Love is the greatest and most misunderstood emotion that we experience. It's hard to define what it is, but we know it when we feel it. For most of us when we think of love, we equate it with monogamy.
The idea of marriage in our culture shows that we believe in this idea that monogamy will last for the rest of our lives with the same person.
The divorce rate at 40%-50% of marriages, however, seems to state otherwise.
According to marriage expert Hellen Chen, 85% of relationships will fail.
If monogamy is meant to be natural, why is it so difficult for us to practice it long term with someone?
We can be monogamous with someone for a certain amount of time, but forever? Doesn't seem like it.
There have been several different theories as to why monogamy evolved into our species.
A study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), states that monogamy evolved to prevent infanticide of a male's offspring. Being monogamous during the time of raising children is probably the only logical reason to be in a monogamous relationship. But babies don't stay babies forever. Once they're grown up, what would be the purpose of monogamy?
Another study published in the Journal Science, used a similar type of analysis, but had a larger sample of about 2,500 mammals, finding that monogamy was not about preventing infanticide, but rather due to a low concentration of females. They found that in monogamous mammalian species, females tend to be solitary and intolerant of other females.
There seems to be no one answer as to why monogamy exists. And science has yet to find any evidence equating love with monogamy. It seems like we do, however, mistake a little hormone secreted in our brain called oxytocin as falling in love with someone.
According to scientists at the Bonn University Medical Center, oxytocin, also known as "the love hormone", is a biological process responsible for us wanting to remain monogamous with someone. If oxytocin is a hormone, as with any other hormones in our bodies, it will fluctuate at different times within us. It's not the exception to the rule.
This should not come across though as depressing news. It's important to understand that as amazing as the feeling of "love" feels like, we have to understand it for what it is. We can relish and cherish this emotion when we have it within us, but it's important to remember that it is not something that will feel the same forever. If we acknowledge our feelings this way, we would be able to process our losses and heartbreaks with understanding and in a healthier way.
We connect with different people in different ways and it seems like a monogamous relationship can limit us from expressing ourselves the way that we want with others. And this does not solely involve sex.
Monogamy and the way that we have believed in it is a statement that we make to the world that we decided to be with this one person and this is the only person that could meet the need of us wanting to have a monogamous relationship with.
Humans can be in monogamous relationships, but it's not absolute in terms of time.
What are your thoughts on monogamy? Can it be forever?
If you're up for it, let us know in the comments section below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading. ;)