I still remember that terrible pain in my heart the first time I found out he had cheated on me. I stumbled upon messages and messages in his Facebook account, all to numerous women he was currently sleeping with. He was 20 years my senior and said all the right things to me. Let’s call him M. I thought M was the one. I thought we were in a loving, committed relationship...but we weren’t. He had apparently been unfaithful since day one of our relationship.
Stop right there before you start feeling sorry for me. I had also been unfaithful. Certainly not to the extent that M had, although, trust me, I stepped my game up tenfold after I found out about his infidelity – I’m competitive like that. Unlike M, I was much better at keeping my indiscretions hidden. I continued to exist with this man for another few years where we pretended to be committed, but we were both cheating - a lot. Finally, I decided that I wanted to embark on a new relationship with one of my other men, and dumped M. I then proceeded to fill the next few years of my life with another committed relationship where again, I was not faithful.
And this all brings me to the practice of monogamy. Is it even an actual thing anymore? After my last relationship ended over a year ago, I decided to not jump straight into a relationship. Instead, I spent the last year as more of a collector of fabulous men. I’ve embraced the concept of an open relationship. I have one man who I am head over heels in love with, but he isn’t the one. While I consider him to be my consistent love, I have enjoyed a number of other less meaningful relationships with some pretty incredible men. Some are emotional and physical, some are purely physical...and the oodles of sex is definitely a welcome byproduct.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t know if monogamy is for me. I imagine that perhaps, maybe one day, I will find the person who I want to fully commit to, but that isn’t where I am at in my life right now. And you know what? That is completely okay. It’s time for us as women to step into the truly sexual beings that we are. Our sexuality is our power. And it isn’t necessary for us to conform to conventional relationship structures because that is what is expected of us.
I can easily say that far more that half of the relationships I know about have had (or still do have) some form of infidelity. When I think back on the stress and anxiety that I went through every day in my relationship with M, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. But when I finally let go of the notion of being in a monogamous relationship, it’s like this massive weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It’s fine to be with more than one person. It’s fine to be in an open relationship.
In a world full of swipe-right relationships, and single men with secret wives and girlfriends, I’d love if we could all be a bit more honest with ourselves and our partners about the kind of relationship we want - and the kind of lifestyle we want. Don’t force yourself into a one-person committed relationship if you’re not at that place in your life. It’s not fair to your partner, and it’s not fair to yourself. Monogamy isn’t the only way anymore. Our world is changing, and you only get one chance at this life. So do what feels right for yourself at this very moment.