By Kai Teo
Adam and Eve. Shiva and Parvati. Beauty and the Beast. Romeo and Juliet. The Butterfly Lovers in Chinese folklore. Yin and yang. You get the idea.
Throughout history, and throughout our lives, the idea of monogamy has been taken as a decree. One man, one woman. Or in more recent times, with homophobia becoming less of a phobia, two men, two women, or two transgendered beings, in any mix possible.
The magic number though, has always been 2. Till death do us part, or sometimes, even death can’t tear us apart.
Indeed, there’s something romantic about the idea of having a soul mate – the one person who is both your pillar and your punching bag, the one you can cry and laugh with, or about, and the one that will stand by you no matter what.
In Greek mythology, it is said that some humans were born with two combined bodies: 4 arms, 4 eyes, penis and pussy (lends a whole new meaning to the phrase “Go fuck yourself”). These beings became so powerful that the gods were afraid that we might try to take their places in the heavenly palaces, so they split us into 2, forever condemned to find our other half. And when you finally do, you become, once again, divine.
Growing up, I never questioned the notion of monogamy. It’s just what it is. Like Mom and Dad.
Right from the day I was born, there was already a well-trodden path laid out for me, tested and ‘proven’ by the millions who thought they’ve figured out how life should be lived. Go to school, lose your virginity (the age at which this happens varies from person to person, with some people keeping this worthless status for life, voluntarily or not) graduate from university, get a well-paying job, get a partner, get married, have kids, feel miserable, buy a convertible, get grandkids who make too much noise, then die of cancer. Occasionally, squeeze in a trip or two to Thailand or Indonesia at any point in your life. Alcohol is ok, but no drugs. Drugs are bad.
It isn’t particularly exciting. But it’s the way people have been doing it, and we should just go along with it. And it’s safe. If you’ve got a problem, there’re millions of life coaches willing to help you find a more fulfilling life, in exchange for cash that will help pay for their convertible.
Magazines, internet forums, movies, TV shows, and everything, tell you that if you don’t find a partner, you will end up lonely, saggy, grumpy, and you will die alone in your armchair, shrivelled like a prune, with your 2 cats eating away at your decaying corpse because the last can of Friskies Seafood Feast has expired.
Everyone wants someone to come to their funerals. And that’s why we’ve all bought into this lifetime search for “The One”.
When you’re turning 30, you find that you get invited to fewer and fewer birthday parties, but more and more weddings. Facebook pictures of your friends flashing a boob during a drunken binge have been replaced by photos of screaming babies in hospital wards, looking like naked mole rats, all ready to repeat the cycle of life that we’re all so familiar with. Except this time, they’re armed with iPads, iPhones and the iLife.
Sometimes, I ‘like’ a friend’s wedding picture not because I embrace the idea of a onegina or onenis. I do it because I like that it’s not me. Many of my friends are fucking smart, but not many of them question the notion of monogamy and marriage. And the most atrocious insult to their intelligence is the big diamond ring.
“Oh! Look at the fucking huge piece of carbon that has been farmed by slaves, bought by my fiancée with a year’s salary, and now put on my finger to show that he/she loves me.”
Now that is how low our love has sunk, ladies and gentlemen. The bigger the rock, the bigger the hearts. How sweet.
But why monogamy? Why love only one person? Why let fairy tales box us in? Yes, I am totally in favour of children growing up in a safe and secure family with both parents always present in their lives. But who said that our children, the generation of the future, can’t be open to the idea of having a few caretakers, as long as there is a clear idea of who their biological dad and mom are?
And to everyone who’s intent that a single sex partner, and life partner, is a better way of doing things, good for you.
Like everything else, if it’s a carefully thought-out personal choice, it’s a good choice, even the choice to get married with a life-sized replica of Barney. But really? You’ve given the whole diamond ring thing a good thought? De Beers gave it a good thought, not you.
Across the existence of human beings, we’ve been told loads of things are good for us. We once believed that the earth was flat, we thought that kissing made people pregnant, we even believe that virgins could give birth. We questioned these notions, and many of us today would agree that these ideas are ridiculous.
In recent years, we found out that Communism couldn’t work in real life, Capitalism is doing more harm than good, Marijuana could actually cure cancer, and drinking cow’s milk actually doesn’t give us strong bones. Things we used to believe have been shaken on their foundations and flipped over 180°, and we’re slowly opening up to more progressive, sustainable ideas of life.
The same goes for monogamy. It’s something that we’ve never really questioned. And it’s about time we do.
I’m not saying that polygamy is the way forward for the next stage of human evolution. I’m just saying that monogamy is not the only way, and it’s definitely not the only right way.
When we get into a monogamous, committed relationship with that special someone. We close our world up to any possibilities of meeting another amazing person, loving another person, and being inspired by another person, romantically. And when we do, this relationship has to end. We all know that one friend that changes boyfriends once every three months, each time utterly convinced that this one is The one.
It’s like we have decided that this one person is our only soul mate. And that no one else would ever be able to make us feel as great, turn us on, or give us emotionally support.
Whoever said that you can’t be in love with two, or more people at the same time? Love is the only thing in this world that grows, not decreases, when you share it.
Oh right, jealousy.
Jealousy is a by-product of our own insecurity, it’s a result of us thinking that there’s some sort of ownership involved in the relationship. “This is my woman, you no touch my woman. I kill you,” said so many men over the centuries, resulting in wars, fights, and murders. Same goes for other genders.
We think that if our partners fall in love with someone else, they will leave us, and eventually, lead to our slow, painful and lonely deaths. That’s only true if you’re in a monogamous relationship, where love is not just defined by how much you love the person, but it is also a weird promise of mutual ownership.
You see, if you believe that your partner would leave you for another person if you kinda open up the relationship to possibilities, then your relationship isn’t that strong after all, isn’t it?
It seems like we’re more in love with the idea of being in a relationship, than the person we love.
Because love is not about ownership. It’s not about “Why did you fuck another girl”. It’s about embracing everything that the person is, and fully loving him or her. If your partner finds someone else, it shouldn’t change anything. We don’t find people that we are romantically attracted to that easily, so that’s something worth celebrating.
Your relationship is built on your own terms, and what you two share between each other. And because you are two unique people, no one else would be able to ever replace you in your partner’s life. So don’t worry.
With polygamy, many factors that can break up a conventional relationship stop becoming a threat to your relationship. Such as the appearance of a third party, or a careless night of drunken after-party sex with a stranger
Of course we get turned on by other people, it’s just that we keep denying ourselves of a chance to actually indulge in the physical embrace and well, bodily fluids, of theirs. One slip up, and it can ruin your marriage.
But when your love with your partner is not one that involves this stupid ownership idea, you looking at someone else’s ass, kissing another person, or having a threesome with two hot firemen, stops becoming an issue in the relationship. Even falling in love with someone else doesn’t change how much you love your partner, because you don’t have to deal with the “It’s either me or him” situation.
And then your relationship becomes truly divine, and almost indestructible (unless your partner starts developing an unhealthy, unsavoury relationship with your cat).
When you two start becoming comfortable with this idea, it might even be time to bring in a third person in the relationship (provided if the sexual attraction works out). Triple threat, and threesomes for everyone, everyday!
Let’s hope that all of us give a long and hard thought about what we think of romantic relationships after reading this article. And if you’re not convinced that polygamy is a possible route you can consider, just remember that right at this moment, someone, somewhere, is cheating on his or her "committed" partner.