Dating Myth #1: “EVERYONE Has The Ability To Be Monogamous”

Like I stated on this blog last week, I will be speaking on a panel at an event called Battle Of The Sexes on Sunday, November 4th, where the main topic of discussion will be “Is monogamy a MYTH?” While I will wait until the event to answer that SPECIFIC question, there is ONE topic that I was thinking about while driving home from a comedy show on Friday. As I drove and pondered things in my head, I realized the one ideology I’m sick of people propagating as absolute truth is the concept that EVERYONE should be able to be monogamous because monogamy is not merely a choice, decision or reflection of someone’s personal beliefs, it is an inherent TRAIT located within EVERY human being on the face of the planet. While I believe everybody has the ability to enter INTO a monogamous relationship – the SPIRIT of monogamy is simply not in ALL people.

Some people view monogamy as the realization of our ultimate POINT on this planet, which is to couple up and remain faithful to the end to the “love of our life”. These people believe ALL people were created monogamous and those who don’t ACT as such, are just selfish DOUCHEBAGS. Then you have some people who view monogamy as a TYPE – something that is inherent in SOME people, yet NOT inherent in OTHERS. I am DEFINITELY someone who believes in the ‘TYPE’ theory.

The problem with believing EVERYONE can be monogamous, is that it devalues the inherent unique differences within EACH of us as fully functioning human beings. Monogamous people are simply out here doing what inherently feels RIGHT to them, but why can’t we say the same about people who either want to “get around” like Tupac or simply don’t see themselves spending their ENTIRE life with one person.  Many people CHOOSE to be monogamous because that is inline with their deepest values and relationship needs, so why can’t that extend to people who DON’T choose that lifestyle as well?

Why do we have to unilaterally believe that all human beings were created the EXACT same with the EXACT same needs, wants and abilities? Why is it so blasphemous to accept the idea that there ARE people on Earth capable of loving two people at the same time in a polygamous relationship, which is MORE akin to their most NATURAL preference, as opposed to just following some socially-created marriage-loophole that allows a dude to get multiple nani under the banner of marriage?

But most importantly, why is it so hard to accept that some of us as human beings DON’T want to be with ONE person for the rest of our lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that? Why must we FORCE our OWN views of love and relationships on people who have NOTHING to do with us? In pondering whether or not everyone has the ability to be monogamous, I ended up with ONE even simpler question: Should it even really matter in the grand scheme of MY OWN individual pursuit of love and happiness?

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.


  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    10/15/2012 at 4:24 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, When It Comes To Monogamy, Do You Believe That We All Are INTRINSICALLY Monogamous Or Do You Believe That Some Of Us Are Simply NOT Hardwired To Be Monogamous?

    What Role Do You Believe TYPE & CHOICE Play Into This Scenario, If At ALL?

  2. mena

    10/15/2012 at 5:40 AM

    We as people aren't as different as we would like to believe–we aren't that damn special nor are we that different. Commitment is a choice. If there is one area where humans are all alike, is that we make decisions that determine our paths in life. Making a choice doesn't do away with differences. Making a conscious decision shows that you have evaluated the person you are and have made a decision to be committed to one person. Everyone can choose to be monogamous though many lack the DISCIPLINE to follow through with their choice and commitment.

    "Why is it so blasphemous to accept the idea that there ARE people on Earth capable of loving two people at the same time in a polygamous relationship, which is MORE akin to their most NATURAL preference, as opposed to just following some socially-created marriage-loophole that allows a dude to get multiple nani under the banner of marriage?"

    By posing this question above, you just did something that you may not even realize: you subconsciously placed a man's sexual needs before that of a woman's by assuming that men would only want a polygamous relationship and that men are justified (you stated the term "natural" followed by the masculine word "dude") bc of their nature, to want to be in a polygamous relationship. This social construct places a much higher value on a man's sexual needs and desires and negates those of a woman. The day you show me polygamous couples where both the man and the woman are equal, is the day I will start to believe that this actually works.

    These conversations are usually had under the context that it isn't in a man's nature to be monogamous bc of animal instincts. And again, I say, God gave man a brain to use, to rationalize, to experience emotion and life the way no other animal could ever do. To equate a human to an animal on an emotional level is just lazy and is used as an arrogant argument to justify ones inability to commit. 9/10 it is men who make this argument.

    For people who don't want to be monogamous, I just simply ask that, since that is your choice, you date people who share your same beliefs. Don't try to convince someone that your way is correct and I won't try to convince you that you are simply trying to have your cake and eat it too. In other words, we can agree to disagree and go on with our day.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/15/2012 at 5:49 AM

      Using the word discipline to define how someone identifies love is very condescending to people who don't share YOUR specific values, WHICH, do not represent any sort of universal truth, but just your own socialization.

      By posing the question above I SUBCONSCIOUSLY associated myself as the person defending HIMSELF in a discussion as I can't speak from a woman's point of the view. I realize what I write, and the issue of gender-equality in marriage is not an issue I would ever debate with you, because I don't think it exists – just like in DIVORCE.

      I can't stress enough that I'm NOT making the animal-nature debate – this has NOTHING to do with lions and jungles and all that. It has to do with the SOCIAL CONSTRUCT of monogamy, which you can argue as much as you want but is STILL just a SOCIAL CONSTRUCT, and analyzing whether or not it's at least FAIR to say that some people weren't BUILT to just have one life partner until they die.

      • mena

        10/15/2012 at 6:51 AM

        Discipline wasn't used to define how someone defines love, it was used to show how someone should work towards a commitment they decided on–the same thing you ask of people in setting their goals and sticking to them.

        I think that we are all intrinsically monogamous but i think that many lack the discipline to follow through bc society has given them a free for all to be selfish. Just like we discussed last week about conforming, I feel that people who want polygamy are conforming to the notion that since we are animals, we should have relationships with multiple people. It's not about love but more about a sexual need. The principles surrounding polygamy in religion is based off of a man's need to procreate with multiple women and to marry those women for his pleasure.

        If we were supposed to be polygamous, jealousy in relationships would be nonexistent. I can't see anyone TRULY being on board with the fact that a person they love is sharing that love with multiple people on such an intimate level.

        If someone wants a polygamous lifestyle then so be it. Just make sure that all parties involved are aware and on board.

  3. petersburgh

    10/15/2012 at 6:54 AM

    I can't and won't tell anyone how to go about viewing this but I'll tell you my way of thinking. I get the logic Lincoln is posing here but I do believe we are all equipped with the tools to be monogamous. I will agree that most people probably won't be monogamous but I'm thinking that more has to do with practice rather than nature itself.

    Are we intrinsically monogamous? I have no idea as I am not you and you're not me but I believe we all have the potential to be and that's where choice comes in to play.

  4. Lady Ngo

    10/15/2012 at 6:55 AM

    By calling monogamy a choice you are by default saying everyone has the ability. Just because you acknowledge that you're not interested in being in a monogamous relationship doesn't negate the ability to do so, you're just choosing not to. I certainly agree with people's choice not to be monogamous so long as they are honest about it upfront (and preferably bump with like minded people).

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/15/2012 at 4:13 PM

      I think petersburgh stated above exactly how I would respond to this. We all have natural inclinations, but we choose to follow them or deny them. I think some people are inherently monogamous and need a relationship like that, while others are inherently not monogamous and need a relationship that fits them.

  5. Smilez_920

    10/15/2012 at 7:59 AM

    I think it's a choice. Humans do a lot of things we are not hard wired to do. I think a lot of men throw in the nature argument when they don't want to take responsibility for the choices they have made. Men make it seem like monogamy is easy for women. You think we don't get tempted. A lot of us choose not to step out on our man.

    For example many female animals don't mate with the same male every mating season. I'm sure a lot of female animals have had babies by different male animals. Now if me as a human women had a baby by three different guys ( and didn't know who was who on top of that) people would state how I should use my brain, and make smart /better choices , I couldn't blame it on nature , I would just be a hoe.

    I personally don't care if a man is monogamous or not . That is his choice . Now if a man chooses to deal with me I will ask him is monogamy something he can handle, if its not then we can't be together . Also a lot of men talk about monogamy from the polygamy standpoint ( a man not having one women but many women) not too many men are talking about having those real open relationships where he can have more than one woman and his wife /gf can have more that one man.

  6. Smilez_920

    10/15/2012 at 8:03 AM

    I think women wouldn't have a problem with excepting the type argument if men extended the same argument to them. While I think it's a choice , I do think there are things I side of a person that helps being them to that choice. A lot of men can see how the argument relates to them but can't see how it relates to a woman. A lot of men who " can't be completely monogamous" won't to have women in their lives who can be monogamous to them. What kind of ish is that.

    • KemaVA

      10/15/2012 at 3:40 PM

      It's self-ish

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/15/2012 at 4:14 PM

      My argument is extended to both genders.

    • iluvwhoiluv

      10/16/2012 at 10:17 AM

      Smilez, preach on that. It is rare to find, in a polygamy type situation, for the man to be alright with the female having more than one partner. If he can do it, why can't she?

  7. NurseJilly

    10/15/2012 at 11:09 AM

    I think that it is a choice whether or not you will be monogamous. In saying that I do think the choice is a lot easier for some and perhaps thats where we differ.
    Take me for example. I have never once cheated or even considered cheating on anyone I've ever been with, while I have a girlfriend that has cheated on every single boyfriend she's ever had. We both have the ability to "choose" to be monogamous but it is certainly a lot more of a struggle for some than others.

    • mena

      10/15/2012 at 1:30 PM

      I had a friend like this in undergrad. She cheated left and right and always told me that the guys she was with wouldn't do it to her. That is until she walked in on her man doing someone else. It wasn't hard for her not to cheat, guys just put up with her actions and so she continued doing it.

      When she got a taste of her own medicine, it was the biggest ego blow to hit her and she acted like the world stopped revolving.

    • lincolnanthonyblades

      10/15/2012 at 4:17 PM

      I find it interesting that cheating is how we typically define non-monogamous people, when I think we could easily define them also as people who just don't enter exclusive and serious committed relationships.

      For example, there are many men who date women and REFUSE to commit exclusively to her. They don't lie about their intentions nor do they cheat. They just date around and have fun, but they will be castigated as being "wrong" because they are not choosing to be exclusive.

      • iluvwhoiluv

        10/16/2012 at 10:20 AM

        Linc, I think these guys are only WRONG if they have one woman thinking she's the ONLY one. As long as these guys are clear from the gate, then it puts the decision back on the woman. If she doesn't want that type of relationship, if she's smart, she'll bounce and not try to change his decision. If she is down, then it's cool, but that guy can't be mad if she starts dating multiple people, too.

  8. Smilez_920

    10/15/2012 at 11:42 AM

    100% agree. Now did she ever use nature for the absolute excuse for why she cheats?

    • NurseJilly

      10/15/2012 at 1:51 PM

      No. She really doesn't have an excuse to be honest…

  9. Lia

    10/15/2012 at 12:06 PM

    I can honestly say that I do not know, and I'm probably never going to know. Nor do I think anybody else will ever know. I think that we all do what we think feels right for ourselves. Does that mean that we are acting in accordance to how we are wired? No. We do stuff all the time that goes against how we are supposedly wired. I have no idea how I'm wired and I doubt anybody else does either. The best we can do is make a good guess and try to follow that. To each his/her own, as long as you're not with me you're relationship philosophy has nothing to do with me. The only thing I'm worried about is that the next person I'm with has the same understanding as I do when it comes to our relationship.

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