Being A Serial Monogamist Almost Ruined My Life & Kept Me From Finding Real Love

Monogamy is a good thing—except when it’s taken to an extreme and used to avoid actually dealing with your feelings. That’s what I used to do. I was a serial monogamist, dating one person after another without giving myself space to breathe between relationships. I’m in recovery from that behavior now and while I’m far from perfect, I’m a lot better off.

  1. I jumped from relationship to relationship. I always used to end one relationship and start up another immediately. While most normal people take time to heal, I covered up my wounds with human band-aids and hoped for the best. Leaving no time to breathe in between, I’d be off and running the second my old relationship ended. I always felt like I needed to be in a relationship or else I’d die.
  2. There was sometimes even overlap. Not only was I a serial monogamist, I was also monogamish. I’d be talking to and flirting with my next partner before I ended it with my current one. There was an overlap, making it so that I didn’t even have to deal with the pain of even a few weeks of being alone. I’d jump right from my old relationship to my new one without hesitation and without worrying about who I hurt.
  3. I was never alone. I never had to be alone because I always lined people up like toys. I didn’t have to deal with the pain that came from heartache because I had another person to blot it out. This incessant need to avoid being alone was totally driven by fear. I was terrified of being by myself. As a result, I grasped onto whoever was closest so I didn’t have to ever face my fear.
  4. I didn’t know anything different. For some reason, probably because of the childhood I had, this was a pattern I fell into pretty early on. I did it for as long as I can remember, starting even as a little kid. The pattern was deeply ingrained in me and I didn’t know another way to be. Don’t we all have things like this, have patterns that we struggle to shake? It’s possible to change, though, and I’ve managed to start the process.
  5. I realized how much it was hurting me and others. Finally, I got to a place where I realized how destructive this pattern was to me and the people I was involving. It took a whole lot of pain to get to a place where I could see this but I ultimately did. I saw that I was only depriving myself of the chance to heal from each breakup as well as from true love free from codependency. I was hurting those involved by disregarding their feelings and treating them as pawns in my game.
  6. Now I’ve stopped dating serially. By some miracle and a whole lot of hard work, I’ve stopped with the serial dating. I no longer seek out another person immediately after something ends. In fact, I’ve been single for much of the last four years. It’s almost a U-turn in the right direction. I don’t feel the need to use another human being to get out of my own skin. This has lead to a long single life.
  7. My dating life is much healthier. Even though I’ve been single so much, I’ve still been actively dating. Now I’m able to see people for who they are because I move much slower. I’m not in a rush to jump into a relationship, running away from myself. Instead, I can sit with myself and listen to what works and what doesn’t. Magically I seem to attract much healthier people into my life and everything goes a bit smoother.
  8. I’ve started using other things as my sources of well-being. One of the main problems was that I was using people as my source of worth and livelihood. I expected them to feed my soul and make me feel whole. Instead of expecting people to fill me up, I’ve started to have hobbies, to love my job, and spend time with friends. I don’t lean entirely on a single relationship.
  9. Sometimes I want to resort to old behaviors. I say I’m “recovering” because there’s no such thing as being fully recovered for me. I’m always going to have to stay one step ahead of the way I used to be. Since I’m human, this isn’t always so perfect. Instead, I have the desire to jump back to old behavior. I want to get together with a person even though I’m feeling emotionally unavailable and I want to use another human when I’m feeling heartache. I generally don’t though.
  10. I feel sad for people in the same loop I was in. I try not to judge others, but sometimes I see myself in them. I watch others numb out the pain of a breakup by immediately rushing into another’s arms. While I try not to pass judgment, I do feel sad knowing that they can break free from that vicious cycle.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at