I Stayed Up Half The Night Contemplating Monogamy. Oops.

My muse won’t let me sleep. Or something. It is 4:30 as I write this, and I have been awake for almost 2 hours. i’ve tried everything that normally puts me back to sleep, and nothing is working.

So I’ve been turning something over in my brain. When is the right time to have sex with a new guy?

This is pretty hypothetical, but I imagine it could happen soon. I was fairly certain right away that I wasn’t interested in just a regular “fuck buddy.” I wanted something serious, I wanted a guy that really cared about me and I cared about him. So did that mean that I wanted to wait till we were monogamous? Would I finally be listening to the advice of the Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger? Would it actually work?

Here’s the catch though. I don’t know if I believe in long term monogamy. It feels somewhat dishonest to demand monogamy before I have sex if I don’t plan on enforcing it forever and ever (or if I would even follow it). No, that’s not the problem. The problem isn’t me wanting to believe I am the only person that this guy is attracted to now and forever. Because I simply don’t believe that is true. I am attracted to people all the time.

So then what? What do I want from a guy before I sleep with him? I landed on the simplest answer but it has taken me the last two hours (and several years) to put my finger on it.

I want to feel irreplaceable. I want to feel like I am so special, that I am the only one like me and no one could ever offer what I offer.

Here’s why this is different. If I feel like I am irreplaceable to the man in my life, a physical tryst isn’t a threat. It’s just physical. It’s not replacing the connection I have with him, it’s not replacing or threatening what is unique about our relationship.

Here is how I came to this. I imagined myself dating a very handsome bartender. It could happen, I’ve flirted with enough of them and dated a few. But the nail in the coffin is that I always feel like some girl could walk up to the bar and pick him up the same way that I did. What would differentiate me from the other girls? What would it take for me to feel comfortable and secure enough to be dating a bartender that is hit on all the time?

First, I would have to be secure enough in myself. Check. I’ve been working on that. If a guy doesn’t want to be around me, I refuse to stand in his way and force him to stay. He’s free to go if he doesn’t see how great I am.

Second, he would have to show me he knows how special I am. That could be in any number of ways. Maybe he communicates often, or he brings me flowers, or takes me on special dates, or looks at me in a way that he doesn’t look at anyone else or he shows me plenty of affection. But if he doesn’t see how special I am and show me, how could I know that he cared?

So I settled on the fact that I wouldn’t be threatened by women flirting with my fictional bartender lover if he showed me that I was the only one like me. That’s how I would define that I would feel special enough and cared about to sleep with a guy.

The thing is that if I didn’t care about a guy enough to want to be that special person but I was extremely attracted to him, I would probably consider making it just a physical thing. That would be entirely different for me, it’s a completely different category.

And I have had the hardest time articulating that until now. I could loosely see the difference but could never quite put my finger on it. And ah- ha. It came to me, in my restlessness.

It finally makes sense why I feel like I have been pursued by a number of attached men lately. My married friend was coming on very strong for a while. I have a friend that is moving out of state that kissed me quite passionately because he “had to at least once before leaving.” I am no more a threat to these men’s relationships because it is very clear that I have no interest in pursuing any scandal with these men. But they are curious about what kind of non-threatening fun they could get away with with me.

How far could they push the game? That’s the thrill. As long as everyone is clear that there is no threat to his chosen woman’s irreplaceability, than there is no harm. It’s just fun for the sake of fun.

I know this is not a typical way of looking at relationships. I know this probably angers some people because it is threatening to the standard way of doing things. I realize it isn’t popular. But it’s how I feel, and it stresses what is important to me- open communication between partners, trust, respect, as well as passion. It requires a lot of patience and a willingness to grow and learn. It is absolutely not the path for everyone, so I am not advocating it.

The reason I wanted to write it was in hopes that maybe it would give you words that you are searching for if you find yourself struggling like I was. Maybe it will save you from staying up half the night like I just did.

Or maybe it’s fuel for your fire. What do you think?

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6 thoughts on “I Stayed Up Half The Night Contemplating Monogamy. Oops.

  1. You are right when you say this is threatening, because it is closer to the truth than many of us want to admit. Living is denial is often easier than facing an ugly truth, sometimes ignorance really is bliss. When you stop and look at things with this degree of honesty you have to wonder how any of us get through this life and find happiness, but we can, and do.

    I personally choose monogamy, for many reasons, but “because it is easy” is not one of them. I believe monogamy is a choice you make, again and again and again, you just have got to have good enough reasons to keep making that same choice.

    • Easy is the absolute wrong word. There really isn’t anything easy about monogamy, because you’re right- it’s a conscious choice over and over and it has to be renewed. And it relies heavily on communication and trust. I think I have gotten a little cynical. It has been so long since I have had true open and honest communication with a guy. I obviously wrote this in a pretty bitter and sleep deprived place.

      • Oh, I remember that place well. I was single and occasionally dating for over 4 years before I met my current partner of just over a year now. Before him I had honestly started to wonder if I would stay “single and dating” forever, and whether long term relationships and monogamy even existed over 40 anymore. I am really happy with the place I am in right now though, and am more grateful for it than I might have been a few years ago. I do know people in an open relationship, but they have been married for over 20 years, and while they say it works for them I don’t see either one of them as “happy”. I have learnt not to judge, that different things work for different people, and that sometimes it changes, depending on where you are in life. It’s no ones business but their own, it just happens to make a fantastic topic of conversation!

        I really hope you find your happiness, in whatever form that takes.

  2. You had me until you said, “As long as everyone is clear that there is no threat to his chosen woman’s irreplaceability, than there is no harm.” By everyone, I assume you are including his irreplaceable woman? Unfortunately, unless you speak to that woman directly and get her permission, there is no way for you to know this. I am of course speaking from my own painful past experience, but I have many times wished that women as a whole would just have respect for other women and stop making it so damn easy for men to cheat. :/

    • I’m with you. There are three parties involved there, not just myself and the dude. It’s tricky. I think in general there has been a loss of respect of relationships. Self included. Maybe I’m jaded. Men and women are both guilty of cheating and lying. And in a perfect world, no one would cheat. Cheating hurts because it is lying and disrespectful of the trust and the bond and the understanding of the relationship. It’s betrayal. Whether you believe in monogamy or not, cheating is betrayal. Even if I had an open relationship, if my guy was dating someone else it would still hurt like hell. I’m probably going to do some heavy editing to that post, I shouldn’t have posted it when I was writing on so little sleep. I agree with you.

      • I agree with every word of your comment. 🙂 I have considered giving up on the idea of monogamy, but I’m a jealous woman who doesn’t like to share, so I’m pretty sure it would be more painful for me. ::sigh:: It’s very easy for me to be faithful, maybe there’s a man like me out there lol.

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