Toxic monogamy trait number one: love conquers all. This one’s pretty innocent most of the time, but when taken too far, it’s not great. It is a good thing to be committed to a relationship to a level where you’re willing to work through difficult times and make compromises. I’m not saying you should just give up immediately when relationship issues present themselves. What I am saying is that love alone cannot overcome irreconcilable differences. And if you continue a relationship with that mindset, it can cause a lot of friction and resentment. For example, if one person in a monogamous relationship is certain that they want children and the other doesn’t at all, no amount of love will overcome this huge difference and keep both people happy. All too often, people get into monogamous relationships knowing full well that there are significant and impactful differences between them and their partner, but they think, oh, we love each other so much they’ll change their mind. Or worse, I can fix them. Yikes. Partners are not the same person. There are always differences, and they can be beautiful. But love is not a brute force solution to important practical differences in wants and needs.
Toxic monogamy trait number two: bashing non-monogamy for no reason. This one wasn’t originally going to be a part of this list, but as I was writing the script, a very conveniently timed article about open relationships came across my newsfeed. The comments were an absolute dumpster fire. So many monogamous people talking so much trash on something they clearly didn’t understand. If your partner wants an open relationship, just break up. Whatever happened to loyalty? These people are just sad. Like, just why? What’s the point? People exploring non monogamy have no effect on these commenters. People are just doing what makes them happy. Why go out of your way to spread such pointless negativity? Don’t get me wrong. Toxic polyamory is absolutely a thing and should be talked about maybe in a future video. But almost no monogamist who leaves negative comments on non monogamy content is trying to start that conversation. They’re just taking cheap shots, and it’s pathetic. Monogamous and non-monogamous alike. Can we just agree to not be hateful toward each other for our choice and relationship structures? Yeah. Cool. Great.
Treating love as a zero-sum game
Toxic monogamy trait number three: treating Love as a zero-sum Game a zero-sum game is a scenario in which someone gaining something inherently means that someone else loses an equivalent of that same thing. That’s just not how feelings work. Sure, time and attention are limited resources, but love is not. Having feelings towards others, romantic or otherwise, does not take those feelings away from someone else. A question I get all the time as a polyamorous person is what if your partner finds someone that they love more than you? It’s not a bad question, but I do think it’s kind of off. Love isn’t a currency. It’s not something you can physically measure. My partners don’t have to take love away from me to give it to someone else. When you think of love as a zero-sum game, it can make you very protective and often controlling of your partner’s feelings towards others. Sometimes people take it way too far and get jealous of how much partners love their own family. Love is not a zero-sum game, and nobody should have to compete for it.
Extreme and absurd proclamations of love
Toxic monogamy trait number four: extreme and absurd proclamations of love. Remember that super popular Bruno Mars song Grenade? Here’s a refresher of the chorus I’d catch a grenade for you, throw my hand on the blade for you. I’d jump in front of a train for you, you know I’d do anything for you, I would go through all this pain, take a bullet straight through my brain yes, I would die for you, baby, but you won’t do the same. I get it. You love your partner so much that you’ll do anything for them. That’s good. But in my opinion, making extravagant promises that you know you’ll never have to actually fulfill is ultimately meaningless. It’s far more important to pledge practical things, but that’s also more difficult because it’s something you actually have to do. Sadly, it’s fairly common for people to promise outlandish things as a substitute for doing the real work involved in a relationship. You’re willing to literally die for me but not provide basic emotional support? Sounds sketchy to me. And worse, as the song says, people make very real relationship decisions based on whether their partner reciprocates these absurd promises. Expecting your partner to cause massive harm to themselves for you is multiple layers of problematic. This list may make you think, Jeez, does this guy just hate expressions of love? Not at all. I love. I just think we can do a lot better with how we express it. We can love people without isolating them from others, completely controlling their lives, or putting way too much responsibility on their shoulders. And again, the point of discussing toxic monogamy is not to just bash monogamy as a whole. Monogamous are hurt more by toxic monogamy than anyone else.
The point of this conversation is to figure out how we can make relationship culture better, regardless of the relationship structure. If you enjoyed this article, there is a lot more to come. So if that sounds good to you, share the article in your social networks. I’m only polyamorous for the leftovers hoodie. Thank you so much for reading. Until next time. Peace.