While polygamy is rife in many societies, monogamy still seems like the most mainstream way in which to have a relationship.
We’re often bombarded with images, influences, and expectations to get married, have that white picket fence, three children, and a dog, then live happily ever after.
But because we’re more open-minded today in exploring the benefits of polyamory, some may actually question the benefits of monogamy. Does it really serve a purpose in today’s society?
For some, seeing the other side of the same coin may appear more attractive than being exclusive, but the thing about that is—everyone is different. So what may work for one couple, may not work for another.
What Are the Benefits of Monogamy?
These six benefits of monogamy are applicable for some, and perhaps not others, making them subjective. In fact, some of these “benefits” may actually be the reason why some choose not to be monogamous.
1. Improve Your Sex Life
It’s true that sex can take some time to get to a place of sheer euphoria. Monogamous partners have the chance to explore each other, become more in-tune with their own and their partner’s body, and to communicate their needs, wants, desires, and fantasies. In this way, those in monogamous relationships can benefit from continuously improving upon their sex life as they become more and more comfortable with each other.
2. Comfort Sex
Comfort sex is when you feel completely safe, intimate, and connected to your partner. It’s not those wild one night stands nor the honeymoon phase of sex, but rather the ability for you to feel comfortable and relaxed during intimacy. Comfort sex is fairly routine, but not boring! And by having it, you’ll be able to guarantee all the sexual bliss that comes with knowing someone on a trusted and more intimate level.
3. Explorative Sex
They say that variety is the spice of life. So, when you’re with someone you feel free yet also secure with, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of your desires and fantasies. Communicating your needs and wants comes with time and comfort. Monogamous partners have the chance to truly see each other and to feel safe enough to talk to about and experiment with different sexual practices.
4. Emotional Intimacy
The benefits of monogamy are not solely sexual. Monogamous couples could be emotionally intimate on a level that’s nearly impossible to create with someone you’ve just met. It’s the chance to say that you exclusively give yourself over to one person, and with that you two can share a foundation of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual intimacy that can be difficult to find elsewhere. When you’re connected with another on all different levels, it makes for a stronger and more intense relationship.
While polyamory is practiced with boundaries, rules, and regulations agreed upon by both partners, it still doesn’t eradicate the chance of feeling jealous. For polyamory to truly work, both partners would need to be 100% on-board as opposed to agreeing to it to make their partner happy. There are many partners in polyamorous relationships who feel that sense of jealousy and insecurity because their partner is intimate with others. Being in a monogamous relationship, with fidelity, creates a foundation of ultimate trust and removes the chance of feeling left out, jealous, or uncertain.
While the honeymoon phase of a relationship is great, and it’s quite exhilarating to feel those butterflies in your stomach, being in a long term monogamous relationship gives you the chance to feel stable all the time. There is no pressure to always dress up, put yourself out there, or to feel vulnerable or rejected by others. There’s a level of true comfort that comes with monogamy, allowing both partners to really be themselves without the dating highs and the dating lows.
Male Primates Who Prefer Monogamy
Interestingly, there is a group of males that benefit from monogamy… that is, certain non-human primates.
In one study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers studied the sexual behaviours of 230 non-human primates. The results found that the biggest benefit of a male being monogamous is the importance that they place on protecting their offspring to an extent that they could go on to have their own offspring. And because males can sire more offspring than females, the male would need to be less adaptive should he choose to mate with only one female.
In other words, when the male primate stayed monogamous to one female, he was able to protect his offspring in such a way that it reduced infanticide, thus increasing his legacy.
Another study by zoologists Dieter Lukas and Tim Clutton-Brock showed a varying result. “In mammals, social monogamy is a consequence of resource defense. Female behaviour is influenced by the distribution of food. And male behaviour is influenced by the distribution of females,” said Lukas.
In other words, breeding females needed access to high quality food, and the scarcity of high quality food led males to want to settle with one female as opposed to providing for a harem of females.
Either way, both studies did reach one conclusion, and that was the fact that monogamy was favourable among the males.
So, male human primates, do you too believe in the practice of monogamy in your relationships? Or do you believe that human primates benefit more from a different type of relationship?