Originally Posted by djokovicgonzalez
I'm not personally a fan of the idea of monogamy, but I do like the idea of holding romantic feelings for someone, even if not the lone sexual partner. And exclusive relationships aren't disgusting, it's just a personal choice.
Exactly this. My wife and I have a pretty unique relationship. We know we find other people attractive so we both pursue meeting other people here and there (sometimes together
), however, we always come back home and we know that the true emotional and long-term relationship is between us. People who claim they really only have eyes for their spouse is IMO living in a forest where no one else is around or is lying. Everyone here and there has caught themselves thinking of a different person's attractions. The only difference is that many keep it to themselves and nothing happens while my wife and I will openly share those feelings.
Such a relationship is DEFINITELY not for everyone. A couple we knew tried the exact same thing and they quickly ran into marital problems. The guy met a few girls, then fell for a particular girl, started ignoring his wife and spent more time with this new girl than he did with his wife. Their relationship quickly spiraled down...luckily they had no kids to be in the mess. Typically such a relationship is much more difficult for a man as women normally end up with a different man because of a lack of emotional tie with their significant other whereas men are more much sexually based. So if the man can keep his wife emotionally happy, generally women don't see the need to get tangled up with someone else. Of course these are heavy generalizations. For us, I'm not exactly sure why we have been able to have such a life without any marital problems. I mean we first consider each other as our best friend rather than spouse and having a child together certainly has added a extra layer of long term commitment.
Anyways, my 2 cents. I'm sure plenty won't agree but hey that's OK, the world needs variance in everything.
One note I will leave on, is that many relationships fail merely because society has created a false blueprint on many of these things such as marriage which people should not follow. It is like raising children, there is typically no book to use as a guide yet many people follow some type of script created for relationships. I'm not saying that a "typical" relationship is completely wrong, because for many couples the stereotypical relationship works and keeps them happy. But as social creatures, our needs differ considerably so the only real rule in a relationship is communication. It sounds so cliche as I'm sure anyone who has gone through a rough patch with their spouse has certainly cited a lack of "communication" as being the main issue. As long as you and your relationship know where you stand all the time (because again, our likes and dislikes will change over time) there will never be confusion which hurts the other person.
From a strictly zoological point of view, the idea that long-term relationships between man and woman is totally unnatural is very uninformed. Some sort of 'marriage' didn't just spring up in all human cultures out of the blue, you know. That would be extremely unlikely. If long-term monogamous relationships were truly "totally unnatural", they would never have developed.
Purely anthropological evidence for that is quite compelling:
- Human offspring are, by a very long shot, the most defenceless and slowly maturing offspring of any species. To have even a fair chance of surviving alone in the wild, a child would need to be about 7 before he leaves his mother, and even then, 7 years is probably too short for a child to learn but the mere basics of the knowledge needed in a hunter-gatherer society. Seven years is a huge time span for a species that probably lived barely up to 30 in the wild.
- Human females are, also by a very long shot, the most handicapped of all mammalian females during mid- to late pregnancy. That is because we walk upright, with the baby pressuring against the perineal opening, in sharp contrast to all other mammals. A mare or a bitch can run for it almost till parturition; a 7-month pregnant woman is in no shape to scurry up a tree or into a hole at a moments notice to avoid a predator. So she -and the survival of the species- needs prolonged support.
- Humans and bonobos (a subtype of chimp) are the only mammals that have sex all year around; other species have mating seasons, breasts are only perceived when they are to be used (lingerie manufacturers would be out in the cold in the same was true for women). But even bonobos have oestrus: they may have sex games all year around, but the females are only fertile at short and specific dates (lucky they). Again in sharp contrast, women ovulate roughly every four weeks, rain or shine.
Add two and two together: species survival dependent on long periods of special protection for the pregnant female + child needing being taken care of for ages + the man who stays long term to perform the protection mentioned is sex driven all the time + the female is soon again fertile after suckling the child = another baby coming; repeat cycle = a third one on the way..... (and with an infant mortality rate probably over 70%, that was very much mandatory for assuring survival).
It would seem as if long term liaisons between individuals of different sexes is an ethological condition of our species, more than a mere custom appearing out of thin air. Of course, culture did come in afterwards to enshrine life-long commitments and call them matrimony, but it was building on realities on the ground.
The only unnatural thing is to imagine that culture itself doesn't have biological roots. And that applies too to long lasting monogamy, of one form or another.
We often forget we've had the pill for about 50 years, the rubber for about 120, the industrial revolution for about 200, a really competent agriculture for a few millenia, writing for less than 5,000, bows and arrows for about 10,000... but we've been surviving barefoot and armed with a stick and a chunk of stone for many hundreds of thousands of years before all that.
Your info has nothing to do with a monogamous relationship. It just merely points out that humans are social animals that require the consistent socializing of multiple humans in order to successfully breed on and create new generations. Nothing you listed points specifically as evidence to a long term monogomous relationship between one human male and one human female. In fact, people who practice polygamy could point out the exact reasons you listed as evidence that polygamy could have been a very primitive type of socializing between males and females.
I'm not saying your information is wrong or that monogamous relationships are unnatural, but certainly what you pointed out proves nothing in terms of what type of human bonding is most "natural."