I’d like to start by stressing that I have no issue with monogamy as a relationship structure. It can healthy, kind, loving, intense, intimate, and amazing. I know folks in monogamous relationships having a great time. So what’s a hangover got to do with it?
Well, some ideas that aren’t super healthy have kind of invaded mainstream relationship culture and they don’t tend to have unmanageable consequences in monogamous relationships but they still undermine the health potentially of those individuals or relationships.
Accepting jealousy as an immovable, necessary thing or as a sign of love, for example, is in my opinion not ideal. It’s great to acknowledge that jealousy is a normal part of the human experience for most. It’s not great to decide the answer is more control and less intimacy or love with others. Emotional intimacy in friendships can be greatly rewarding.
So what would a monogamous hangover look like? Phrases like “I should be enough” or “why am I not enough” or “what’s wrong with me?” or “I should be the most emotionally intimate person” or the most insert-your-thing-here. Phrases like “they are my person and I am theirs” are dubious – possession of people is typically only thought of as a good thing in monogamous relationships while it is strictly prohibited elsewhere. This is not an exhaustive list.
Most of these thoughts don’t poison relationships… unless they’re non-monogamous. So if you carry these things you’ve absorbed from media, from almost every movie ever – even the action movies usually have a white, heterosexual “love interest” – into your non monogamous relationships, it can cause serious unnecessary hurt and problems.
Doing the learning you’re doing now of listening to podcasts, reading books or audiobooks, etcetera is the best thing you can do to improve the health of your relationships and the depth of your intimacy. Learning and processing is the way to move through a monogamous hangout.
And for those monogamous folks out there, learning to be less stuck on these potentially toxic ideas benefits monogamies as well. Now, let’s go to the session with Elle.