One Love? Don't Think So: 4 Gaping Flaws With The Concept Of Monogamy

by Mia Bates

The whole idea of choosing one person with whom to share your whole life is a very poorly-constructed concept.

We are repeatedly told to aim for everlasting love, yet we often find it to be a painful string of ups and downs, elation to heartbreak, then back again.

And, while I will never deny that loving and being loved are the strongest, most joyful feelings to experience, the ability to feel and sustain such a bond is entirely impractical.

Sexual Attraction

Ideally, this element should change upon finding a mate. To say that we will only ever feel a sexual attraction for the person we choose is ridiculous. Sexual desire is not a switch to be flicked from automatic to manual when in love. And if it was, let us hope it's reversible.

Sexual drive is an innate and instinctual element of the human race. It motivates more than we realize. We are forced to manipulate and repress basic human instincts in the name of love.

We would all like the opportunity to pounce on the sexy neighbor at some point and all the while, have a devoted, faithful life partner waiting patiently at home.

This is a major contradiction. Combine this with the desire for new experiences, as well as raw jealousy and possession (ie: fundamental human emotions) and we may as well admit defeat.

Honestly, think about how easily cheating can and does occur. An accurate statistic on the prevalence of cheating is hard to come by, as there are many factors that can affect it.

However, a 2005 review of previous research on infidelity found that approximately 25 percent of committed, heterosexual American marriages involve extra-marital sex.

Now, consider the unwed under-25s in monogamous relationships in association with this statistic. It is reasonable to assume that, for our generation, this number should only increase.

Life Circumstances

To make matters worse, temptation surrounds us. There are abundant situations in which our self-control is tested.

An alcohol-induced night on the town, a couple’s fight that propels you toward one another's comfort, that friend who shares your interests more than your partner or simply, a heightened sexual drive.

We all crave human affection and sometimes, that one person just can’t or won’t give you enough.

Our hormones send us many mixed messages and we sometimes find it difficult to make the right decision. It’s unbelievable how such a natural, common act like sex can incur such substantial relationship complications.


Also, as much as we may hate the feeling, jealousy is a major ingredient to our hormonal cocktail of human instincts. We must find the betrayal deeply hurtful in order to maintain the desire to keep our partners around.

If we didn’t feel jealously, we’d say “fine, leave me for him (or her); I’ll just stay here alone with the kids.”

Suspecting a partner of straying can arouse some serious fury, which can immensely cloud our understandings of why people cheat in the first place.

It’s likely you will be too balled up with rage to consider my logic if you have recently been cheated on, but facts speak fairly loudly.

Gender Differences

On top of everything else, men and women are designed to think differently and feel differently. We're supposed partner up with the other side and live together forever in peace and harmony? Seriously, who came up with this concept? Are we supposed to balance out?

Men instinctively want a fun, carefree and active life, free from responsibility. Women are driven toward motherhood and thus, a life of order, rules and responsibility. We are destined to clash based on that logic. And, God forbid we seek sexual comfort from outsiders, should things ever get a little rocky.

I wish that, given what we know about the increasingly regular occurrence of infidelity, we, as a society, could learn to become more forgiving or accepting of these behaviors.

We make mistakes as human beings, and to give in to a fundamental human drive under certain circumstances should be a more forgivable act. But unfortunately, that isn’t the way the world works.

Instincts have prevented any rationale regarding infidelity, so psychologists and relationship counselors are still digging for answers to the unsolvable monogamy puzzle.

Don’t be disheartened, as I know there are many of you in happy, healthy relationships, with no desire to be unfaithful. It isn’t an impossible feat, I assure you. Yet, sadly, chances are, we will all find ourselves caught up in temptation, at some point in our lives.

The Sad Conclusion

Instinctively, we need partners for procreation and survival. Biologically, we need sex and intimacy. Emotionally, we need change, excitement and new experiences.

Now, keep all of this in mind and go create a successful society. Good luck.