Saturday, July 31, 2010

Monogamy Isn't All Bad

Sometimes I feel like a monogamy basher. I don't mean to bash the institution. I don't really mean to bash anything, except dumb shit. Monogamy isn't dumb, it's just ill-founded at times, most of the time. I don't believe that, with monogamy, you are always just tying yourself down or that its unnatural. Not much is natural anymore, anyway. I know that some people fall in love. Some people meet a person that is special enough to spend the rest of their life with and then they bust their asses making it "work." And some people think if you don't meet someone with whom you can spend the rest of your life, then you are pathetic, doomed or incomplete. I don't buy it. I think some of us have been duped; we are buying into a lot of blanket concepts and notions that aren't really for everyone.

Most of my friends are currently working on distinguishing between what is "right" and what is "wrong" for them in life. The two questions I see my peers tossing around most frequently are: (1) Choose a corporate/9 to 5 career path or follow your passion full time? ... and ... (2) Settle down with someone or continue/try being alone?

The first question is perfectly valid. It is time for us to either really sink our teeth into what we love, or agree to working full-time to pay the bills. Sometimes we have to do both in the beginning. Most of the time, actually. But, in this case, we have to grind; We can't put our passion on the back-burner. It's got to keep it's place in the center stage and we have to work just as hard at making something of it. I love the sayings my dad says and so ... it's time to "shit or get off the pot." We either dive in and become better at the thing we love, or we get a job and call that thing that we do what it is, a hobby.

The second question is not one I like to ask myself. I think we spend too much time and energy looking for the answer to that question. It's a distraction, because you can't control it. Love, sex and companionship are NOT things that should be constantly sought after or over analyzed. They can all be fun experiences and make really great stories, but not if they are forced. No TV personality or self proclaimed relationship guide can lead you to a healthy relationship. Happiness and relationships aren't like the chicken and the egg, the happiness comes first. For me, it was just about choosing happiness. I tried a few things and then I settled into the one that fit me best. It's my life and it's my responsibility to make it what I want it to be. No whining about how it should have been. If, in the end, my life is not what I thought it should have been, that's on me. Either I didn't makeit happen, or I wrapped my happiness up in lofty goals that I really had no control over.

Another thing I always have to keep in my mind, is that it's not always about what I want. Sometimes I have to take a day or two and figure out what I need. My needs list is constantly changing, so it's good for me to check in with myself and get frequent updates. I might have to make some changes. I believe happiness rests on the ability to be versatile and easy going. Sometimes things change. Sometimes the floor falls out and we have to climb out of a mess. You do what you have to.

I say do what makes you happy. If that involves spending a night, a few days, occasional quality time or the rest of your life with a partner, do it. Stop dating, practice celibacy, take a break, fall in love, move all of your sexual energy into a passion or skill, have a one night stand or get married.
See ...
I'm not a hater of monogamy. I don't think love is fake or that marriage is a lie. Okay, so I still kind of think marriage is a lie, but I'm a happy skeptic. I need things to be proven to me and never once have I seen all of those vows upheld simultaneously. Anyway, I don't think love is fake or marriage is a lie; I just don't think they inherently bring joy and I don't think one will be able to enter a healthy relationship until they are happy. So for now, this is how I'm living my life. Doing the things that keep me calm, happy and healthy. For me, that means dating and enjoying my sexuality without an end goal of finding a man to give me my happiness. I have my happiness. I give it to myself. (Nightly.)

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About Me

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I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
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