That dirty M word

The other day, burnt out on deadlines and jittery on caffeine I called a friend for sympathy, but mainly as a diversion.

My timing was perfect for a call because he was in a flat-spin. Apparently his we`re just dating, there’s nothing special lady friend had “the talk with him. He was floored…she had the nerve to use that dirty little M Word.

Monogamy *and all the boys shudder*

Apparently my pal thought that dating other women wasn`t a big deal after roughly 18 months of seeing his lady friend as well it was de rigeur, expected, natural. For me, it was a rude awakening. Must a conversation like Let`s not see other people take place? Should it not be a natural conclusion after a specific amount of time has passed?

I didn`t think much on the topic until this afternoon. After a long meeting a coworker and I got to talking and I asked her about her boyfriend. Whereas before she`d dissolve into a smile and spout all kinds of niceties about him, this time, she pursed her lips and said He`s fine. I gave her a confused look.

Should I just not ask?
No, it`s fine. Really. Apparently, he`s seeing other people too.
What? But haven`t you been dating for about two months now? He`s met your whole family! He`s met your friends! You`ve spent weekends with him!!! (To explain, I have a golden rule about not introducing the romantic interest to the family or friends till I`m absolutely sure of myself. One ex did not meet my circle of friends until we had been seeing each other for about 2 years. Let`s just say we had trust issues)

Yeah, well, apparently since we never had the lets-be-exclusive discussion, it was fair game.

This gave me pause. Only once in my life did I ever have that kind of a talk with anyone. It was excruciating. And HE was the one having the talk with me. I generally assumed that intimacy implied exclusivity. While I am in total agreement that you should not lock yourself in within seconds of meeting a man, I demand monogamy in an intimate relationship. No sex = open dating. Having sex = I will kick your arse if you persist on seeing other women (Gettit? Gottit? Good).

I also belong to that faction of women that doesn`t like to discuss everything. I think that although some conversations are necessary, you have to be careful not to force the issue…so, I`d rather let things happen naturally. I hate and avoid talks that define a relationship, and while I find them necessary from time to time, those occasions are few and far between. I mean, why get involved with someone who isn`t like-minded in the first place and share your values and standards.

But now I`m beginning to wonder if the talk is necessary? I think for women, all this stuff is implied. Like, if we keep waking up in your place or you keep waking up in ours, well, um, you see, we`re just assuming that you`re not waking up in other people`s apartments. Or having coffee with other people. Or meeting their friends. And now, in my late twenties after a decade or so of dating I realise for the first time that perhaps this assumption is erroneous and presumptuous.

And yet I know lots of men, not just women, who would be just as insulted if they found themselves in a position where they were intimate with someone to discover that the lady in question was seeing other people. They would sever the relations at once and allow for no explanations. Kinda` like purgatory.

And so I’m still confused on this whole monogamy issue. And although I haven`t had to address this specific issue in a long while, I think it`s important that I have a good think about it. Because I know that for all my reluctance to being tied down and my pickiness with regards to men…one day I will finally meet someone who totally knocks me off my feet, someone I want to spend more than just a date with, and it becomes more permanent and I wake up one day and I realise that he hasn`t been home to his place all weekend and I don`t mind at all…I am SO going to obsess about Monogamy. For all my shit and procrastination, it is a non-negotiable for me once I`ve let you into my space. But I still think it`s an ugly word for a beautiful idea. Monogamy. Sounds like a disease. I think monogamy is perceived as expected commitment. Whereas I choose to think of it as a choice you not only willingly make, you`d never consider making a different choice.

And so if such talks are necessary, doesn`t that imply that the choice has already been made? Or to be more precise, doesn`t it seem that if you need to have that talk, then perhaps it`s not in the stars?

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