A lot of people ask me whether I think monogamy is dying out, and honestly, I never think it will. It is in our nature to get attached to people, and when we find someone special, we really don’t want to share that person with anyone else– we want to claim that person as our partner and be able to count on him/her respecting a mutual agreement to be in a sexually exclusive relationship. This is normal, and healthy for building trust and intimacy. The problem kicks in when all is not right in the Garden of Eden.
Many people marry very young (the national average for women is about 26), before they truly know themselves, have established career paths, and have come to terms with their true wants and needs in a partner. By the time these things become a lot clearer, usually in someone’s 30’s or 40’s, many are finding that his/her partner is not the best match. Some are courageous enough to try and work on communicating effectively with his/her significant other, and will make an effort in implementing changes that can improve the relationship; but others will not, and instead they will seek an escape from the situation, which often begins with a seemingly benign “emotional connection” to someone else and then turns into much more with the passage of time.
These days, thanks to modern technology, temptation is everywhere. I cannot tell you how many divorces these days have included stories of people reconnecting with an old flame on Facebook. You can chat, IM, tweet, text, or surf the internet dating sites all from the comfort of your own home while it may appear that you are doing work on your phone or computer. It is so easy and fun to build new connections instead of facing difficult conversations with a spouse, and yet I think we owe it to our partners and ourselves to at least try to work things out or be honest with one another as to why the relationship needs to end before we move on to the next love interest.
In the end, it is not monogamy that is dying out, but rather our communication skills that seem to be fading fast. These days people will “like” my status and guys will send me a “hey” text and somehow they all think that is staying connected. Well, I guess I am old-fashioned, but if someone really cares, I think they should take the time to meet up or at least pick up the phone to talk time live. I realize we are all busy these days, but relying on modern technology to keep relationships alive is not a good idea. Nothing beats the joy of live time interaction– when we can put away the high tech gadgets and actually listen to each other and enjoy one another’s company. That is what will help sustain 100% commitment– attempts at substitutions will not.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.