Are You A Serial Monogamist? What It Means, Signs, And Characteristics

Dating experience | | , Content Strategist & Writer
serial monogamist

If you’ve been jumping from one serious relationship to another, you could be a serial monogamist! It is typical for serial monogamists to dislike being alone, in addition to feeling most comfortable in long-term relationships with the people they’re deeply into rather than casual dating or being single. We have all had one of those friends (or been the friend) who, no matter what, is always in a seemingly loving and passionate relationship.

A study found that even though monogamous marriages were an ideal standard for a long time, committed relationships (not necessarily involving marriage) are already on the way to becoming a norm. Serial monogamy has led to a bigger drop in marriages.

To understand more about serial monogamy and its intricacies, we had a conversation with Psychologist Nandita Rambhia who specializes in CBT, REBT, and couple’s counseling. We spoke about the different signs to identify a serial monogamist and what their relationships are like.

What Is Monogamy?

Monogamy is a form of relationship in which a person is involved with only one partner at a time, as compared to non-monogamy which can include being committed to multiple people at the same time. In a monogamous relationship, the partners agree to not date anyone else, romantically or sexually, for the duration of the relationship. Monogamy may be the norm, yet our lives are significantly changing.

Who Is A Serial Monogamist?

And what is serial monogamy meaning? Perpetual monogamy, as it’s also called, follows traditional forms of monogamy. These individuals pursue a one-on-one, exclusive, committed bond with their partner. Serial monogamist psychology entails ideas associated with romanticism wherein your one and only soulmate take care of all your needs.

Related Reading: 5 Brutally Honest Truths About Long-Term Relationships

There could be a variety of reasons that a person is called a serial monogamist. They may be jumping from relationship to relationship, or they may not be partaking in the actual work of grounding a relationship. Some of the following signs are also serial monogamist red flags that shouldn’t be missed.

serial monogamist red flag
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Signs You Are A Serial Monogamist

Are you wondering if your partner is a serial monogamist or do you yourself relate to serial monogamist characteristics? We’ve all been in long-term relationships and avoided being single. Relationships can get complicated, but how long do we have to prolong a relationship, and then how quickly do we have to jump to the other relationship, to make us a part of team serial monogamy?

Also, many times, we jump into a romantic bond too soon without learning enough about our partners. Later, we regret going in too quickly, as our relationship sours. To prevent that, let’s find out the indicators of a serial monogamist.

Watch our popular expert Ridhi Golechha talking about the major differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships to learn about the different relationship dynamics.

1. You jump from one relationship to another

You absolutely cannot be single for very long. You stay in relationships, sometimes way past their expiration date. Or you find a new partner, and the loop continues. Going from one to many relationships, you leave no space or time to be single in between. Frankly, being in a relationship isn’t a cure for all your life worries.

2. You don’t enjoy the dating phase

Offline or online dating feels like a task, especially when it involves multiple people. You tend to get discouraged and often go for the first person who made you feel something even though you don’t know them that well. Getting into a relationship and initiating the honeymoon phase is something you’re a fan of.

3. Single time is always cut short

You can’t remember the last time you were single. Dating sites give you the ick. When you look at your romantic history, it has been a series of relationships, leaving out any space to enjoy your singlehood. You even end up self-sabotaging your relationships.

You subconsciously feel unfulfilled and lacking when you aren’t with someone. Your time spent being single is often composed of meeting potential partners and planning a relationship rather than finding peace in being on your own.

4. Being alone is not your thing

Even in general, you don’t like being on your own. Maybe it is boring, uncomfortable, lonely, or scary. But being alone is an essential part of the human experience. You may have a great partner, but two people can never have consistent levels of understanding and attachment. It is integral to make peace with yourself and enjoy your company first.

Related Reading: How To Be Okay With Being Single?

5. You have big ideas based on love and romanticism

Being a romantic at heart, you have grand gestures and ideals of love regarding your relationship. You love all the little tidbits, romantic dates, and showers of love, yet when the reality of the relationship surfaces (as with everything else), doing the work and changing yourself and your perspective is a challenge for you. You’d rather prefer to live in your fairytale world where things always stay the same.

6. There are underlying issues at hand

Being in a relationship is a lot of work especially if you’re serious about your future together. If you get stuck in cycles of entering and leaving relationships, it usually indicates a bigger problem.

You could be getting into codependent relationships wherein you expect your partner to fulfill all your emotional needs. You may have abandonment issues or low self-esteem and worth. It is no wonder you derive all your value from a relationship. A codependent relationship feels like a full-time job.

Serial Monogamy And Dating

Serial monogamy makes a person’s dating journey a pattern of short, yet committed, relationships that eventually lead nowhere. Being aware of serial monogamist red flags is vital before starting a relationship with someone new. Sometimes, we choose the wrong people, just because they make us feel a certain way.

Related Reading: How To Choose A Life Partner – 12 Expert Tips To Find The Best Mate

We have spoken extensively about serial monogamist meaning, let’s learn more about serial monogamy and dating from the eyes of our expert, Nandita Rambhia:

How does one come to know they’re dating a serial monogamist?

Nandita: The beginning of the relationship is very smooth. At this stage, the serial monogamist usually showers their partner with a lot of attention. But in the long run, dating a serial monogamist becomes exhausting because they are overly dependent and require a lot of time. This becomes physically, emotionally, and mentally draining for their partner. Obsessive love can be annoying.

They might even feel they don’t have their personal time anymore, and that they can’t do things independently as much as they did earlier. Serial monogamists always want to be around their partner.

What can you tell us about serial monogamist narcissists?

Nandita: Usually, people with markers of narcissism or BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) can grow to become serial monogamists. They want all the attention in the relationship and depend on their partner to meet all their needs.

In the case of a serial monogamist narcissist, this type of serial monogamist may be in a relationship but they aren’t really interested in doing any of the work involved in a relationship – learning about their partner, their stories, and taking an interest in their goals and values. The relationship is instead to meet their own needs and requirements.

Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips On How To Deal With A Narcissist Spouse

Key Pointers

  • Serial monogamy is a practice involving a range of short-term, committed relationships over a long period of time with as little single time as possible
  • Signs of serial monogamy include swiftly moving from one relationship to the next, not being on your own, not enjoying the dating game as much as you enjoy being in a relationship, and not wanting to work on the relationship or to get to know one’s partner
  • It’s not always easy to date a serial monogamist. The relationship can become quite exhausting as the serial monogamist doesn’t want to do the real work of nurturing a bond yet depends on their partner to meet all their expectations, which takes quite a toll on the latter

Whether you’re dating a serial monogamist or you’re one yourself, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. The right resources can help make our lives better. Break the cycle of self-sabotage.


1. Is being a serial monogamist a bad thing?

Being a serial monogamist isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They are faithful to their partners. But all they want is to be in a relationship, and barely give any time to being single over an extended period of time. They may struggle with emotional difficulties, lack of self-esteem, and a lack of personality development. They may have an extreme emotional dependency on their partner.

2. How do you know if you’re dating a serial monogamist?

Initially, it is tough to find out as the person focuses all their attention on you. These are some of the signs: the serial monogamist is not really concerned about you or your interests, they just want to be in a relationship.
They are too dependent on you, usually emotionally. They might not enter into a marriage, they just want to be in a relationship. If the relationship breaks, they’ll easily jump over to the next. Finding out your partner’s dating history is key to realizing their attributes.

3. What are some examples of serial monogamy?

As the relationship goes its way, you will realize in time that serial monogamy could be at play. For instance, in a cycle of short, committed relationships in the past, a serial monogamist is emotionally over-dependent on their partner and isn’t willing to do the work to grow the relationship. They anticipate all the attention and focus of their partner yet don’t do the same for them.

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