Serial Monogamy

Serial Monogamy is a relationship style where a person engages in a committed romantic/sexual relationship with only person at a time. Before engaging in a new romantic/sexual relationship there is a termination of the previous relationship.

Possible Benefits to Serial Monogamy The following non-exhaustive list provides possible benefits when choosing serial monogamy:

  • If both partners remain faithful, there is little risk of experiencing jealousy over outside partners or romantic interests.

Choosing monogamy allows compliance with ideals set forth by various systems of belief (i.e. religion or cultural norms).

  • When both partners remain faithful, STI risk is greatly reduced* or eliminated.
  • The experience of being with someone for a long period of time provides unique insight into love and partnership.
  • Learning creative ways to negotiate and fulfill romantic/sexual needs over the course of the partnership.
  • The ability to leave a partnership when it is no longer functional, healthy, or fulfilling.

Possible Challenges to Serial Monogamy The following non-exhaustive list provides possible challenges when choosing serial monogamy:

    If monogamy is a part of a value system, one may feel pressured to choose monogamy even if it doesn’t fit their personal sexual/relational style.

  • Keeping the romantic/sexual relationship engaging throughout the course of the relationship.
  • Managing romantic or sexual feelings for people outside of the monogamous unit.
  • Misunderstanding over monogamy by those outside of the relationship or those choosing other relationship styles.
  • Having sexual/romantic needs that remain unfulfilled due to differences in romantic/sexual preferences.
  • Fear or anxiety that a partner will leave and/or find a new partner.
  • Making life decisions that involve another person.

*Some STIs can be transmitted through non-sexual means.