So, the concept of monogamy has been heavily on my mind for a while now. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really align myself with monogamy, as I’ve known it. One of Google’s definitions of the word is simply, “the habit of having only one mate at a time.” Now this, I do align with. It is what my experience with the relationships I’ve been exposed to has taught me about monogamy that I can’t get down with. I can’t get down with any idea of ownership or with the idea that we conform in our habits, beliefs, and thoughts in order to fit into a monogamous relationship. It makes sense to me to be realistic, and me making sense of that, and knowing where I stand, makes it a lot easier to date and be honest and up front about my intentions.
It’s that part that I think a lot of Men lack. According to a General Social Survey taken by married people between 2010 and 2016, 20% of the 16% of all people who have reportedly cheated on their spouse were Men. 22% of them were Black as opposed to the 16% white, and 13% Hispanic. Something about this stands out to me. I don’t really interact with many white or Hispanic Men, so maybe that’s why this gap makes so much sense to me. What are we teaching Men in our community that’s keeping them from being faithful, or better yet, keeping them from understanding that “monogamy” (and failing at it) is not the only option? I’ve thought a lot about a couple of different factors that I’ve noticed in my own experience. First of all, the narrative of Black Women, and secondly, society’s force on Black Men to have, and provide for, a family.
As a Woman who understands, and is even open to the concept of polyamory, one thing I know for sure is that my thought process is rare in my community of Black Women. As an Aquarian and an advocate for all things freedom, I just feel that I’m very realistic about the fact that our attractions to people at large don’t just go away because you decide to be committed to one person. In my experience, with my peers (Black Women), I hear a lot of what’s not allowed or what won’t be dealt with. There’s little to no room for a Man to come with any lingering feelings for an ex, and certainly not any general interest in others. Now, you may be reading this and thinking, “what’s bad about that? If he’s still into an ex, or attracted to other people, why would he fuck with me at all?”. I hear you and agree wholeheartedly, but let’s think about our most common approaches to this.
I’ve noticed that there are two options in the character of Men, as told by Women. You’re either monogamous or you’re a fuck-boy. You don’t even have to act sometimes to land yourself on the fuck-boy shelf. The mere desire to be anything outside of monogamous can get this label slapped right on your collar. With the obviously negative connotation of the term, I begin to empathize and understand why someone would go out of their way, and even lie, to rid themselves of this label.
In addition, my thought (continue to keep in mind that this is all based off of my personal observations) is that a lot of Men are put through what I call church kid syndrome by the Women they’re pursuing. We all knew that kid with the super strict parents who could never go anywhere, never do anything, and wasn’t given the opportunity to properly learn and grow. What happened to those kids when they got even an inch of freedom? They lost their fucking minds. When a person isn’t allowed to be who they are, feel how they feel, and be open about that, extremes take place. If a Man is meant to pretend that he has no other desires or attractions outside of his relationship, his curiosity could run rampant.
In an Instagram poll I asked my male followers if they felt that they were naturally aligned with the concept of monogamy, or if they felt that they were pressured to be monogamous. 52% of those who participated said that they felt pressured. Along with brief conversations with a couple of them, I also was brought to the experiences of Men around me. Over time, I’ve observed the sense of accomplishment swarming around being a father and a husband. There’s a lot of push for Men to be fiscally responsible and successful, but without using that to care for a Woman and/or child, it’s like it doesn’t even matter. I certainly see this play out with my older Brother who, while I certainly believe has an actual desire of his own to be a father and husband, doesn’t seem to feel his own accomplishments unless he’s catering to a Woman.
A couple of things to note, for my own reputation, before you start to believe that I’m pro fuck-boy behavior. It’s not okay to lie. It’s not okay to lead anyone to believe that you want something that you don’t. This is fuck-boy behavior, for sure, but my ask is that we consider the reason. Intention and impact should both be factors when considering the behavior of those around us. If the impact of a guy’s behavior is detrimental in anyway, move around. However, if we and our society play a role in the intention, it should be addressed alongside the bad behavior. We could all use a little understanding. Inner-standing, more than anything.
May we create spaces of freedom where relationships, whether they be monogamous or otherwise, are shaped from a place of mutual desire. We all deserve to Love how we want, and with more individual truth, and way less shame, maybe we can.