bubble: him, him, him. I also had a problem with having to have sex every day of the week, sometimes in a painful manner.

By anon210277 — On Aug 29, 2011

I don't hold marriage with the importance that I used to. I was married for six years and then divorced, three kids later and it was the hardest thing to go through.

I had a friend who thought it was amazing that I'd been 'single' for nine years now and never gotten married again.

I haven't had a relationship last very long. I had one relationship that lasted on and off for two years, that was my longest in those nine years.

I rushed into marriage with my ex-husband. I was only 18 and we only dated for a month before he proposed and we were together for three before we got hitched.

My ex-husband was emotionally and mentally abusive, so I approach relationships looking for similarities to my ex-husband, this would be red flags to run away from. I also am scared of attracting the wrong sort of man who targets single mothers because they are sick and after children.

In my life and situation, I don't think that being a serial monogamist is a bad thing. I would rather have a monogamous relationship than being the constantly single woman who sleeps around.

I have gone stints of a year at a time where I didn't date (nor sleep with) anyone, so I can't be a complete serial monogamist.

I'm in a relationship currently and I have high hopes for it. We just seem solid to me. There are more pros than cons to this relationship. Usually when I get into a relationship I can think, well, I'd never marry this man, but I continue on with the relationship even though inside I know it's wrong. I did not get this feeling with this man.

He's a good man, he's intelligent and knows his responsibilities.

By anon173285 — On May 06, 2011

I am currently in a relationship with someone who calls himself a serial monogamist. He warned me from the beginning that he wants to keep things light because he has a tendency to hurt people by running away from commitment.

It has only been four months, but I've realized that I really like him, so I find myself trying to beat him to the punch. We are suppose to have a "conversation" tonight about "us" and after reading everyone else's posts I'm definitely convinced that for the sake of self preservation, I need to detach myself from this person. It's sad to say goodbye someone you love, but I just can't go on letting myself get even more wrapped up in him only to feel the inevitable crushing pain of being left behind. Thanks!

By anon161549 — On Mar 20, 2011

Serial monogamy means settling for a substandard partner that is readily available because you can't be single for more than a week. I blame STDs and people who can't go without sex for more than a week.

By anon156225 — On Feb 26, 2011

To post #25: I am in the same shoes as you and I now have to find a way to recover.

This is not you, or your issues so at the very least take some comfort in that. My boyfriend gave me a ring, I had moved in with him, worked for him and loved him and his family. Suddenly. when things weren't "perfect" he was ready to bail.

My therapist believes this is he routine as soon as something in the relationship triggers a childhood parental issue. Where does this leave us? Confused, hurt and drifting. Pick up the pieces and watch out that you don't gravitate to another emotionally unavailable man like I did. Watch for what your triggers are and stay clear.

As for the ones who have a "goal" to be S.M., good luck with that. A true S.M. has deep psychological issues mostly from childhood and they don't really want to be this way they just are not able to for what ever reason to go back and work on the real issues.

It is unfortunate that the term S.M. is used for every Tom, Dick, and Harriett who are just out there having "fun" or searching. Not fun for the victims of a real S.M.

By anon156173 — On Feb 25, 2011

I think it is very sad that so many people have no idea what they are talking about when discussing "serial Monogamy". There is the bounce around types and the people who are just searching, but S.M. is a real condition.

It is usually based on serious childhood dysfunctional issues and it is very painful for the partner of the S.M. When you love deeply and with full commitment a S.M. you experience sooner or later a very painful breakup with no real understanding of what went wrong. Try to understand there is a big difference between a real S.M. and just a person searching for the "right one".

There is no happy ending for the partner of a S.M. It hurts and you are left feeling empty and what did you do wrong when in fact, it was never going to work and it was never your fault. That's just the way it always ends up when you are in love with a S.M. Sad.

By anon141625 — On Jan 11, 2011

I was/am a serial monogamist. I was in a relationship with one as well. The difference between us was that I was aware I was and neither she, nor I was aware she was.

I thought she was the one, and she convinced me I was the one. However, she got pregnant, realized i was not the one and rolled out, never to be seen or heard from again.

No matter how the cards are dealt, there will be hurt unless we know what cards the other is holding and share our hand as well.

By anon134655 — On Dec 15, 2010

It has just come to my attention that I was a serial monogamist. I'm in a relationship and for the last month I've wanted to break out of it and move on. My boyfriend told me he loved me a couple weeks ago and now I feel like I have to stay to make him happy. I'm so unhappy though. I really don't know what to do. It's a mess.

By anon116556 — On Oct 07, 2010

@99095: I feel for you. I am in exactly the same situation. I fell for a wonderful lady and dated for two years, and she pushed for us to live together and I agreed after careful thought. She has two teenage children, so it was not something I entered into lightly.

All was well for a year or so, then she became depressed, and then I got home from work and she was gone! Will not communicate with me, and shows me no care or consideration for the relationship we had, which was brilliant. I then find out this is what she does. She moved from me and moved in with her boss

How can these people live with themselves? Turns out she has had a string of ex's all left bewildered and hurt.

I thought I had found true love again and it hurts like hell to find I have been taken for a fool again! If you have any tips, please pass them on. Good luck.

By anon102424 — On Aug 07, 2010

I looked up the definition of "player" to see if this man I know was one, but no, they cheat and hide it. He is definitely a serial monogamist. Short term relationships one after another, different lengths of time, some "the best of my life." Either way, it is a red flag for me.

By anon99095 — On Jul 25, 2010

I have a question. How does the victim of a serial monogamist recover? I have just been thrown away and I'm crushed.

I believed this man wanted to be with me "forever", and I was "the one". I gave up my life for him and thought we were happy.

Now what do I do? He has moved on and I'm stuck here feeling depressed and can't figure out how to move on.

Does anyone have some good advice that can keep me strong and help me get out of this dark black hole? I really need it.

By anon89994 — On Jun 13, 2010

It is human nature to 'label' our behaviors. Just because you live almost 100 years and you might be with more than one partner (remember that life expectancy has tripled!) then people need to categorize it. Then there are the people who just can't commit and that is a whole other issue, not serial monogamy!

By anon87806 — On Jun 01, 2010

Monogamy is a very rare in nature, but it's a widespread meme that most people today buy into it even though their minds and bodies are telling them otherwise.

Monogamy has become the norm, despite the fact that it continues to fail most - not all - of the time. If you want to play the monogamy game, just know that you are up against some very powerful forces in terms of evolutionary biology.

"Serial monogamy" is a made up term, it's not a condition or a dysfunction, so don't beat yourself up if you have a hard time committing to one person. If you know deep down that you want variety, then go for variety and stop giving yourself hell for being incompatible with the monogamy paradigm. This is your life, do what you want to do in it.

By anon82723 — On May 07, 2010

Honestly, I am a commitment phobe. I give guts to serial monogamists to actually through all the crap of falling in love. Personally, I don't believe in love. Neither do I love anyone but myself and my parents.

Everyone is I like you very much. Recently I met this guy who went gaga for me, and was like I want to marry you and have kids. He does not have much money, is kind of working and managing to make ends meet, but he is good with words. He gives me attention and makes me feel special. Also, I realized he just broke up with his fiancee two months back, so I might be his rebound. Who knows.

I think I might break up with him because things are rushing too soon for my liking. But in the meantime, I have decided to enjoy the I love yous, you are the best, and all the adoring attention telling me I am a gorgeous creature.

I mean the good thing is he is not charging me for his time. So, I look at a relationship with him like a free love session. And who rejects free love?

But yeah, he is probably a serial monogamist. Told me he loves me in a week! Wow. Record breaking. Do I believe him? Absolutely not. I am no moron. Seems to have all the symptoms of a serial monogamist. But yeah I am milking him for all it's worth. Plus, we are long distance.

Let's see when we meet in person. If he is hot, I will have sex. If not, i will avoid him.

I think the best person to deal with serial monogamists are commitment phobes like me.

Yeah, bring the games on baby!

By anon72160 — On Mar 22, 2010

This is indeed a good article and discussion. I found many ideas and experiences here which I can share. Describing my recent past, I would say that I have been a serial monogamist and I think that I'm starting to break the pattern after two years of counseling.

Describing my past would include many of the situations mentioned in the article and the discussion: my respective girlfriends were - all of them - wonderful personalities who I adored very much in the beginning, which led me to tell them things like they'd be the one. It was indeed what I believed and felt that time.

After a while though, I felt that somehow, something wasn't right and felt like I was going to explode. So I connected to other people, telling them my problems - of course in a way that they didn't get the full picture, leaving out some aspects and distorting the facts. This way, of course I set the stage for a break-up. This happened three times in a row, in a period of six years.

In one case I cheated, and after a while I realized what I had done to them, and also to myself. Writing this, I still get a sad feeling and feel guilty to have behaved in such a way, and although I grew more and more aware of my problem - and that's what it is (I'm sorry: if one is fully aware of this pattern and still can not break this habit then this person definitely has a problem) I could not act otherwise.

The key to getting rid of this, I would say, judging from my experience is history. Only if you know what has happened, can the future be open.

As a kid, I started to develop the habit of hiding my emotions from my mother, since my parents divorced and my mom would cry when I, as a four-year-old, told her of my weekends with dad. So I started keeping it to myself so I would not make her cry.

After that, I think a growing rage towards my mom built up inside me, maybe because she married another man when I was eight and so I didn't get her attention quite so much any more. I think I got so good at hiding my feelings from other people that they were sort of buried inside me and even I could not really get access to them. Fortunately this has changed, thanks to therapy, and now I'm in a relationship with a great woman who I would already have dumped some time ago if the pattern had persisted.

And there's another difference as well: I feel a deep happiness, which I never experienced so far in my life. So, all in all, I think you can break this pattern if you want.

By anon63110 — On Jan 30, 2010

Interesting stuff, particularly the by-play between anon1219 and anon19620. Serial monogamists are garden variety narcissists with a particular flair for expressing that trait in the realm of romantic relationships.

anon19620's impassioned statement concerning the pain that these folks are likely to leave in their wake is unlikely to sway too many locked in the pattern because they lack the ability to set aside their own feelings and perceptions and feel deeply the pain that anyone else is experiencing.

Better for the rest of us to develop a keen insight into the overt behaviors which serial monogamists manifest going into a relationship so that we can steer clear of them - unless we are just seeking some short-term fun and sexual gratification.

By anon60503 — On Jan 14, 2010

Wow. I didn't know there was a diagnosis for this but I do now. I recently was in a relationship with a gal to whom this profile fits like a glove. Gushing professions of love in the beginning, deep passionate sex, done in 18 months.

Came to find out I was just another in a long line of her prey. The sad fact is I love her more than anyone I ever knew. Mine was forever. Hers was on a timeline.

By anon52709 — On Nov 16, 2009

Twagner, I am on your page on this. It is so very painful and frustrating. I may very well be a serial monogamist, but what if two serial monogamists get together?

my boyfriend recently broke it off and I swear he was so great even with a few flaws, definitely the one, yet he could not reach any outward level of emotional depth. That is so painful for me.

I wonder what one can do having no control over free will? I refuse to accept that I will never get that one special person. There has to be a way.

By anon48083 — On Oct 09, 2009

I just ran across this article, and have had somewhat of a revelation. To put a name to a problem I know that I have had sheds a little light on it. I was married, and was with him for about seven years when I asked for the divorce. Before him my shortest relationship was one year. And since him, three years. I recently broke up with my last boyfriend, in search of my independence, and like Anon17487 said after a break up, "I am going to be single for awhile and enjoy it." The same goes for me. However, within 1-3 months I am back into a committed relationship. I *beg* myself to let things happen, to finally find someone that I can stay with forever. I am not outwardly afraid of commitment, at least I didn't think I was. But when I get to that point I just have to get out -- or I feel like I am going to explode. I try to force myself, and in doing so, I make my life as well as his miserable. Because of this forced staying, I start to blame him for anything and everything wrong in the relationship; essentially setting the stage for the imminent break-up. And it just isn't fair to them or to myself. Here we are again, three months after my last relationship I met someone else. We have been together for two months now, but there is a twist. This is a long distance relationship, we are 800 miles away from one another. I was hoping that while we are committed to each other, I would still have my independence, and that the whole "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" would hold true. I pray that this new twist on things will help me. He is a wonderful man, although ironically I find it hard to trust him being so far away, but that is a whole new post in and of itself. I can only hope that I can make my way out of this pattern, and that as my father would say my new boyfriend won't "have an expiration date in the relationship". I am so tired of searching for something that I keep stopping myself from having, before this article I thought I was incapable of loving. But I have realized that I am capable of loving someone very much, just haven't been capable of making it last. The funny thing is I prided myself on being faithful, I never cheat. Or so I thought, but in actuality I am cheating myself out of a lot.

By anon47373 — On Oct 04, 2009

Just became the latest notch on the bedpost with a woman who's had about 50 relationships in 25 years. And she so wanted me to be "the one." I truly believe she did and the feeling was mutual until the last few months. Because unfortunately, after the honeymoon period ended, she put more energy into her friends, partying and finding open bars than she put into us. And I learned just why she's been through 50 major relationships and I've only had four (counting her) in the same amount of time. So I figure she fled the relationship spritually and ultimately physically before she figured I'd do the same to her. Sadly, I wouldn't have, that's not my style, and instead I would have stuck it through and made it work actually, if only she had truly been willing to do the same. Because while anon1219 has a real point, working through things after the glow has faded is, in my opinion, the real road to happiness, and if you haven't done that with someone yet, you're missing out on the best life has to offer.

By anon43297 — On Aug 27, 2009

Hmmm... I had never thought of serial monogamy as a result of perfectionism. Food for thought.

By anon36611 — On Jul 13, 2009

who made up this word? a monopoly player? throw the alphabets in the air and see what words form to describe a personal problem? put this word on t.v and see if you get a nibble?

By anon33272 — On Jun 03, 2009

I think the issue with serial monogamy is when one person engages in the commitment-phobic/perfectionist pattern described in the article while simultaneously telling the person they are with that they are the one. If both people know going in that this is not going to lead to "forever" then things are less stressful. However, as many here have said, the serial monogamist often *believes* this to be "the one" and convinces the other person of that fact as well. Then, when the relationship ends, the person is left confused and remembering all of the "build a life together" phrases that were used in the beginning.

I just want people to figure themselves out before dragging other people into the drama of a breakup when they begin to feel that a relationship isn't perfect or they "aren't happy" anymore.

By anon30871 — On Apr 26, 2009

Finally I have found the answer to my last relationship failure. A wonderful 2+ year relationship with a man I am still in love with, even though we are now apart. He has had several long lasting monogamist relationships in the 20 years since he was divorced.

I ended it, using my head and not my heart, because I found when I really needed him after an injury his depth of caring just wasn't there, not capable of the 'normal' emotions associated with a relationship. I challenged him about being like this and he is quite happy to go the rest of his life like it, does not want to end up with someone having the responsibility of looking after him when he is old - ultimately I think this is because he is incapable of doing the same for the person in his life.

By anon27998 — On Mar 09, 2009

I had a brief, intense 3 month relationship with a man who actually said to me, "my therapist calls me a serial monogamist". What was I thinking? Esp. when I found his new girlfriend on a well known website and found that he is taking her to the same places, telling her the same things, creepy! Poor girls before and after me!

I am glad I got "dumped" when I did. We should always maintain our friendships while we date, even if it is exclusively, you never know who will find you.

It was hard, terrifying, life changing, but I have learned a lesson.

Good luck!

By anon24886 — On Jan 19, 2009

I guess I would call myself a serial monogamist. I've only ever had short term relationships. I just recently graduated high school and that dating world is all I've known. You know how when you're with someone you spend all your time with them? Even if it's just hanging out at so-so's house watching movies. I've always been the one to break it off and my friends can usually tell when I'm going to before I even do. I tend to exhibit the same symptoms over and over again. Some say it's because I haven't found the one, others say I have commitment issues. I guess both are true. But at some point I'd like to hopefully change my ways. I live in a fairly small suburb and my reputation has started to proceed me. Now it seems that no guy will date me because they're afraid of just becoming another number on my list.

By anon19620 — On Oct 16, 2008

I was amazed by the comments of Anon1219.Yes, maybe it's best for the serial monogamist to move on through life at a fast pace without having "Legal complications" but, have you ever thought about the people who get left behind in your path of destruction? Those people often experience rejection to a point that it contaminates your self image. I know, I have just come out of such a "relationship" where I am the victim of a serial monogamist.It hurts so much, I can't even begin to describe it to you.So, yes, there is one huge advantage in leading this life style, but only to the serial monogamist himself/herself. Nobody else enjoys the benefits associated to this kind of life style.

By anon17487 — On Aug 31, 2008

After reading this article, I do believe that I am a serial monogamist and I wonder if this is why I tend to pick guys who could also be considered serial polygamists. I tend to always be in relationships and despise "cheating", however after a break-up, I will say "I am going to be single for awhile and just enjoy it.", then within 2 weeks to 3 months I find myself in a relationship again. My longest relationship has only been 5 years and I average somewhere around 7 to 8 months. I have recently entered a new relationship, this one only 3 months after the divorce from a 5 year marriage. I do however want this one to "last forever", whatever that is and think that maybe I should seek psychological help so that it can. Wow, the revelation is absolutely startling, but it helps me visualize the problem and hopefully now I can find a solution.

By chadster1234 — On Jul 08, 2008

I was just dumped by what I consider a serial monogamist after almost 4 years. My boyfriend was the best in so many ways with the exception of the inability to communicate deeply and show what I would consider true emotion, in every other way he was the best guy ever, which is what makes the breakup even more difficult. His primary father is now on number five, while his second dad was emotionally and verbally abusive so I'm told by his mother. What kind of effect does this have on an individual who initially told me they wanted to spend the rest of their life with me??

By wdbecca — On Jul 02, 2008

I am a serial monogamist. I am not the least bit ashamed of it either. I did, however, figure it out a bit late; I'd had 2 failed marriages and had just backed out of a third. Now that I know I was only getting married because society told me I should, I quit getting married - makes life easier. Plus, if you tell the other person right up front that you are fine with long term but no "forever please" you tend to have very satisfying relationships that end amicably for both.

By twagner — On Jun 18, 2008

I am a serial monogamist & I am not the slightest bit happy about that fact & I guarantee that it's not a cop-out. I have always gone into things with the feelings of "this could be the one" & as said in the article....it never is. Then I am left with the crying, the indecisiveness of "what if I am giving up too soon" and then it gets dragged out into the war of polarities for 10 years. I constantly ask "why can't he be the one....why do I need to go through this nightmare again?" My condition has become absolutely explosive since my divorce 4 years ago in which I have only had one relationship since then ending in 7 months. WHY? Because no matter how I try it never works for an independent, self-reliant, strong & sober woman. Why am I incapable of having a good, happy & healthy relationship with the opposite sex? Why is it always an issue? I would love nothing more than to nest & have a loving husband....do I see that ever happening though? No...never..not for me. I have come to the terms that I am not one of the fortunates that will ever have the soul mate & life-long commitment. I accept it as best as I can, I hold my head as high as I can & I just continue on.

By anon1572 — On Jun 06, 2007

Many people fall into this general description without ever intending to be a serial monogomist. Many people enter a relationship intending it to be "the one"... but then find (for whatever reason) that the relationship won't last. And so, they move on, or are left, with the idea that the next one might become the right one.

To some extent, this is the process of dating many people when you are young and single, in the hopes of finding someone who is a "good fit". In truth there are a number of individuals with whom one could settle down with... except in our modern culture, divorce, and hooking up, are considered more acceptable.

Therefore, serial monogamony becomes more prevelent.

By anon1219 — On May 21, 2007

It is my goal to be a serial monogamist. Why would I want to be committed to one person my whole life? Once the relationships gets boring I should be able to move on without any legal implications and so on. I don't see how serial monogamy can be seen as a problem. People should be encouraged to live this way since it is more realistic to live this way than to commit to one person your whole life.

The people who need psychological help are the ones who decide to stay in a relationship fraught with difficulties "for the kids" or because they can't admit that the relationship has run its course. Since we all have a limited number of years here I fail to see the sanity in staying with a partner you no longer love just because society says you have a psychological problem if you don't.

My parents have been married for over 35 years and I am pretty sure around 20 of them were spent unhappy. Now they are so old they have no choice but to remain together until one of them can escape through the death of the other. No thanks. You can keep your lifelong commitment BS to yourselves.

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