I have two major gripes with monogamy. The first is the exclusion of the menage Aÿ trois. (Impensable!) The second is monogamy’s persistent elusion of me. (Tragique!) Actually, the menage Aÿ trois continues to elude me too. (Quelle surprise-)
In my mind there are only two states: the state of being in a monogamous relationship, and the state of searching for one.
The first state: You have everything you want contained within one person. Why would you ever stray? There are many pitfalls. Take the example of the foolish monkey Abu in Disney’s “Aladdin.” Do not touch the forbidden treasure and unleash the wrath of the liquid hot magma when it is truly the lamp that you seek. Don’t fall victim to the “grass is greener” complex, either. Despite an impulsive male mentality, your monogamous relationship is not instantly shelfable just because some freshman vixen wearing Uggs and a narrow sash she mistook as a mini-skirt is shaking her rump in your general direction. You can step out of the tempting situation and recall the energy you place into that relationship, and the satisfaction of having a partnership that is uniquely yours and your other’s. You shouldn’t cheapen that by darting around unseen. But don’t mistake opportunity for a pitfall, either. If your recollections are doubtful, and the choice to quit is substantial enough, maybe go for it. Have the respect and the courage to tell your other before you end your relationship and endeavor to begin a new one. If it’s an incredibly urgent chance and you’re pressed (warning: not at all classy) you might act first and explain as soon as you can. We tend to forget in these moments that to act irresponsibly is to hurt the other person in seeking your own gain. I can’t endorse it, I just want to acknowledge that it happens, and that as humans we’re capable of a lot. Above all, we should realize there’s no reason to succumb to the “appeal to tradition” fallacy by justifying a relationship only because it has always been.
The second state: Free and clear, without loyalties to honor, your temptations become your investigations. Your promising rump didn’t pan out, but what do you care? Now your every interaction with members of the opposite sex is on some level a thrilling test, because you grade each one on personality, looks, talents, goals. Whatever your criteria is, when you find an A+ you will go in for the kill. Every smile in the street, sexual encounter, or “Pardon me, sir, but you’re staring at my rack” becomes a small reach towards that ideal of monogamy, with which you hope to literally ensnare the other person when he/she comes along. Fueled by a jealousy of happy couples and another “grass is greener” complex, all paths eventually lead back to the first state. But then, in a supremely ironic twist of cosmic fate, your new other violates your sacred monogamy, sending you reeling back unprepared and uneager into the second state.
The states are cyclical. Either you’re not looking because you’re satisfied, or you’re not satisfied because you still have to look.
To the person who will finish my cycle and put the lures in my life to rest, I am trying to find you.
For questions, comments or to ask me to write you romantic poetry in French, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.