Nowadays the deck is kinda stacked against people within the millennial range who desire vanilla, monogamous relationships. Dating apps and social changes have challenged the nesting/ostensibly boring booty atmosphere of most exclusive monogamous relationships. More and more permission is being given by culture and technology to explore the wild yonder of sexuality and romance.
This growing ability to think and feel outside the box is absolutely a positive thing. The more we’re able to accept and explore different sexual practices, the better we become at relating to one another and to ourselves. Taboos are crumbling left and right.
However, this doesn’t negate the idea that there are many who naturally incline more towards exclusivity and monogamy. Many people enjoying sexual freedoms will argue that humans were never meant to mate with a single person, but to an extent it’s a (wholly justified) response to very closed-off trends in relationships. Knowing that you wish to be with multiple people and not being given the agency to do so definitely makes monogamy look restrictive and negative.
So how do you know if vanilla sex and monogamous pairing is for you?
It can be confusing to really be in tune with what you want, but that’s mostly due to often comparing yourself to the myriad other folks exploring and trying to find their own sexual identity. If you truly desire one person, and have no organic inclination toward BDSM or anything of that nature, then it’s just as unfair of those cultures if they make you feel like you’re erring.
Modern sexuality does on the surface bode pretty poorly for monogamy. Polyamory demonstrates how to effectively love multiple people, open relationships are evidence that multiple sex partners can be layered into a two person committed relationship, and there’s the option of being like, “I just don’t want to define it right now.” All these things are completely fine and, because we do it and there are benefits more subtle than mini poop humans, natural.
If you’re monogamous because you believe it’s the correct way to mate and you desire child efficiency, you may not end up being so jolly later on in that relationship. But if you’re very comfortable and happy being with one person, and that excites you, then you’re probably wired to dig it more than anything else. Listen to your genetic soul.
Then, how do you manage monogamy? The simple solution is to define the terms of the relationship first. I’ve heard the argument that too many couples and marriages break up because of infidelity, but that only means that monogamy needs to adapt, not be cast aside so easily.
The whole “losing passion” argument also sounds kind of flimsy, especially when you can schedule in sexy time, explore different practices with your one partner, or even reconfigure the boundaries of the relationship without it losing its definition as monogamous. Shame and jealousy are the engines by which cheating is fueled, and attending to problems in a relationship preemptively can often curb the need to express that stress in other directions.
It’s worth exploring all different kinds of sexual and romantic relationships, but with all of them you have to lay down the rules by which the relationships succeed. If your bestest booty is vanilla, then that means you need a vanilla partner who is comfortable operating within that environment. Sexual incompatibility occurs when the sets of standards and practices don’t line up, and the relationship suffers in a way that could be intellectually avoided. And that’s fine and dandy; you’ll find the fish who matches your particular proclivities eventually.
Monogamy is perfectly possible if that’s what makes you happy. If you’re a mono-romantic schlub like me, it’s ok; human nature hasn’t gotten it all figured it out anyhow.