How do people ensure that open relationships work?

Monogamy: ideal or just a pious wish?

If you look at how many people have cheated on their relationships before, the justified question arises: Is the model of loyal, exclusive, monogamous love that is common with us perhaps not the right one? Wouldn't it be better then to reconsider and optimize the model of monogamy?

Monogamy is not the ideal relationship everywhere

The idea behind monogamy is that we team up with exactly one partner in life. And that should then satisfy all of our spiritual, social and physical needs.

Monogamous relationships are still the most common form of partnership in our western world. (But: This is not the case in all countries of the world. There are also a number of societies in which polygamy is lived or accepted.) Ultimately, however, what most of the people here in Germany practice is more of a serial monogamy.

Very few stay together with the same partner for life. We have exclusive partnerships, but several in the course of our lives. "Until death do you part" we promise each other, but when every second marriage ends in divorce, that's a rather sad success rate for monogamous relationships.

Also read: Critical phase: after so many years, most people cheat

Monogamy: the exclusivity of togetherness

Not all monogamous relationships are created equal. Some see the exclusive relationship model much more closely than others. There are those couples who do not allow each other to go out with people of the opposite sex, to go out to dinner or to meet for two without a jealous discussion taking place.

However, these couples also clearly admit that they are completely sufficient for each other and that nothing is missing from them. But is that really the case? Are you really filled with the fact that you form a sacred circle of togetherness, to which no one has access, but from which you are not allowed to leave yourself? It would be very nice if it worked that way for these people. Honestly. Unfortunately, the reality is different.

In the video: forever and ever? Our expert on the subject of loyalty in a video talk

Video by Diane Buckstegge

Also read: Not just "a phase": what it really means to be bisexual

Sometimes questioning forms of relationships

Some time ago it was almost blasphemous to express these doubts about the monogamy model. Fortunately not now. And that is also extremely important. Because if we question forms of relationships from time to time, we make sure that they make sense.

And nobody says that if we take a critical look at the monogamous relationship, we must ultimately come to the conclusion that it does not work. Rather, we can take a critical look to ensure that it - moderately changed - can function today. And it's very fulfilling.

Also read: More than two: that's behind the term polygamy

Polyamory, polygamy, open relationships: tolerance of those who think differently

I always think that when it comes to feelings, one should have tolerance for those who think differently. Otherwise you can save yourself every conversation. It is not uncommon to talk about couples who are in an open relationship, who have cheated on each other but have forgiven each other, or who are polygamous. And then there is actually always someone in the room who says: "Well THAT is absolutely not for me. That is not love!" And something like that is just narrow-minded and not very tolerant.

Perhaps some people need confirmation from others or feel the need to live out their sexuality in this way. Perhaps they feel the need to have contact with others in order to then notice all the more clearly that the partnership is the real haven to which one always returns. And one shouldn't be too quick to judge such thoughts.

Also read: Polyamory: Can you love several people at the same time?

Monogamy: Rarely rare in the animal world

It is also evident in the animal world that only very few animals are strictly monogamous (whereas in the bird world it is a full 90%). Here, however, monogamous also includes the fact that both partners father and raise the offspring together. But nothing more than that and in the next spring the next female or male beckons.

Nevertheless, going through it in pairs has proven to be very good for people and should not be doubted. We are not made to go through life in a socially isolated manner and we seek closeness to others. The idea of ​​loyalty (also strengthened by the church) has also ensured that both partners are cared for and children are covered. Not to mention the romantic idea of ​​being loyal to one another forever.

And that is how it is for most of the people today: The majority of Germans expressly wish to be faithful in their partnership and thus a monogamous relationship. A survey by shows that 88 percent of women and 72 percent of men want to be faithful in relationships. So monogamy and loyalty are still absolutely not out.

Also read: Secret affair: why so many cheat and who is REALLY the victim in the end

Loyalty should be voluntary - even in monogamous relationships

The monogamy model has nevertheless come under pressure due to the many opportunities to get to know other people, the social security of women who are no longer dependent on a man and a number of other factors. And has had competition with polyamory, Mingle constructs and open relationship models.

And the polyamorous idea is actually very nice, namely the question: Don't I have to make it possible for someone I love to do what makes them happy? Can I deny him things?

Perhaps modern monogamy can take inspiration from this thought. Living Mongam can also mean that we live in a close relationship as a couple, but not necessarily that we are completely loyal. Loyalty is, so to speak, the voluntary cherry on the cake of the relationship. The special thing that we vow to each other if we both want that. But only if it is easy for both to keep this loyalty.

I have a person with whom I go through life, but I allow him and he me to look to the right and left. Ultimately, nothing changes in the solid community, provided that both parties agree on this point.

If both do not agree on this, infidelity is always linked to secrecy and lies. In that case, you betray your partner because the affair was not discussed. And then it's just not ok.

And: Affair does not always have to mean sex with third parties. This can also be a flirtation, a deep conversation or physical closeness, just something that we would miss in the relationship despite all the love.

Video: What is the Mingle relationship?

Video by Aischa Butt

Also read: Separate apartments: Does "Living apart together" really make you happier?

Do I overwhelm my partner with my monogamous demands?

Of course, you always have to ask yourself why when so many people break out and become unfaithful. After all, according to a study by ElitePartner, 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women in Germany have cheated on them. Why? Do we give up too much when we live monogamous?

If one of the two is unhappy and does not solve the problem with his partner, but seeks the solution outside of the relationship, then at that moment the relationship also has a bad problem. Has the idea of ​​exclusivity failed here?

Jealousy is also a bad feeling and always has the negative aftertaste of possessiveness. You also have to ask yourself: If my partner has to be there for all my whims, desires and wishes, don't I overwhelm him with such comprehensive requirements? What does he have to be able to do? That borders on the egg-laying woolly milk pig.

And doesn't that ultimately lead to dissatisfaction, which gradually negatively affects the relationship? Perhaps then I project my own dissatisfaction onto my partner and I may already be susceptible to external stimuli.

The fact is: love works best when we want to give love and don't expect anything in return. With strict monogamy, however, we expect a hell of a lot from the person by our side.

Scarlett Johansson once said in an interview: "I don't think it's natural to be monogamous. [...] I think it definitely goes against our instincts. The fact that it is hard work for many people proves it." that it is not a natural thing. "

More on this: Open relationship: total trust or just a license to cheat?

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Ultimately, loyalty is something wonderful. But only if I am faithful of my own free will, because I don't want anyone else by my side, and not because it is a requirement.

It is voluntariness that makes exclusive love so beautiful. However, if this happens reluctantly, then monogamy is simply not the right form of relationship. At least not one that will make you happy in the long term. Everyone ticks individually and cannot act contrary to their feelings. And the monogamy model is certainly not suitable for everyone. And you have to tolerate that.