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Monogamy and long-term relationships

Blade-of-Truth
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2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?
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Devilry
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2/27/2017 11:15:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
How many times do you think your old man has cheated on your mother?
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
FourTrouble
Posts: 16,245
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2/27/2017 11:58:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

No.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

Regardless of biology, it's incredibly rewarding to commit to a single person, the same way it's rewarding to commit to a career, a hobby, a passion. The longer a relationship lasts, the more it grows.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

I think as a relationship grows, it's fine to talk about and engage in romance with others. You don't need absolute monogamy to have a fulfilling long-term commitment with someone. The people who obsess over monogamy aren't doing it right, in my opinion. It's understandable to want that commitment early in a relationship, but 20 years later? Nah, the relationship changes over time, and that's not only okay but something to be embraced.
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Devilry
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2/28/2017 12:12:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I haven't been able to stay faithful to a girl ever, even for a couple of months. It's novelty that gets you off. Marriage, kids, all of that - just more novelty. I do think people need life partners, though. Just for some solid object to your life, I guess. But then that doesn't mean one a-ss for the rest of your life, either.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
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2/28/2017 12:20:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I was once nearly getting ready to settle down with a girl, and had brought her home to meet the parents and everything, and was going getting her this birthday present of a bracelet anyway... And I showed my mother it, and it was expensive enough, and she goes "Na bi so flaithuil"... Which means "Don't be so generous"... But "flaithuil" sounds like "faithful", so I took it for a double whammy. Well, that was the last of it.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
PetersSmith
Posts: 6,898
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2/28/2017 12:21:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I believe monogamy is a product of being an advanced species. So maybe initially we were not wired to be monogamous, but sapience caused an inclination for monogamy. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes, considering free will and emotions, but once interests and desires are cemented (usually as you get older) it doesn't change much.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

Love is supposed to bridge that gap, although I also believe our "biological imperative to breed" is decreasing in power the more advanced we become (EG notice birth rates in more developed countries are lower than those in developing countries), so cheating for that reason should be less than what it was.
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Blade-of-Truth
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2/28/2017 6:44:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 11:15:42 PM, Devilry wrote:
How many times do you think your old man has cheated on your mother?

Lol, that's a non-issue and totally not related to why I posted this. This is for my own sake in my past and future experiences with long-term relationships.
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Blade-of-Truth
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2/28/2017 6:50:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 11:58:40 PM, FourTrouble wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

No.

Agreed.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

Regardless of biology, it's incredibly rewarding to commit to a single person, the same way it's rewarding to commit to a career, a hobby, a passion. The longer a relationship lasts, the more it grows.

I completely agree.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

I think as a relationship grows, it's fine to talk about and engage in romance with others. You don't need absolute monogamy to have a fulfilling long-term commitment with someone. The people who obsess over monogamy aren't doing it right, in my opinion. It's understandable to want that commitment early in a relationship, but 20 years later? Nah, the relationship changes over time, and that's not only okay but something to be embraced.

How does one maintain a healthy long-term commitment to someone while participating in intimate acts with someone else? I know it can be done, but I haven't ever really understood *how* it can be done successfully. An ex gf of mine had parents that were swingers, but they were also always fighting and are now divorced, so the only time I saw something like that first-hand it failed, which doesn't really give me any incentive to try it myself. I know that Benjamin Franklin, of all people, was a heavy player with various lovers in england and france while still maintaining a happy marriage here in the states, but he never told his wife. So, it seems that either one has to keep it a secret or both have to be comfortable with it, yet I've never seen the latter actually work out in long-term relationships.

Where is the fine line drawn between absolute monogamy and partial monogamy while still maintaining a healthy long-term relationship?
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Blade-of-Truth
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2/28/2017 6:53:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 12:12:56 AM, Devilry wrote:
I haven't been able to stay faithful to a girl ever, even for a couple of months.

Me neither. I've always been a player. In regard to my most recent relationship though I've now gone 8 months of being totally faithful, but the temptations are getting worse. Hence why I made this thread. I'm fishing for advice, lol, but ALOT of the older members I used to get this sort of advice from are now gone.
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Blade-of-Truth
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2/28/2017 7:00:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 12:21:13 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I believe monogamy is a product of being an advanced species. So maybe initially we were not wired to be monogamous, but sapience caused an inclination for monogamy. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.

There are tons of lesser-animals that choose mates for life:

Gibbon apes
wolves
termites
coyotes
barn owls
beavers
bald eagles
golden eagles
condors
swans
brolga cranes
French angel fish
sandhill cranes
pigeons
prions
red-tailed hawks
anglerfish
ospreys
prairie voles
black vultures

http://www.petful.com...

So while I'd like to believe your claim, it's unfortunately not accurate. This actually begs a bigger question of why or how these animals specifically ended up this way. There's got to be something we're missing here. Perhaps a certain gene that promotes life-long mating... idk. Clearly I need to do some more research to really get to the crux of this issue.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes, considering free will and emotions, but once interests and desires are cemented (usually as you get older) it doesn't change much.

That's true. Perhaps we ARE life-long mating animals ourselves but we just try to do so wayyy too young thanks to societal pressure and tradition.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

Love is supposed to bridge that gap, although I also believe our "biological imperative to breed" is decreasing in power the more advanced we become (EG notice birth rates in more developed countries are lower than those in developing countries), so cheating for that reason should be less than what it was.

Wow, that is one hell of a correlation theory haha, I'd have never thought about that being the reason for lower birth rates in more developed countries. I think, honestly, there are ALOT of other factors that contribute to that than just being more advanced, but that's an interesting aspect of it that I never thought to consider.
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Devilry
Posts: 5,099
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2/28/2017 9:54:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 6:53:03 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 2/28/2017 12:12:56 AM, Devilry wrote:
I haven't been able to stay faithful to a girl ever, even for a couple of months.

Me neither. I've always been a player. In regard to my most recent relationship though I've now gone 8 months of being totally faithful, but the temptations are getting worse. Hence why I made this thread. I'm fishing for advice, lol, but ALOT of the older members I used to get this sort of advice from are now gone.

I don't think there's much advice to be had, mate. We just go on like this.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
Devilry
Posts: 5,099
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2/28/2017 9:56:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
You know actually, there's a line in that new movie Arrival that got me. Dude's talking to his lady, and he's like, "out of everything, the aliens, the whole lot, only you really surprised me". lol, maybe there's something out there.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
PetersSmith
Posts: 6,898
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2/28/2017 4:25:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 7:00:44 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 2/28/2017 12:21:13 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I believe monogamy is a product of being an advanced species. So maybe initially we were not wired to be monogamous, but sapience caused an inclination for monogamy. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.

There are tons of lesser-animals that choose mates for life:

Gibbon apes
wolves
termites
coyotes
barn owls
beavers
bald eagles
golden eagles
condors
swans
brolga cranes
French angel fish
sandhill cranes
pigeons
prions
red-tailed hawks
anglerfish
ospreys
prairie voles
black vultures

http://www.petful.com...

So while I'd like to believe your claim, it's unfortunately not accurate. This actually begs a bigger question of why or how these animals specifically ended up this way. There's got to be something we're missing here. Perhaps a certain gene that promotes life-long mating... idk. Clearly I need to do some more research to really get to the crux of this issue.

I suppose they're ahead of the game then. Where I got my claim from was from pair-bonding, or just "monogamous coupling". It is designed to provide mutual support of those in the relationship, assist each other in rearing offspring, and said offspring raised under the monogamous conditions will tend themselves to have higher survival and reproductive success than those raised under other circumstances. Pair bonding is seen as an evolutionary adaptation (hence my point that it's more common in advanced species), where it exists because it confers better chances of surviving and reproducing to those who choose the monogamous path. Recently, for humans, it's been seen more as an outcome of romantic love.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

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"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
PetersSmith
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2/28/2017 4:37:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 4:25:15 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/28/2017 7:00:44 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 2/28/2017 12:21:13 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I believe monogamy is a product of being an advanced species. So maybe initially we were not wired to be monogamous, but sapience caused an inclination for monogamy. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.

There are tons of lesser-animals that choose mates for life:

Gibbon apes
wolves
termites
coyotes
barn owls
beavers
bald eagles
golden eagles
condors
swans
brolga cranes
French angel fish
sandhill cranes
pigeons
prions
red-tailed hawks
anglerfish
ospreys
prairie voles
black vultures

http://www.petful.com...

So while I'd like to believe your claim, it's unfortunately not accurate. This actually begs a bigger question of why or how these animals specifically ended up this way. There's got to be something we're missing here. Perhaps a certain gene that promotes life-long mating... idk. Clearly I need to do some more research to really get to the crux of this issue.

I suppose they're ahead of the game then. Where I got my claim from was from pair-bonding, or just "monogamous coupling". It is designed to provide mutual support of those in the relationship, assist each other in rearing offspring, and said offspring raised under the monogamous conditions will tend themselves to have higher survival and reproductive success than those raised under other circumstances. Pair bonding is seen as an evolutionary adaptation (hence my point that it's more common in advanced species), where it exists because it confers better chances of surviving and reproducing to those who choose the monogamous path. Recently, for humans, it's been seen more as an outcome of romantic love.

Although, I would also blame the inherent biological differences between those creatures and humans on whether, no matter how developed, they took to monogamous relationships.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

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Danielle
Posts: 26,599
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2/28/2017 6:17:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

No

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

I think humanity often strives to prioritize values beyond animalistic instinct. For example murder is natural in the animal kingdom. So is theft (they basically operate under might makes right). Thus we don't rely on our physical urges as being the primary indicators of what is righteous. That would be problematic for serial killers and pedophiles...

However there's an undeniable utility in having someone commit to mutual, long-lasting care taking of you and the family, so like most things there seems to be a mix of both nature and nurture involved. Married people tend to be happier and healthier.

Emotionally, there is a lot of pressure from society, both in terms of external judgment, but also the way we've been internally conditioned to recognize or assess concepts of love and family. For example my friend and I were talking recently about how despite not believing in God, a religious up-bringing was key to her perception of the commitment established by marriage.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Absolutely, positively, yes.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

- Lie.
- Reason with them.
- No.

It's possible the person you hurt moves on to the point where hurting them seems less unfortunate in the long run, but that could take some time and doesn't alleviate the initial hurt :/
Blade-of-Truth
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3/2/2017 7:09:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 4:37:38 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/28/2017 4:25:15 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/28/2017 7:00:44 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 2/28/2017 12:21:13 AM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I believe monogamy is a product of being an advanced species. So maybe initially we were not wired to be monogamous, but sapience caused an inclination for monogamy. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.

There are tons of lesser-animals that choose mates for life:

Gibbon apes
wolves
termites
coyotes
barn owls
beavers
bald eagles
golden eagles
condors
swans
brolga cranes
French angel fish
sandhill cranes
pigeons
prions
red-tailed hawks
anglerfish
ospreys
prairie voles
black vultures

http://www.petful.com...

So while I'd like to believe your claim, it's unfortunately not accurate. This actually begs a bigger question of why or how these animals specifically ended up this way. There's got to be something we're missing here. Perhaps a certain gene that promotes life-long mating... idk. Clearly I need to do some more research to really get to the crux of this issue.

I suppose they're ahead of the game then. Where I got my claim from was from pair-bonding, or just "monogamous coupling". It is designed to provide mutual support of those in the relationship, assist each other in rearing offspring, and said offspring raised under the monogamous conditions will tend themselves to have higher survival and reproductive success than those raised under other circumstances. Pair bonding is seen as an evolutionary adaptation (hence my point that it's more common in advanced species), where it exists because it confers better chances of surviving and reproducing to those who choose the monogamous path. Recently, for humans, it's been seen more as an outcome of romantic love.

I get what you're saying, and while you're correct, you're also missing the forest for the trees. By this I mean that you're correct about monogamous coupling being a result of sapience, after all - we have the ability to define, and understand, those terms and the meaning behind them. Not many other animals can do that, it's something uniquely human. However, I'm not concerned with the fact that such a thing is a choice that we can make thanks to sapience, but rather I'm more concerned with whether or not we are biologically wired to do this, not if it's a choice we can make (which I totally agree with you on). It seems that there are indeed certain lesser-animals that are biologically wired to mate for life, but whether or not this is the case for humans is the question I'm trying to tackle here.

Although, I would also blame the inherent biological differences between those creatures and humans on whether, no matter how developed, they took to monogamous relationships.

For sure. I really am starting to think that it must be a genetic thing, that perhaps there is a gene these creatures have that makes them mate with only one other partner for life. And, more importantly, if we, too, have such a gene or something.
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Blade-of-Truth
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3/2/2017 7:27:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 6:17:37 PM, Danielle wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

No

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

I think humanity often strives to prioritize values beyond animalistic instinct. For example murder is natural in the animal kingdom. So is theft (they basically operate under might makes right). Thus we don't rely on our physical urges as being the primary indicators of what is righteous.

This is a great point. A large divider between ourselves and lesser animals is the ability to have a sense of morality about our actions. I certainly think there are some non-human animals capable of feeling things such as guilt or joy, but this is a good point nonetheless.

However there's an undeniable utility in having someone commit to mutual, long-lasting care taking of you and the family, so like most things there seems to be a mix of both nature and nurture involved. Married people tend to be happier and healthier.

This is a great point too. Your case for why many choose to follow the path of monogamy is one I'd never disagree with. The benefits are apparent.

Emotionally, there is a lot of pressure from society, both in terms of external judgment, but also the way we've been internally conditioned to recognize or assess concepts of love and family. For example my friend and I were talking recently about how despite not believing in God, a religious up-bringing was key to her perception of the commitment established by marriage.

I've also come to the conclusion that it's a case of nature vs. nuture/societal pressures and tradition. I'm happy that you see it for what it is as well, it's hard to talk about these things with a loved one (like my gf) for fear of her thinking I'm trying to break up or am being unfaithful, lol.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Absolutely, positively, yes.

I agree, and honestly think this is one of, if not THE, main factor for why so many monogamous relationships fizzle out over time. Unfortunately, it also tends to always leave one person in that relationship crushed.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

- Lie.
- Reason with them.
- No.

It's possible the person you hurt moves on to the point where hurting them seems less unfortunate in the long run, but that could take some time and doesn't alleviate the initial hurt :/

I've been watching scrubs lately and an episode I watched recently focused on a conflict between two character who were engaged. The guy kept getting busted fawning over the bodies of other women which bothered his fiance, she was concerned that he was immature or would eventually be unfaithful. However, the episode ended with him reaffirming the fact that he would only ever look, because that's how guys are, but would never touch, because he loves her and only her.

It struck a chord with me, and it's basically in-line with what everyone else has been saying - it's just natural for me to be attracted to, and desire, other women, but it's up to me to not act on those urges for the sake of the person I'm in a committed monogamous relationship with. I have a problem with this. I can control myself, sure, but must I really live with this sense of temptation and guilt for the rest of my life? Surely that's not the path to true happiness and inner peace, lol.

I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.
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FaustianJustice
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3/2/2017 12:46:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.

The resisting of this temptation is exactly what puts us above... what did you call it earlier?... ah, lesser animals.

Of course it doesn't sit well, as we all pretty much agree, its contrary to that hard wiring. Humanity doesn't get to reset the default, we have to program around it.
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Devilry
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3/2/2017 2:30:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2017 12:46:45 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.

The resisting of this temptation is exactly what puts us above... what did you call it earlier?... ah, lesser animals.

Of course it doesn't sit well, as we all pretty much agree, its contrary to that hard wiring. Humanity doesn't get to reset the default, we have to program around it.

It ain't even just resisting temptation, it's that things go stale. We are forever chasing the dragon kinda thing.

I think the problem with humanity is we just don't know what we want. We're just lost, and with these instincts as a compass, but a poor compass. And so we set ourselves up for failure every single time. It's always some bullsh*t paradise over the horizon. Love, heaven, whatever. It's like those maxims on the wall at Delphi. "Know thyself. Nothing in excess. Make a pledge and mischief is nigh." It's like they're as profound as it gets, but totally unheeded.

I don't really think there's any programming around it. I think you have to sort of just accept it. What separates us from those "lesser animals" is we have a wider view of ourselves, and so somehow, paradoxically, more easily lose sight of ourselves.
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3/2/2017 2:39:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I think bitches tend to be hard wired for commitment, trapping our asses, dudes fall in love sometimes and don't look at anything quite the same, and I also think every marriage is tested at some point varying, but especially around the timeframe of young children and staying to gather either works even stronger, or the relationship is lost. Some things stay the same. A lot change.

Those are pretty reliable patterns. People can think what they want.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

That isn't what love is. Our emotions and feelings can't be put into simple words and definitions. This is why we have art, which can make people feel the same way we do and relate. The act of holy matrimony should only be sincerely taken in love due to the nature of the vows. But marriage is not love, nor is love limited to sexual partners.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yeah, well...I think conflicts in desires and interests are adapted to if you have true love. Of course conflicts arise from people changing, but I think what breaks people up who committed deeply is not knowing their partner as well as they thought, only seeing what they want to see, wanting in pashion....that sort of thing.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

Love. Don't take it for granted. You can't will love but you can facilitate it's maintenance and growth. Faith, knowing your partner as a friend, a good one, and being the same, and looking forward in the relationship, maintaining your love always. Hope. There is always hope, and it gets us through thick and thin when we can't necessarily see the light at the end of the tunnel, but need to prevail.

I'm still young and stupid, but smart enough not to get married....for those wondering
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3/2/2017 3:26:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2017 2:30:37 PM, Devilry wrote:
At 3/2/2017 12:46:45 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.

The resisting of this temptation is exactly what puts us above... what did you call it earlier?... ah, lesser animals.

Of course it doesn't sit well, as we all pretty much agree, its contrary to that hard wiring. Humanity doesn't get to reset the default, we have to program around it.

It ain't even just resisting temptation, it's that things go stale. We are forever chasing the dragon kinda thing.

I don't see how you can call it "things going stale" when the urge to find another prospective encounter can occur immediately after an encounter occurs. For something to have gone stale, the problem of getting worn out would need to have occurred. Such is not always the case, and dare I say far from being a truism.

I think the problem with humanity is we just don't know what we want. We're just lost, and with these instincts as a compass, but a poor compass. And so we set ourselves up for failure every single time. It's always some bullsh*t paradise over the horizon. Love, heaven, whatever. It's like those maxims on the wall at Delphi. "Know thyself. Nothing in excess. Make a pledge and mischief is nigh." It's like they're as profound as it gets, but totally unheeded.

I don't really think there's any programming around it. I think you have to sort of just accept it. What separates us from those "lesser animals" is we have a wider view of ourselves, and so somehow, paradoxically, more easily lose sight of ourselves.
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Blade-of-Truth
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3/2/2017 10:15:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2017 12:46:45 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.

The resisting of this temptation is exactly what puts us above... what did you call it earlier?... ah, lesser animals.

I see the point you're making, but that doesn't answer the question of why certain lesser animals have, seemingly, no issue choosing one mate for life - whereas for us, humans, it's a challenge that requires controlling our biological imperative.

The crux of the issue is that, for me, I always viewed true romantic love as something so powerful that these temptations would cease altogether, but apparently the temptations never go away no matter how much you love your partner in the monogamous relationship. This begs the question as to why we aren't like these certain lesser animals who DO mate for life with only one partner, and why we try to go against our natural biological imperative for the sake of a false ideal of "love" which involves monogamous relationships.

Of course it doesn't sit well, as we all pretty much agree, its contrary to that hard wiring. Humanity doesn't get to reset the default, we have to program around it.

Why are we attempting to make an idealized form of life be the standard when it so painfully goes against our own natural state of Being? I understand the benefits that come from monogamous relationships, but surely those benefits could have been equally met had we formed a system around our natural state of being back when these traditions were first being formed on a societal or cultural level of civilized human development.

Honestly, I blame the church for making our society so unnatural. We never had a fair shot at creating an equal system that works for our natural states due to the control the church had on society at such vital times of human/civilized development. This topic could be expanded so much. For instance, does monogamy simply work better in a modern society like ours compared to a tribal lifestyle where there was an entire "community" caring for the youth rather than the modern nuclear family? If so, what about the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce? Or the many women or men who are stuck in abusive monogamous relationships for whatever reason, be it psychological, financial, etc.,

These things are what happens when we follow an unnatural system correct? And yet, because it is so ingrained we find any other system to be either incompatible or unnatural itself, regardless of the fact that it might be more beneficial for us considering our natural biological imperatives.
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3/2/2017 10:25:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2017 2:39:22 PM, Quadrunner wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I've long held the opinion that we, as humans, are not meant to be alone in this world. There are a plethora of studies that show the psychological damage that can be done by isolation, so this isn't really something I doubt. However, lately I've also been pondering the idea of monogamy and whether or not we, as a species, are meant to intimately be with just one person for the span of our adult life. Obviously a majority of western societies and cultures practice this, but that's doesn't necessarily mean that we are biologically wired for such a thing. To complicate this, we are bombarded by a vast array of definitions for what "love" is, which ultimately forces us to define what love is ourselves and hope that our partner shares the same definition.

With all of this said I have a couple questions I'd like to get some responses on.

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

I think bitches tend to be hard wired for commitment, trapping our asses, dudes fall in love sometimes and don't look at anything quite the same, and I also think every marriage is tested at some point varying, but especially around the timeframe of young children and staying to gather either works even stronger, or the relationship is lost. Some things stay the same. A lot change.

Those are pretty reliable patterns. People can think what they want.

Oh wow, I never stopped to consider the fact that women might be biologically wired differently than men. This begs the question of whether women truly are more prone to monogamy than men. I'll need to do some further research on this. If so though, that could certainly be a cause for the many conflicts that occur withing monogamous relationships. This of course also opens a whole other door for heterosexual vs. homosexual relationships and the challenges they face with monogamy. Even within lesbian vs. male homosexual relationships... jesus this is going to take some time to fully tackle. I'm starting to see why these questions I have are largely unanswered still by modern science.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

That isn't what love is. Our emotions and feelings can't be put into simple words and definitions. This is why we have art, which can make people feel the same way we do and relate. The act of holy matrimony should only be sincerely taken in love due to the nature of the vows. But marriage is not love, nor is love limited to sexual partners.

This is a huge problem too within all of this. The fact that love is purely subjective and relative rather than something we can objectively define. I think this is a large cause of conflicts within monogamous relationships.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yeah, well...I think conflicts in desires and interests are adapted to if you have true love. Of course conflicts arise from people changing, but I think what breaks people up who committed deeply is not knowing their partner as well as they thought, only seeing what they want to see, wanting in pashion....that sort of thing.

I completely agree.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

Love. Don't take it for granted. You can't will love but you can facilitate it's maintenance and growth. Faith, knowing your partner as a friend, a good one, and being the same, and looking forward in the relationship, maintaining your love always. Hope. There is always hope, and it gets us through thick and thin when we can't necessarily see the light at the end of the tunnel, but need to prevail.

I'm still young and stupid, but smart enough not to get married....for those wondering

This is a good response too that I totally agree with. I think it also highlights an issue though when you said, "being the same", because I do believe sharing the same goals, tastes and ideals are vital, but like you said earlier - people change. There's never any way to guarantee that my partner and I will always remain the same for the rest of our lives, which really just spits in the face of any attempt to make a long-term relationship remain exactly that.

I think, at this point, I need to find people who've been in relationships for 10+ years and ask them why or how they've managed to maintain it for so long considering that many people change within that time frame.
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Smithereens
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3/3/2017 5:52:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

Evolutionary psychologists say we do. The more time and effort it takes to raise offspring, the more likely a species is to exhibit monogamous mating. Human children remain dependent on parents as a proportion of their lives for longer than any other known mammal. For humans, there simply isn't enough time to not be monogamous. If the parents split before the children have been adequately reared, the kid's chances of survival decrease. Thus non-monogamous couples are naturally selected against.

The end result is that humans became monogamous.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

This is a deeply social issue and your contention here is as subjective as the position it appears to criticise. 'Love' is defined culturally, not individually. That too is evolutionary.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes. Take the divorce rate of various countries as an example of the fact that people who once saw eye to eye can eventually over time become incompatible.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

I think you have an inaccurate definition of what it means to be monogamous. A person who cheats on their partner is still in a monogamous relationship with their partner. A non monogamous relationship would involve a couple breeding children and then leaving each other to repeat the process with someone else. This behaviour generally never describes humans and doesn't capture what occurs with a cheating partner. A cheater will still be invested in their original relationship, but a non monogamous relationship does not have this trait.
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FaustianJustice
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3/3/2017 12:12:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/2/2017 10:15:49 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 3/2/2017 12:46:45 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
I can't help but think that if I really loved the woman I'm with I wouldn't be desiring others that I find attractive, but apparently that's just natural... idk, doesn't sit well with me to be honest.

The resisting of this temptation is exactly what puts us above... what did you call it earlier?... ah, lesser animals.

I see the point you're making, but that doesn't answer the question of why certain lesser animals have, seemingly, no issue choosing one mate for life - whereas for us, humans, it's a challenge that requires controlling our biological imperative.

That those certain animals do is indeed, odd, but would I be correct in stating that animals that due that are an incredibly slim minority? And that some animals might require that as a matter of special survival?

The crux of the issue is that, for me, I always viewed true romantic love as something so powerful that these temptations would cease altogether, but apparently the temptations never go away no matter how much you love your partner in the monogamous relationship. This begs the question as to why we aren't like these certain lesser animals who DO mate for life with only one partner, and why we try to go against our natural biological imperative for the sake of a false ideal of "love" which involves monogamous relationships.

I don't think you would be able to achieve that level of emotional attachment if your partner was sexually available to others. There is a certain level of um, I guess "emotional mortar" that comes with the idea of fidelity. That stability lends itself to an attachment that can be quite profound. As clich" as it is to say, what value would the trust and fidelity of your partner be if it was taken as a matter of course?

Of course it doesn't sit well, as we all pretty much agree, its contrary to that hard wiring. Humanity doesn't get to reset the default, we have to program around it.

Why are we attempting to make an idealized form of life be the standard when it so painfully goes against our own natural state of Being?

Humble opinion, but "painfully" might be a touch melodramatic. ;) I would say we do that because it so enjoyably makes for a stable family life on the back end. I see you address this next paragraph, so I might have jumped the gun.

I understand the benefits that come from monogamous relationships, but surely those benefits could have been equally met had we formed a system around our natural state of being back when these traditions were first being formed on a societal or cultural level of civilized human development.

Yeesh, hard to say. If you really wanted to get to the brass tax of such a natural development, that really would harken back to the days of harems and the like. One male for multiple females, or multiple females continually vying for one man's attentions. In such a modern age, the various trappings for that don't seem to mesh well on a sociological setting.

Honestly, I blame the church for making our society so unnatural. We never had a fair shot at creating an equal system that works for our natural states due to the control the church had on society at such vital times of human/civilized development. This topic could be expanded so much. For instance, does monogamy simply work better in a modern society like ours compared to a tribal lifestyle where there was an entire "community" caring for the youth rather than the modern nuclear family? If so, what about the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce? Or the many women or men who are stuck in abusive monogamous relationships for whatever reason, be it psychological, financial, etc.,

I would love to explore that, too, if you were interested. It would be a long discussion, though. XD

These things are what happens when we follow an unnatural system correct? And yet, because it is so ingrained we find any other system to be either incompatible or unnatural itself, regardless of the fact that it might be more beneficial for us considering our natural biological imperatives.

When you say "our", though, are you taking into the imperatives of 2 genders? Those imperatives are greatly divergent, and morph over the life span of the human we are exemplifying.
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Perussi
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3/3/2017 1:22:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 12:20:37 AM, Devilry wrote:
I was once nearly getting ready to settle down with a girl, and had brought her home to meet the parents and everything, and was going getting her this birthday present of a bracelet anyway... And I showed my mother it, and it was expensive enough, and she goes "Na bi so flaithuil"... Which means "Don't be so generous"... But "flaithuil" sounds like "faithful", so I took it for a double whammy. Well, that was the last of it.

That's absolutely horrible.
FanboyMctroll
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3/3/2017 2:14:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago

1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

No, definitely not with the divorce rate at 50%

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

This ideal of life-long marriage is a female dream and also pushed by the Catholic Church as divorces are frowned upon.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

People definetly change over time, this is why people get divorced, the 60 year old who wants the 20 year old bimbo because he wants something new and young

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

There is no way to bridge the gap, unless you can agree on an open marriage but that doesn't usually work out too well.

I don't pretend to have any real answers or solutions I just think you choose, either be married or be single but don't try to be married and cheat on the side. Treat your significant other the same way you would want to be treated. How would you feel if they cheated on you. You want a fling, get a divorce
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3/3/2017 2:16:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/28/2017 12:12:56 AM, Devilry wrote:
I haven't been able to stay faithful to a girl ever, even for a couple of months. It's novelty that gets you off. Marriage, kids, all of that - just more novelty. I do think people need life partners, though. Just for some solid object to your life, I guess. But then that doesn't mean one a-ss for the rest of your life, either.

Devilry you are a dirty bastard!! hahahaha
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3/6/2017 5:57:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/3/2017 5:52:43 AM, Smithereens wrote:
At 2/27/2017 8:33:07 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
1) Do you think we, as humans, are biologically wired to be monogamous?

Evolutionary psychologists say we do. The more time and effort it takes to raise offspring, the more likely a species is to exhibit monogamous mating. Human children remain dependent on parents as a proportion of their lives for longer than any other known mammal. For humans, there simply isn't enough time to not be monogamous. If the parents split before the children have been adequately reared, the kid's chances of survival decrease. Thus non-monogamous couples are naturally selected against.

The end result is that humans became monogamous.

That's a fascinating way of putting it, and definitely sensible.

2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

This is a deeply social issue and your contention here is as subjective as the position it appears to criticize. 'Love' is defined culturally, not individually. That too is evolutionary.

This is true, another good point.

3) Do you believe that people's desires or interests can change over time, thus causing a conflict within the relationship?

Yes. Take the divorce rate of various countries as an example of the fact that people who once saw eye to eye can eventually over time become incompatible.

4) Is there a way to bridge the gap between our biological imperative to breed with people we are attracted to, either physically or emotionally, and our desire to not hurt or cheat on the person we're in a monogamous relationship with?

I think you have an inaccurate definition of what it means to be monogamous. A person who cheats on their partner is still in a monogamous relationship with their partner. A non monogamous relationship would involve a couple breeding children and then leaving each other to repeat the process with someone else. This behaviour generally never describes humans and doesn't capture what occurs with a cheating partner. A cheater will still be invested in their original relationship, but a non monogamous relationship does not have this trait.

You've highlighted several issues that I failed to consider, and I'm deeply grateful for that! I didn't even think of distinguishing between monogamous and non-cheating monogamous relationships. I'm far more interested in the latter, as I find that the hardest type of relationship to maintain over a long period of time (and the kind I'm trying to have in my own life without the conflict of my biological imperative to breed with multiple, attractive, women).
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3/6/2017 6:02:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/3/2017 5:52:43 AM, Smithereens wrote:
2) If we aren't, why do we allow a false ideal of life-long marriage or being intimate with just one partner for life define what "love" is?

This is a deeply social issue and your contention here is as subjective as the position it appears to criticise. 'Love' is defined culturally, not individually. That too is evolutionary.

Quick question - which culture do you think has the right idea when it comes to love? Clearly there are different kinds, as you pointed out, but do you know of one that seems to be the most ideal form?
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