Why, Serial Monogamists? Just…Why?


I’m legitimately asking. Your ways are confusing and I don’t understand it.

I mean, I do. Kind of. I get that feeling after a breakup of being really lonely and useless and undesirable and almost panicking at the absence of someone to shower with affection. I understand feeling listless and bored and alone with all the attention in the world to give and not having anyone to give it to. I remember the feeling of quite literally not knowing what to do with yourself on an achingly slow and single Sunday, warming a beer in an immobile hand and staring into the crack in the wall. I get all those things. Fundamentally.

But come on. That shit is not cute past high school. College, okay maybe. Assuming you went to college right after high school and thus lacked the hordes of heartbreak experience to guide you in a wiser direction.

But after that? After you know better, or at least should have learned? After you’ve started transitioning into an actual adult with bills and a bedtime and responsibilities, how does it still make sense to treat relationships like a game of musical chairs?

In a way, with the exception of the first person we’ve dated ever, each successive person is technically a rebound. We collect experiences and memories, shed skins and ideas, figure out what we want and what we can’t handle. Everything is a reaction to a reaction to a reaction, things happen to us and we change in response. The meaningful difference, however, is in the way we regenerate, the way we crystallize and compound. The way we become our full selves again after losing something we once considered an integral part.

Obviously, we are resilient. Obviously we get over things. But I don’t get it, serial monogamists. I don’t get how you can be in love with all these people, one after the other, over and over ad nauseam. And I don’t mean just infatuated with, I mean you’ve got your local moving company on speed dial. You Instagram brunch with the love of your life one week and the next week too, same Emoji, different username. Doesn’t it make you tired? Is it like an endless pile of ill-fitting clothes? Do you just stay silent in bed because more than once you’ve called out the wrong name?

Our language is incredibly uncreative when it comes to declarations of emotion, “I love you” stays static but the subjects don’t, how many people can you throw this line at successively unsuccessfully before you realize they aren’t magic words?

Age-old wisdom says the best way to get over someone is to get under someone, either a bartender or my mom told me that. Sometimes coming out of a long relationship it feels like you’ve slept so long and you have to check in with the outside world to make sure you’re still attractive and more or less with it and haven’t turned into some kind of domesticated beast in the cave of connubial comfort. But “under someone” and “in love with someone” are two completely separate things, I’m pretty sure. There’s nothing wrong with fucking the pain away but things get more difficult when you do it with someone’s heart.

And I’m not trying to be sanctimonious here. Really, I’m not. The only way I can conceivably say this is if I’ve done something like this, and I have. I was probably the worst offender. I used to temper the pain of one failed relationship with beginning another, like that would somehow make it better, like filling in the fissures with someone else’s kindness would make me any less inherently cracked.

I have nothing to say to the people I’ve used as mortar other than I’m deeply sorry but otherwise I would not have learned.

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