Jen Juneau
Updated Apr 03, 2016 @ 3:14 pm
Credit: ABC

I’ve heard there are lots of pros to dating a variety of different people, but as I’ve never really done it, I can’t say for sure. I’ve always been a serial monogamist, because the idea of going on a date with someone as a sort of “first meeting” always freaked me out. I only did it once, and vowed never to do it again because of how badly I handled it.

But in reality, even though I’m happily married now, my twenties self is a little envious of people who’ve been able to casually date successfully. Sometimes I think maybe I missed out in my younger years due to my own insecurities, as dating different people is definitely a surefire way to meet lots of potential partners and see who you click with best — not to mention learn a great deal about yourself and have a lot of fun along the way.

But even though dating is a great way to explore our options efficiently and excitingly, being in a monogamous relationship has its perks too. Here are a few I’ve experienced over the years.

They’re focused on what you like in bed.

It’s really awesome being with someone whose sexual focus is only on two people: themselves and you. It’s like you’re the protagonist of a cheesy romance movie 24/7, where your significant other only has eyes for you and wants to know the best way they can make you happy, both in bed and otherwise. And not seeing other people gives your partner time to perfect their bedroom techniques through lots of practice with you. Score.

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You don’t have to worry about constantly figuring out what they like in bed.

On the flip side, only having one person’s likes and dislikes to focus on is kind of a relief. I can personally barely keep family members’ birthdays straight, so I have no idea how I’d remember which partner likes what moves. I’d end up embarrassing myself big time. For many folks, it keeps the excitement going to have different partners who like different things, which is totally cool. But when you only have one person to worry about, there can be a lot less pressure.

There are (usually) fewer mind games going on.

The whole, “Why aren’t they texting!?” and “What did they mean by that?” thing is pretty nonexistent when you’re in a monogamous relationship, as long as you’ve got your communication methods down. Being with one person means you don’t need to worry about their intentions most of the time, especially if you’ve been together a while and know the drill, so to speak. Also, bonus: You have to go on zero awkward first dates.

And lower chances you’ll contract an STD.

Being with a single partner sexually means you don’t have to worry as much about using protection, specifically against STDs, as long as you’ve both been tested and you’re both on board with the monogamy. So, if you’re on the hormonal-birth-control train but not the condom one, being with just one person is a godsend.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with condoms, and even if you’re in a monogamous relationship, they are generally just as effective as other forms of birth control as long as they’re used properly — and they don’t affect your inner workings, which is a big plus for those who don’t want to use hormonal birth control specifically for that reason.

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You’re more comfortable being frank about what you like.

Once you’ve been with one person for a while, it becomes a lot easier to tell them what you like and don’t like in bed without worrying about hurting their feelings. A partner should be open to making you feel good in the way you prefer, but during your first few encounters, it can be difficult to tell them because you don’t want to hurt their ego. In a monogamous relationship, there comes a point where the ego is more fulfilled when both partners in the relationship choose (tactful) honesty. It’s a beautiful thing, and both partners win in the long run.

You have more time for yourself.

Another upside to having one relationship to handle is that you literally only have one relationship to handle. Relationships, whether casual or long-term or somewhere in between, are hard work. So when you’re dealing with multiple romantic prospects, this can eat away at the time you have for yourself — time you deserve. Monogamy fixes that by default, meaning you can have sexy times with your boo in the morning and Netflix-and-wine at night without having to worry about your phone blowing up with texts from someone else.

You have a built-in BFF/partner in crime.

When you have one significant other, you have someone who is pretty much always down for an adventure if they aren’t working/sleeping/etc. (And sometimes you can even persuade them to stop doing those things to embark on said adventure.) Having one person you can always count on for midnight runs to Steak ‘n Shake, or just to hold you if you’re having a terrible day, is one of the greatest parts of monogamy. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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