Monday, November 29, 2010

The Case of the Serial Monogamist - Friend or Foe?

Serial monogamy is a term used to describe a common sexual relationship pattern in contemporary Western cultures. A person may be said to be practicing serial monogamy if that person only has one sexual partner at any one time, but has had more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. Partners can be married or unmarried, but there are never more than one at a time.
The term "serial monogamy" is more often descriptive than prescriptive: relatively few people expect or want their relationships to end. Technically, any animals (including humans) who do not mate with one partner for life can be considered "serially monogamous", this includes those who mate with another only upon the death of a spouse. In more common usage, serial monogamy tends to refer to a long string of generally monogamous relationships which can often include more than one marriage. ~From Word IQ
Based on this definition, there is technically nothing wrong with serial monogamy. But then again, let's peel back the onion a little bit. Today, we're discussing my friend Casey. Casey is a professional double-degreed gentleman in his mid-twenties living in the DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) area.  I fully expect him to be channeling his inner Barack in about 10 years.

Casey has never liked dating. (Who does?) He does not like being single. He finds it extremely inconvenient. So Casey find a woman who meets his baseline criteria and in fairly short order, he commits. He likes to lock it down, one man, one woman, let's do this. Casey stays booed up. Admitted to me that he has generally lived his life going from one fairly long-term (one year or more) committed relationship to the next.

The problem is sometimes in his quest to get the boo and get out of the dating pool, he kinda glosses over a few things here and there. For instance, he and his most recent girlfriend (we'll call her Anne) had no sizzle, no sparkle. Things were nice and comfortable. There was no urgency, no "za-za-zoo." He spoke of one of his platonic female friends and there was all this heat and passion in the conversation. He spoke of Anne and all I heard was:




[The sound that means it's all over but the closing statement and verdict]

Anyway, Anne also had tendencies to game play and go passive-aggressive in her communication style. It irritated him but not so much that he felt the need to walk away. A few weeks ago, he had the revelation that they never talked on the phone. They had been hooked up for a few months and maybe three phone conversations total. He only came to this realization when they hadn't exchanged texts for a few days in a row.

So I told him, "Um, something ain't right."

"What do you mean?"

"You're supposed to still be in the 'giddy-gotta-see-her-gotta-have-her' phase. The call every day and just to say good night phase. The I-don't-care-if-it's-2:00am-I'm-going-to-see-her phase."

**crickets** Then he admitted he wasn't sure he ever felt that way about her. 

"Then why are you with her?"

"Well she's nice and alright I guess."

"Dude, do her a favor and cut her loose. If I EVER have a man that I am into say that I am 'nice and alright' he guesses - shoot me. That is some apathetic shiggity."

"Well you know we had dated for a while so I figured might as well go all in."

"But you're not all in. Sure, you're monogamous but you have 'hot swappable' syndrome."

"What is that?" He laughed.

"Your girlfriends are like peripherals. As long as the 'plug and play" you can swap them out as needed."

"That sounds harsh. I'm not mean to them!"

"No, you're not. But you're not doing them any favors. Break up with her if you can go three days without hearing from her and you could gibbadam. Seriously."

"I hate being the bad guy, I hate breaking up with people."

"Please don't tell me that you're the guy who just fades out or does something to get the woman to break up with him."

**more crickets** And then he told the truth, "Yeah, in college I had a platonic friend of mine call my girlfriend to say that I had left my phone in her room."

Me, horrified, "So you faked cheating to get out of a relationship?!"

"Pretty much."

"Dude, the time has come for you pull on your grown man boxers. Break it off and stay out of relationships until you find someone you think you can't get through a week without. Please. You deserve better."

After he told me I was hard on a brother but he knew I spoke the truth, we hung up. He texted me a week later to tell me that she broke up with him. She went radio silent to see if that would spur more a reaction from him. When it didn't she figured out what I just told y'all - He just wasn't that into her. 

For the record, I'm not slamming Casey or serial monogamists. Before this conversation, I would have that thought serial monogamy was a good thing. But this conversation opened my eyes to whole other subset of possible relationship issues I hadn't considered. 

BougieLand, is it possible that serial monogamists who don't take the time to play the field may not really know what they want? Have you ever stayed in a relationship just so you could stay in a relationship? Casey said that he thought the relationship would "warm up with time" - am I the only one who thinks there has to be some heat there to begin with? Is going from one relationship to the next a good idea or should you take a little "regrouping" time in between? What are your thoughts? The floor is yours...

110 comments:

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

BougieLand, is it possible that serial monogamists who don't take the time to play the field may not really know what they want?

Perhaps. A larger issue is people who don't know themselves well usually don't know what they want. The serial monogamists you describe in this post know what they want (a relationship), but what they want isn't much. They are A-OK with less-than because they don't really want anything besides a warm body and someone to watch boring Saturday movies with.

Have you ever stayed in a relationship just so you could stay in a relationship?
Yup. Being single sucks monkey toes sometimes.

Casey said that he thought the relationship would "warm up with time" - am I the only one who thinks there has to be some heat there to begin with?

Nope. If there is no spark in the beginning, it's hard for it to develop. And the spark doesn't have to be full out eros-type of spark. I dated a guy who was my friend first, so the 'spark' was mutual respect and admiration for him as a person. But I need something to cut my teeth on. Nobody wants their dating journey to be the equivalent of a wet blanket.

Is going from one relationship to the next a good idea or should you take a little "regrouping" time in between?
Take regrouping time. Your discernment is skewed when you are fresh out of a relationship, and you will invariably choose a person that's not right for you.

Superwoman said...

this syndrome mystifies me...what's the point of being in a relationship if it's not fire? at least in those early days!! isn't it unbearable otherwise? i mean, otherwise, let's just stay good friends, you know? no need for any heat or sizzle necessary then.

rozb said...

"Being single sucks monkey toes sometimes."

I imagine that monkey toes are some nasty-A things!

Michele said...

I've stayed in relationships just for the sake of and I've learned that I'd rather be single. I really believe that being single is much better than being in a lukewarm relationship. Yuck. And I don't think relationships "warm up with time" if there was never any heat to begin with. If you start out with heat there is always the possibility that it will return, but if it was always cold ... yeah it's always gonna be cold.

OSHH said...

To me serial monogamist like Casey, just don't want to be alone in a physical sense, but they are alone because the connection isn't there.
Never invloved myself JUST for sake of being involved.
There has to be attraction, chemistry, compatibility, some snap, crackle, and pop in the beginning, yes, because that's what initially catches the attention and prompts a deeper interest.
I think it's always good to reflect, take a moment or a minute to assess and learn from dealings and situations.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

LOL, I reckon they are! I wanted to keep it bouge, so I didn't type the phrase as uttered to me by my younger brother.

Jubilance said...

The biggest red flag I see with serial monogamists is the idea that they HAVE to be in a relationship at all times - so they'll put up with varying amounts of shiggity (yay finally got to use that!) in order to be in a relationship. I've never been that type, in fact, too often I'm too quick to get rid of a guy if it seems like he's going to be more aggravation & trouble than he's worth.

Regrouping between relationships is always best, IMO. You need that time to just BE, to relax, to figure out what you do/don't want, will/wont put up with, etc. Hopping from person to person doesn't give you any time to evaluate, and it also doesn't give you any time to learn about yourself & who you are with no distractions.

ASmith said...

There has to be SOMETHING to get a relationship going. Even if it's just a physical attraction, something has to start that ball to rolling. I think a relationship where one person is blah about it is destined for failure. Where's that even going?

I have a friend who stays off in a relationship. In the same conversation where she told me that she's willing to stay in a city she hates for 2 years while he finishes college, they've discussed marriage, and he insists on being with her at every holiday family function (his mama said if he wants the girl, he better spend time with the family) she also told me she's not all that into him. O_o. Homegirl has to have a boyfriend though, so this is par for the course in her opinion. I absolutely have no patience for that sort of okey doke so I can't talk relationships with her at all.

There's just something very unhealthy about a serial monogamist who is that way because they can't stand the thought of being alone. You should be into serial monogamy because that level of commitment is important to you and serial monogamy should be a high standard... I don't get people, yo.

She's Savvy said...

I can completely relate to this post. Up until about 2 years ago, I would have considered myself a serial monogamist. I'd date one guy for 1-2 years, then move to the next and this lasted for 10 years. There's just something comfortable about being in a relationship. Dating is so stressful.

After breaking up with my last boyfriend, I realized that I had once again jumped in head first and he was even remotely what I was looking for. In my mind, I thought that things would change and the sparks would fly but they didn't. When he started getting busy with work, I didn't even care. Instead of trying to work things out and make time, after a few conversations, I ended via email. Yes, I said email. I figured it wasn't even worth the face-to-face time and I'd just keep it moving. My philosophy was always on to the next.

Now that I'm older and wiser, I do a lot of dating, much more than pretty much everyone I know. I guess it's because I somehow skipped the step over the years, I just jumped from one relationship to another. I've come to realize that I'm just wasting my time trying to be with someone if it's isn't for the long haul. After 1-2 dates I usually know if I want things to go further or just walk away, why settle?

While there are times I'm like I sure wish I had a boyfriend again, I stay content in knowing that I'm not just settling for someone to keep me warm at night. Shoot I have an electric blanket for that.

Ms. Jay said...

This sounds like my friends. They always have to have a boyfriend . I asked them why cant they just be single for a while and get to know what you really want from a relationship . They told me that they feel pretty when they have a boyfriend. At that point I just shut up , because at this point I cant help you, you obviously have a self -esteem issue.

Now I am polite as possible with their new boyfriends , and I dont even offer up my opinion/ analysis until they tell me that they are single

blackprofessor said...

Dead at the L&O sound effect, hilarious! When I meet men who are never “single” or have never had some down time; that is a serious red flag. I think a little down time is necessary when coming out of a serious relationship or marriage and I learned this the hard way. I dated a guy to get over my first love and wasn’t really feeling him or a relationship but I figured why not. He wanted it so I thought it couldn’t be that bad. Wrong! I ended up breaking up with him and he still harbors ill will towards me to this day even though that was over a decade ago. I learned my lesson, never again.

I definitely think there needs to be some heat between two people but I have no idea how to transform that heat into a meaningful and sustained relationship. I once hired a guy for business purposes and we had so much heat between us, we were sizzling! At first I thought I was crazy but the chemistry between us was palpable. Nothing ever happened because he was in a relationship but his actions let me know that he felt the chemistry too! I had to stop dealing with him because I felt like I might become the other woman because the magnetism between us was that strong. That was my first taste of chemistry!

Jesse said...

I am a serial monogamist but not sure I saw it in a negative light until reading this. And know I have to question my relationship history. Thanks a lot Chele.

OSHH said...

By wanting the same things, and moving in the same direction etc, together.
So see even the chemistry by itself, or dare I say love by itself, enough to sustain a relationship but those things sure can be lasting and real motivators, to make a thing go right.

Grace said...

I'm too through with you and the Doink-Doink sound. Even more through that it totally needs to be added to the soundtrack of my dates. There should be a certain point when I whip out the phone, play this sound and bounce.

Deb B said...

I was told to focus on the basics : Kindness, security, respectfulness and the like because love could grow over time. Allow me to steal your phrase and CALL BULLSHIGGITY! This was the complete and total problem with my marriage. (now divorced)

Without the love, chemistry and heat you have very little incentive to work on all the other stuff. It's like putting up with a roommate that you don't like very much.

Not a serial monogamists settle for what's in front of them but those that do aren't doing anybody any good.

William Martin said...

So brother is confused. No hitting and quitting - okay. And now you're saying you don't want monogamy early and often? No shade, just trying to figure it out.

OneChele said...

Nobody wants their dating journey to be the equivalent of a wet blanket.
Well there you have it.

OneChele said...

Exactly!

OneChele said...

I think lukewarm is worse than ice cold. "So, how you feel about me?" "I'm lukewarm" -OUCH!

OneChele said...

The whole situation made me wonder if a lot of people just kinda meet someone, say "They'll do." and settle in. Key word being settle?

OneChele said...

Congrats on your perfect use of "shiggity"! LOL

You know I'm all about the regrouping.

OneChele said...

Now that you mention it, I do have a former girlfriend (now an acquaintance) who has to have a boyfriend/SO. To the detriment of all else. Her entire life revolves around that relationship to the exclusion of friends, child, family. She is ring chasing for real. And then when it doesn't work out (and it never does), she starts all over again.

OneChele said...

Ur uh - you ended a relationship via email?! You were totally done! ;-)

OneChele said...

I'm sorry - did you say THEY FEEL PRETTY when they have a boyfriend? *Paging Dr. Self Esteem - services needed STAT!*

OneChele said...

And that would be the hard part. Taking that sizzly chemistry and turning into a day-to-day sustainable relationship. Add in communication and commitment and you're well on the way.

OneChele said...

My bad?

Jubilance said...

I don't think that's what is being said. Monogamy on its face isn't a bad thing, whether it comes early or not. Monogamy simply because you can't be alone/single & thus will be monogamous with anyone in the name of being in a relationship is a problem.

OneChele said...

That would be awesome. Sit down at the table and announce "We have to talk" - DOINK -DOINK. Ha!

OneChele said...

Oh my - I have never heard of that outside of arranged marriages.

OneChele said...

Well first of all, thanks for asking for clarification! For those women looking for a commited relationship, they want that commitment because you are so into them that you want to keep them for you only. Not so much because you want someone (anyone) to call your own. What can I say - we want it all.

blackprofessor said...

I agree with Jubiliance! When you are always booed up, that screams that you don't want to be alone and must have someone with you. That isn't healthy! Yet, being in a monogamous relationship because you want to be with that person not because you feel like you have to looks and feels totally different.

JaymeC said...

Serial monogamy is actually one of the most common symptoms of relationship stress that I see as a counselor. In a lot of cases either one or the other party got into the relationship "just to be in one" or because they've never been single. When and if the relationship goes bad, that person starts being resentful that they are "stuck" in the situation.

I always suggest that people get comfortable with themselves alone and if possible, spend a little time meeting different types of people (not necessarily dating or sleeping with). Just so you can step into your next relationship with perspective.

William Martin said...

Thank you ladies - makes a bit more sense to me now.

CorettaJG said...

Serial monogamy to me is loads better than the alternative of just boucing around from one person to another and a lot healthier in my opinion. But I definitely think there needs to be some space between relationships to breathe, regroup, reflect. You shouldn't be in a relationship just to kill time while waiting on the right one. That's a recipe to miss out on the right one.

On the sparks thing, my couple of serious relationships have only been with people where there were showers of sparks (part of the reason I thought they were it) -- and even now there is still enough afterburn that we know to stay within our boundaries. But having that didn't lead to my happily ever after. I also had chemistry with one guy who I knew wasn't for me given that he was engaged. I know two people in arranged marriages and they are going strong. They met and got to know each other (or already knew each other) to ensure there was something there before they agreed to the match. I know people who started off as friends firmly in friend zone and things changed and developed into a passion. Given that loving someone is a choice in my opinion, I tend to think that a couple can make it work if they are committed even if they didn't start off with "chemistry" and even without fires starting every time they are together.

I want the snap, crackle, pop, but I can't trust it. And it means nothing to me without commitment. I want both.

Penny said...

Sorry, but I thinking ending a relationship by email is tacky and cruel. Hope this never happens to you.

rozb said...

I have been in the relationship that started out as a friendship, and we take it to the next level because we like each other. We get the jokes, we hang out effortlessly, and we understand each other's quirks and qualities - and then we are giving each other the boo-boo face because the chemistry and the desire wasn't really there and we just went through the mechanics. You cannot make sparks happen if there aren't compatible combustibles. You don't necessarily need to try to rip your clothes off all the time, but your S.O. shouldn't already feel like your favorite pair of sneakers or a Snuggie.

No matter how awesome the other person is, there still must be that need to have that person only for you. You waste your time and the other person's if you insist on being in a relationship as a placeholder to the next one.

Maybe you don't like who you are when you are alone - and that needs to be something that is worked on before leaping into another relationship.

Carey Jackson said...

I think someone below in the comments said it - the trick is to find something between a bed bounce and monogamy for monogamy's sake.

rozb said...

It should be an app on your phone that you set up on the table.

Rob said...

I think the unintended serial monogamist gets a bad wrap. Someone may have in mind what they are looking for and just keep missing the mark. I far rather embrace the person who gets the concept of monogamy than one who doesn't.

But beyond sizzling cocoa- let's hear it for synergy. For finding the person who gets you and even when they don't, they cosign and flow with you to make it work.

thinklikeRiley said...

Ya either the future Mrs Riley or ya not. I don't play with the in-between.

Pure Choco said...

I dated this guy. Well - not Casey specifically but his relationship twin. And I could not figure why he just didn't seem to be there. Cuz he wasn't in it for me. I did what Anne did, I started poking and prodding trying to get a response. I would be all riled up and he would be getting a good eight hours of sleep. Lesson learned. Must be all about me.

OneChele said...

Chemistry is tricky. It can fool you into thinking there is something special where really it might just be all sizzle, no steak.

OneChele said...

I keep telling people - No Country for Cuddle Cocoa. At least not in the beginning, it's got to more than "comfortable and nice"

OneChele said...

Is there anything worse than laying awake stewing next to someone who is blissfully snoring away unconcerned? Arrgh!

Mr. Skyywalker said...

I would hate to think that someone was with me just because I possess a Y-chromosome and a cocoa stirrer. That's got to feel mighty hollow after a while.

C Nelson said...

I have to say I'm reading the comments on this one with a lot of interest, because this has *always* mystified me. I'm a serial monogamist myself in that I've had more than one partner, but with significant breaks (sometimes years) in between! I tend to feel, coming out of a relationship, that the last thing in the world I want is another -- and I go until I meet someone who changes my mind, like flipping a switch.

On the other hand, I have a model-gorgeous relative who I swear hasn't gone three months without a man in her life since she left high school. ("The best way to get over a man is get on top of another one," seems to be her motto.) I Don't Get It, and sometimes I wonder if that's 'cause I'm wired wrong. I mean, unless I'm *really* into you, I'd just as soon read a book or knit, y'know? Less mental noise and only myself to clean up after! But if I'm not related to you and still I'm with you instead of spending the evening my way, at least you know I really wanted to be with you, specifically.

Paul on Ice said...

Cuddle Cocoa? I'm going to need a glossary of BnB terms.

Paul on Ice said...

I once asked a woman why she was with me. She shrugged and said, "You were in the right place at the right time" - talk about OUCH!

rozb said...

A serial monogamy relationship? It would be like eating food only because it is good for you. No outside seasonings, no big presentations, just bland, boring, good-for-you food. It doesn't make your eyes roll to the back of your head, it doesn't make you wanna slap your mama, and it isn't something you can't wait to get home to eat. It is just sustenance, plain and simple. It would be Soylent Green. Three times a day.

Now a real relationship? Of course, there is stuff you need with vitamins and minerals and stuff, but there is spice and seasonings, zest, tongue-zingy good tastiness. And to top it all off, there is dessert that makes you have to unbutton the top button on the pants, or better yet, wear stretchy pants because you cannot get enough of it. And you can't wait to have it every day. Still good for you, but also sooooo good to you.

I'm hungry.

MCYBW said...

May I suggest a post listing all the things that there are no country for if one is to be both Black and Bougie (please don't forget to put Usher themed weddings on that list)

MCYBW said...

If they know what they want but keep missing the mark, perhaps they need to readjust their scope and take better aim.

The point here is not that monogamy in itself is bad, but that there's a problem when the person in question is using the guise of monogamy to cover something much deeper such as not knowing what they want, not liking who they are, or simply being unable to tolerate sitting alone on the sofa. As far as synergy... I don't think it's safe to trust a person who doesn't get/agree with what you're saying, but agrees to and goes along with it just to keep the other party satisfied. Sounds very much like someone who can't hold their own, and there's nothing sexy about spinelessness.

SingLikeSassy said...

For a bit there in my 20s, I drifted from relationship to relationship with a bunch of wrong, nevershouldadones, then when I turned 30 I met a guy I was in a long nevershouldahad relationship with and after that ended I decided I need to take a minute and sort out what in the hell was going on with me and men. I was single not dating for a year then just casually dating for a year, then I met my husband. I think people should take a break between relationships just to sort themselves out.

CaliGirlED said...

Dayum!!! Please tell me you exited stage left!

CaliGirlED said...

When you settle for less, you get even less than you settled for.

CaliGirlED said...

This childhood game just came to mind, but with a twist. "Ring around the rosies....we all fall down". When you keep going round and round, you eventually get dizzy and fall.

Foxy Brown said...

*taps the mic* my name is foxy brown and i am a serial monogamist.

i hate being alone and i would put up with some level of shiggity for the security of (or my perception thereof) a relationship. i don't put up with any and everything. one person i was dating neglected to tell me about the 3 children they had (wddda?) and i was done. BUT, i was in a 4.5 year relationship where the cocoa stopped brewing about 6 months in.

i won't be in a relationship to not be alone. i'm okay enough with myself to keep myself company and entertained. the quality of my being is not directly tied to my relationship status. i take time to regroup and figure out what worked, what didn't, and how i am a better person/girlfriend because of the relationship.

when i am single, i will play the field a bit. yet, when i find someone i think i click with, i'm ready to settle in. i like you. you like me. let's go ahead and make it do what it do.

CaliGirlED said...

Could have used that yesterday. *whips ownself's ass and says, "Didn't I tell you to sit in the corner? You're on time out!!!"

Sarah said...

The word that popped into my head after reading this early this morning was 'the cowardly lion.' I suppose because being with somebody you don't really care about and rigging the situation so that they break up with you are both cowardly. Being with somebody you don't care about is a way of trying to insulate yourself from hurt as well as using the other person. Some people are afraid to take the plunge where they might be so crazy about somebody that it would interrupt and rearrange their life. And rigging things so the other person breaks up with you? I think you should invent a word for that. I've been on the other side of that particular nonsense twice and it has to be in the top 25 pet peeves or maybe even top 10.

I haven't stayed in a relationship just be in one. I'm an either 100% or zero person. It is an instinct. I can't necessarily explain why the balance gets tipped one way or another. I have to take a break in between.

C Nelson said...

Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen a man admit to asking that question -- if it's not a heated retort in an ongoing argument, then it's really the kind of insecure, no-self-confidence, please-reassure-me thing that too often comes out of a woman's mouth only to be greeted by a blank stare from the guy. (I also think if you've come to the point where one of you needs to ask that, things have already deteriorated to the point where leaving should probably be at the top of your option list...)

CaliGirlED said...

I once reacted to chemistry that was so strong, people around us swore that we were messing around, but we were just friends. Mainly, he couldn't convince the guys who swore on their life that he was "hittin that"! We finally decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it (discretely). And boy was it electrifying! (I shudder just typing about it)! It lasted for about 5 months and when feelings started to work their way in, we decided to stop because we knew and agreed from the onset that a relationship was not in the plan. IMO, you can react to chemistry, but you should determine whether or not it's just that, and keep communication open. (But this is not full proof, it can back fire on you).

LikeLena said...

You were smart enough to put the time in between.

CaliGirlED said...

Nothing worse! Double Arrgh! LOL

CaliGirlED said...

I think I know your "model-gorgeous relative"!

CaliGirlED said...

Now that's the Rozb comment I was wanting to read! No shade on the first one cause you spoke the truth. But I was like, "Is that it?" LOL

I love the food analogy! And that sums it up. Don't just give me a pot of boiled greens! Throw in some smoked turkey, hot peppers and other spices to give them some flavor!!!

Steve said...

I was Casey in my teens and twenties. Then I decided to chill. When the right one comes along, at this point, I'll know and lock it in.

blackprofessor said...

Dang, that should be on a t-shirt!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Chele I swear I have learned so much in BougieLand. And also gained some introspection...I thought serial monogamy was only being in committed relationships. Now I understand that it is having a string of committed relationships, with minimal to no breaks, for the sake of not being alone.

Thankfully, I am not a serial monogamist, although I have stayed in a few relationships out of complacency and not wanting to get out there again. But I've always had breaks, and haven't really been in too many committed relationships. It usually takes me a few months of dating before I am willing to go all in. The problem is once I go all in, I'm "like a tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved"!

I don't believe you can warm up if there was no fire to begin with. The fire can get hotter, or sometimes friends can realize that there's fire that they never knew was there. But you can't get warm from cold. It's.just.not.possible.

Steve said...

I must say you consistently put together very well thought out comments with just enough personal touch.

SingLikeSassy said...

They told me that they feel pretty when they have a boyfriend. <--what?! Sigh.

rochee said...

This post reminds me of a friend of mine who isn't a serial monogamist, but she is a serial "faux relationshipist". She consistently dates men in a way that is "not-so-casual" when she doesn't really like them. She has no strong or compelling feelings for these men, but she just dates men for validation and entertainment. All of these men get frustrated with her because they can usually tell that she is playing games, but she just doesn't get that she is playing with people's emotions. I truly believe that she tries to convince herself that she "likes" these men so that she can justify her tomfoolery. How are you going to say that you like a man and return his phone calls with a text? Or respond to his phone calls or texts the next day when you aren't doing a gosh darn thing. She never initiates seeing these men...they always have to invite her to do everything. She was dating this guy for a little over two weeks and he invited her to his house and she said she needed to do her hair (on a Firday night!). They hadn't seen each other since that Monday. She then turns to me and asks me to come over to her house and hang out. WDDA?
And yet she would insist that she liked this man and every other man she dated and acted this way with. Be serious. You either like someone or you don't. You feel it or you don't.

Joy Andrews said...

That WOULD be helpful. Insecure Scrabble players too!

DesertBlack said...

New to this blog ... been following for the last week or so. LOVE IT! I have just one thing to say at this point. Rozb did not just take us to "Soylent Green" whew ... that would not be tasty at all. Sometimes it is better to quit it that to hit it!

Joy Andrews said...

LOL - Do you know Dr. Self Esteem cuz he/she should tour nationwide.

michaeldavis said...

I just had to cut off a woman that acted just like this. Stunning, smart, lawyer, had some good qualities, was passive-aggressively (sic) into me. The whole act just got old.

CaliGirlED said...

Oh and how could I forget about the "doink doink"?!! Loved it!...Why am I mad that they didn't put it in on Law & Order Los Angeles! Seriously??? My daughter would stop crawling/walking and look up at the TV everytime she heard that sound.

michaeldavis said...

The difference between eating Hospital Food and Big Momma's house.

michaeldavis said...

they're is an app for this; I have it.

C Nelson said...

Lord, I hope not! I know the world's small and all, but that kind of family drama, I try to stay clear of. ;)

OneChele said...

LOL ! Welcome...

C Nelson said...

I dunno that I think of it as "putting in time". More like I'm pretty asexual and happy with my own company as a default state and only every now and again do I meet someone who flips the switch to "On", if that makes sense! The rest of the time I'm just not interested.

Joy Andrews said...

And hello, my name is Joy. I'm a serial first dater. And whether it's me or dude who decides date two isn't gonna happen is about 50/50. So right now, I'm with you Chele - man break. Clearly I need to fall back and review before jumping back in.

rozb said...

I needed my coffee to kick in.

datdudeincali said...

Points for "Faux Relationshipist"

God Men and Money said...

Great post...would it be shady if I sent it to my serial monog friends? LOL... There is a lot to be lost when a person doesn't spend any time alone/in between dating.

I'm always telling my friends there are mad similarities between a serial monog and a commitment phobe. They are on two ends of the relationship spectrum--but some of the same issues.

CaliGirlED said...

And we'll leave it at that. Don't even want to know if we're talking about the same person! LOL

MariSol said...

Um - sent the link to four friends. Now whether they chose to see themselves? *walks away whistling*

MariSol said...

Been there, done that. Bought the electric blanket.

MariSol said...

Is it bad that I'm beginning to really understand "Riley-speak"?

MariSol said...

Yeah that's an unfortunate answer - to say the least. I assume you asked because you were ready to hear that and be out.

MeetCharlieL said...

Hmm, gives me pause for reflection. Excellent post.

Ms. Jay said...

How much does Dr Jayme charge ? they have all kinds of issues

Jasmin said...

I actually thought of something completely different when I read the title of this post, because I first read the term "serial monogamy" in an article that was trying to explain why so many women my age (early-20s) are contracting STDs. The theory was that these women would only sleep with one partner at a time, but they wouldn't get tested/would quickly stop using protection and get infected, then pass it to the next partner. The idea was that they weren't promiscuous, per se, just too trusting/naive.

Anyway, I have a friend who's a serial monogamist, except she's been stuck with this one scrub for almost 5 years (like I said, I'm in my early-20s and she's younger than me--no bueno). What's stupid is that she claims to want better and will always talk about such-and-such dude trying to talk to her, but then she gets mad when it doesn't work out and I say that a guy talking to a girl who's already taken probably isn't looking to be her new boyfriend. I've yet to see these attempts to have the cake and eat it too work out. *shrug*

Lynnette M. Evans said...

Excellent post! Really made me consider my own dating habits. I'm in my mid-twenties and I am quite similar to "Casey." I wonder if being a "serial monogamist" is a part of being in your 20's. I haven't read the comments yet, but does anyone agree, disagree, indifferent?

CaliGirlED said...

Girl on bill boards, the sides of buses, somewhere! Can't remember where I got that from.

CaliGirlED said...

I think it has more to do with individuals and their experiences. People who are serial monogamists in their 20's and/or 30's, with no success (marriage), may be more open minded in their 30's or 40's. The same can be said of the reverse. And some people just stick to one or the other, always wondering why it's not working for them.

Veronica Miller said...

This, I don't get. Either I really like being around you -- or I don't. And if I don't, I just can't fake the funk. You know that feeling: When you're hanging out with someone, and suddenly their laugh, the way they chew, or their pronunciation of the word "supposedly" ("supposably"? Sir, no.) grates your nerves. I can't feign interest just to have a body around.

I have been "casually involved" (I think that's the word I saw the other day) with people I've liked but knew I couldn't have for-real relationships with. Don't know if that's better or worse. Either way, that's starting to get boring too. So now I've stolen my dating mantra from some obscure hip-hop dance movie: "Go hard or go home."

Veronica Miller said...

o_O

GammasWorld said...

Another great post. Gamma was a serial monogamist in my younger years but I still had to have the giddy-OMG-it's-him feeling. Props to the L&O sound bite.

J. Jackson said...

*sigh*

Sarah said...

Thank you. Nice of you to say. After writing it, I thought my comment today sounded perhaps a bit too cranky, but then the sort of behavior in the story drives me up the wall.

YardieChicie said...

It's not a real L&O without the 'doink doink' and the theme music (original, remixed, or hinted), in my opinion.

YardieChicie said...

I now have a mental image of your friends holding up their boyfriends while singing, "I feel pretty, oh so pretty".

Thanks.

GrownAzzMan said...

Does she have a email address? LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

*fist bump* on the Soylent Green reference...

GrownAzzMan said...

That is just one of the many reasons why L&O LA seems a little off to me. I am cool with all the local flavor and places and I would probably like it fine if they had called it something else. It just isn't L&O for some reason.

Anonymous said...

I think that you have to have some type of spark or connection with someone to be with them or have any kind of relationship with them. If it's not there then move on.

Monica said...

On the bright side, we know ole boy isn't afraid of commitment. But seriously, they don't really talk on the phone?! That's a huge part of the fun of relationship newness. Hearing his voice drop a few octaves at the sound of your voice, long conversations when its late and you know you gotta go to work in the morning. Sigh...

Something in the milk ain't clean.

Sadly, some people are afraid to be by themselves even for a little while. The period of single hood can be a great time for growth if you work it right. Life is too short to be dating some one who doesn't light your fire for at least a little while. This break up shouldn't suck too bad. He really isn't that invested emotionally.

Of the Avian Variety said...

This situation is no bueno...for too many reasons. First, if Casey, for months had serious reservations about his relationship with Anne she probably was picking up vibes that something wasn't right, which can explain the passive-aggressive communication. Isn't getting someone to break up with you evenalso passive aggressive? not to mention manipulative and deceptive. Casey is extremely immature....and weak. Did he ever explain why there weren't any phone conversations? Typically it's the man that initiates so he must have established the no call rule early on...shady. Anne was stupid to agree to that one, but then I hear that's how the kids communicate these days so who knows...

As for this "platonic friendship" with "heat and passion"....something in the milk ain't clean. Since Casey seems to want everyone (including you) to view him as Mr. Nice Guy I'm sure he's left out some key details. Not just with the hot, platonic friendship, but with his relationship with Anne. There had to be SOMETHING that initially attracted him to Anne, some sizzle somewhere. He lives in Washington, DC. An up and coming Barack has more than his choice of women so something had to have stood out. There are a lot of "nice" women. Maybe he was attracted to her physically, perhaps thought she made an excellent arm piece to show off to his friends? After all, DC is about image, right?

As for Anne....she probably knew something wasn't right much earlier. This just shows how desperate some women can be, thinking they can make a man want them, love them. Then again, I'm sure Mr. Nice Guy also probably was doing a lot to make her feel that she was somehow special. Flowers and gifts on the regular? Telling her how good he made her feel? He's probably still trying to keep in touch with her just to make sure they're "cool." Casey seems desperate to be liked and I'm sure he wouldn't want anyone running around pissed at him.

Of the Avian Variety said...

Excuse all the typos...yall know what I meant. "how good she made him feel", etc. LOL

OneChele said...

This is a defense mechanism. Not to advertise but the heroine of my next book, Sweet Little Lies, is like this. She game plays and keeps men at arm's length so that she can reject them before they reject her. People like this need a big dose of Grow the Eff Up.

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