Monogamy and social frameworks


Frameworks serve as excellent support structures in complex systems. They give us mental shortcuts and they enable us to implement common, generic norms and rules. They highlight paths to action. They also exemplify doctrines that people can subscribe to without having to manually do self-construct. Frameworks eliminate the need for you to tax your brain on a case-by-case basis. They save us time and let us work from the shoulders of the giants.


Social frameworks are good because they cut out the cognitive load we'd need to take on every time we're faced with a decision. But they're also bad for the exact same reason. If you eschew thinking completely, you'll never stop to question the appropriateness of the frameworks you hold dear. In the realm of software, the term cargo cult highlights the pitfalls of the ritualistic side-effects and conventions that arise from frameworks.


One of the frameworks we should probably revisit is in the realm of romance. Monogamy is probably the most widely adopted romantic practice. It's pretty much romantic dogma. Monogamy, much like virginity, is regarded as sacrosanct. It's so deeply entrenched in society that few people question whether monogamy is the right application of romance for them. I doubt that the majority of the world even considers that there are alternatives.


The biggest indicator of future infidelity is past infidelity. Depending on where you find your data, infidelity can be classified as an epidemic. Most people, instead of opting out of the rigidity and brittleness of monogamy, would choose a life at risk of deception and immorality. Even when a more honest albeit more complex lifestyle alternative exists.

If you love someone and expect to spend the next 40 or 50 years together, would you not rather allow a certain leeway in your relationship as opposed to dealing with pain and despondency from an inevitability? After all, it is statistically inevitable that your partner will "transgress" once or several times in the span of a long-term relationship.

#Crazy talk

I get that you may strongly disagree with this view. I won't hold it against you. Managing trust, jealousy, and transparency can be crazy difficult. But if there's one point I'd plead with you if you're still reading this, is that you consider how the frameworks in your life constrain, affect, or even empower you.