Our guest blogger today is Divine Caroline’s own Devon Porrino, who defends her position as a serial monogamist!
As I was catching up with a friend, we began to discuss our relationship statuses and the length of our current relationships. When I announced that I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost three years, my friend responded with, “Three years? I’m not surprised. You were always like that.”
I wasn’t sure whether to be annoyed at his comment or take it as a compliment. Either way, I brushed it off, replied with something along the lines of, “you know me” and let it go. But it still sat in the back of my mind.
My friend is not the first person to subtly pass judgment about my relationship status. I’ve often heard the term “serial monogamy” thrown around and realized that perhaps, I was what they call a “serial monogamist.” In my brief dating history, I’ve always gone from relationship to relationship with only a few months in between. According to the stigma associated with this dating behavior, I am weak, desperate, longing for attention, incapable of being on my own, and insecure. But the funny thing is, I don’t feel like any of those things. In fact, I’d categorize myself as strong, independent, someone who cherishes alone time and knows how important it is. Still based solely on my relationship status, people might infer something about my personality, just as they might pass judgment about someone who is chronically single. Why are we so quick to define ourselves by whether or not we’re in a relationship?
We apply pressure to ourselves and other women to find a committed relationship, but once we’re in one, we have to start worrying that we’re losing our fierce independence. We tell single people to feel proud that they’re not co-dependent—that is, when we’re not reinforcing the fear that they’ll die alone if they don’t settle down with someone. So many mixed messages!
There’s no reason to tell anyone they should be proud or ashamed of their relationship status. Who says you have to feel anything about it? What we decide to do with our relationships should not dictate how we feel about ourselves. It should determine nothing about us as people except whether we’re looking for a hottie or going home to one.
There’s more great relationship talk at Divine Caroline: