Want to be happy? Find the perfect girl, commit to her and live happily ever after. That’s the way things are supposed to work.
But if you’ve ever been in a relationship, you know that sticking to that perfect girl is hard. After some time together you start to want other women.
That’s why so many men cheat, watch porn and otherwise relieve sexual tension. It’s hard to balance a man’s natural desires with the demands of a monogamous relationship.
Why does this happen? Didn’t Disney, the Bible and every authority figure in your life say that everything works out once you find your second half?
Well, they probably did. And in doing so they perpetuated the happily ever after myth: the insane idea that once you find the right girl, life just magically works itself out.
The Happily Ever After Myth
I can already see the angry e-mails I’ll be getting over this, but let’s get something out of the way right now: men were never supposed to be monogamous.
The main goal of every living organism is to survive and procreate. For men, the most effective way to do this is by having sex with a large number of women. That, in a nutshell, is why we’re naturally polygamous.
So why are most societies monogamous?
The answer is simple. Polygamy is good for the individual but bad for society. If an exceptionally strong, resourceful and powerful man has multiple women, some unlucky schmuck is left with nothing.
In other species this results in natural selection. The strongest male mates with a bunch of girls; they have his babies; the weak males are cut out of the gene pool. The species wins.
Humans are different. We live in large societies that are built on our cooperation. If a few men were to get all the women – leaving the other males lonely and unhappy – there’d be too much conflict for human society as we know it to work. Our species would lose.
Over the centuries, this led to the disappearance of polygamous societies. Monogamous cultures were more populous and better organized so they prevailed.
And that’s great… But how relevant is a society’s optimal growth strategy to your own, personal happiness?
The Perpetuation Of The Myth
Let’s leave our ancestors behind for a minute and get back to 2013.
Divorce rates are higher than ever. A study in which successful men – i.e. ones who have sexual options – were heavily represented found that 78% of them cheat. But even as it’s becoming clear that the idyllic “happily ever after” doesn’t exist, society keeps shoving it down our throats.
They keep telling us everything will be OK. They keep making movies about older couples rekindling that magic feeling. And now they’re looking into giving us oxytocin – a hormone – to “help protect monogamous relationships”.
As if that weren’t enough, men are constantly being punished for how they naturally feel
Society pressures us into “taking things to the next level” by proposing to women after a few years together. Then, if things don’t work out – and they often don’t – we get screwed by ridiculous divorce and child support payments.
(Hey – I don’t think Kobe Bryant should have to give his wife 100$ million for “signing checks” and raising 2 kids if they get divorced. Sue me.)
But it gets worse. The worst part is that society tells us to feel like shit when we watch porn, look at other women or – god forbid – think about sleeping with them.
So when things go wrong in our relationships we blame ourselves.
Instead of daring to say, “hey, maybe the system is broken”, we think – I must be broken. I ruined a great thing. I sinned. I gave in to temptation. I’m a horrible person. I’ll never find anyone to be happy with.
That’s how society makes us feel ABOUT OUR NATURAL IMPULSES. And we buy into all the bullshit, repress our desires and live in “socially compelled sexual incarceration“.
Then, when it all becomes too much and a man does something stupid – like cheating – everyone wonders what went wrong.
It’s like what Chris Rock said about “trained” tigers attacking people. “THAT TIGER DIDN’T GO CRAZY – THAT TIGER WENT TIGER.” The same is true here: wanting other women isn’t wrong. It’s what’s SUPPOSED to happen! Duh!
So What’s A Man To Do?
Now, before an army of feminists floods my inbox with furious e-mails, let me finish.
I’m not saying marriage never works.
I’m not saying you can’t be happy with one woman.
I’m definitely not saying it’s O.K. to cheat.
All I’m saying is, let’s stop bullshitting ourselves. Women have been fighting for the right to express their sexuality and they’ve come a long way – so why not us?
If you want to be monogamous and do the traditional thing, that’s cool. The emotional bond between a man and a woman has little to do with sexual attraction. So long as you’re ready to sacrifice your desires for that connection – great.
But if you want to live in harmony with the sexual wants you have as a man, you can and you should.
Here’s the thing. Men have always cheated more traditionally. But in the developed world, women are catching up as they become increasingly independent.
Like us, these women are interested in having multiple sexual partners. They don’t want to limit their options – at least not while they’re young. And as the stigma of pre-marital sex is disappearing, more and more of them are happy to enjoy casual sex, be friends with benefits or have open relationships.
In other words, it’s becoming easy to have sex with multiple women without cheating or upsetting anyone. You can go out there, sleep with lots of fantastic girls and everyone’s happy. What’s not to like?
Of course, you can also be in a monogamous relationship and still stay true to your sexuality.
That’s what happened in my last serious relationship; my ex was cool with me flirting with other women. I’d go out, talk to hot girls and come back home to her with my polygamous needs satisfied.
You can also watch porn together, role-play in the bedroom and even pull girls as a couple. (Research shows that couples who watch porn together are more committed, so don’t write these activities off without considering them).
The final option is serial monogamy. Most people can’t imagine it as a way of life, drifting from relationship to relationship forever – but that’s how most of us end up.
With the decline of marriage, dating for a few years and breaking up is a common way to be polygamous in a monogamous society. Then again, it’s hard to raise kids or build a life if you’re constantly seeing new people, so this option is the worst of both worlds – sex with one person at a time with none of monogamy’s benefits.
In the end, it’s up to you to choose a way of life that makes you happy. Just don’t get suckered into the happily ever after myth if you don’t think it’s going to work for you. That’s the #1 thing you should learn from this post.
Am I saying that monogamy is bad? No. I think that spending your life with one person is a beautiful thing. But let’s not bullshit ourselves; it’s not easy and it has its dissatisfying, frustrating moments. Monogamy is like owning a business: great in principle but, as statistics show, not necessarily for everyone.
Denial is never a good thing, especially in relationships where you expect honesty and understanding from your partner. So let’s be real about what we want sexually with ourselves and others. And when we do enter committed relationships, let’s find ways to express our sexuality instead of trying to stifle it.
Maybe then there’ll be less myths and more happily ever after’s.