We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Zach Stafford digs up some surprising figures about modern relationships and asks: is it worth pretending to be monogamous when you're not?
Most days when I think about dating and relationships, especially when talking with friends, I always come to the same conclusion: Monogamy isn't real.
In the gay world, I feel that no matter how committed a couple is when I meet them, or how beautiful their life is together, or even, how perfect they seem, there always seem to be infidelity hiding behind those 1000-count sheets. The countless dinner parties, nights at bars, Pride events, and everything in between keep proving one thing to me over and over again that most men seem not to really be interested in just one person, but rather lots of different people.
At first, I came to really resent this aspect of the "gay lifestyle," as many call it. Growing up I was always bombarded with images of gay men as hypersexual and really promiscuous. From TV shows like Will & Grace with Jack's countless partners to Queer as Folk with Brian's countless partners to . . . well you get the point, gay men were constantly shoved into the light of always looking for the next great f*ck. I always found myself really disheartened by this image, because growing up I found myself wanting the traditional life of one marriage and some kids. Not a life where I was constantly in clubs and in the beds of men I didn't know their names.
I was at brunch the other day with a group of friends and the topic of monogamy came up after one friend shared some difficulties he is having with his partner who recently stepped out of their relationship. The older gay men around the table began to laugh, while also comforting him, and suggested for him to just wait. Once he gets older he will understand, "we" as gay men just can't really be monogamous. They weren't arguing that it isn't possible, because there are those rare birds that have never cheated in any way, but what they were suggesting that: Monogamy may be too big of a cross to carry, that we all will have moments of lust or desire and by engaging in other activities with folks outside of your relationship doesn't mean you love your partner any less.
So, is monogamy not real or are my friends just a little promiscuous? Let's look at some data.
Read the rest of Monogamish: Two Is Company, But Is Three Really a Crowd? over at The Good Men Project.