The Science behind Serial Monogamy: Signs, Causes, and the Aftermath

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Updated on January 26th, 2022

Serial monogamy is a behavior that has always been in existence. The typical serial monogamist is rarely single, and it beats the imagination. There is a science behind all this, and here we will be examining the concept holistically.

The Science behind Serial Monogamy

What is Serial Monogamy?

According to the Urban Dictionary, a serial monogamist is “one who spends as little time as possible being single, moving from the end of one relationship to the beginning of a new relationship as quickly as possible.” Hence, a serial monogamist is not a cheat, sleaze, or flirt. Instead, such an individual finds it easy to commit to another individual immediately after a prior relationship concludes.

Serial monogamists value their relationships, and they are known to treat their partners as royalty for the duration of the relationship. However, you can’t expect a serial monogamist to be brooding over a failed relationship; instead, they are on to the next one. Participants in this form of relationship believe in a happily ever after tale, and they would not stop seeing other people till they achieve that dream. They are ready to go the extra mile, shower partners with affection, and be the perfect “significant other” for the duration of their functional relationships.

Signs that your partner is a serial monogamist

Here are some warning signs that might come in handy for identifying a serial monogamist.

1. They suggest that you move in on the second date

First things first, there is nothing wrong with a partner suggesting that you move in, and it might be super helpful with the right individual. However, it gets a little dicey when the said partner has exhibited such traits in previous relationships. Moving in, you might find a couple of personal items from previous partners in their closets. You might even find the off (spare) toothbrush in the bathroom sink.

It is a trait and behavior that serial monogamists exhibit in almost every relationship. The rationale behind it is that they think that such a display would make the new partner stick around for longer than the last. Come to think of it; you’ve only been on one date with the said individual; what then is the rush?

2. Their in-between dating span is shorter than a billboard charting R&B artiste

Rhythm and blues singers are the picks of the bunch in the entertainment scene, and they have a laudable dating history to boot. Your partner might not be topping the charts, but he gives such individuals a run for their money in the dating scene. For your partner, there is barely daylight between the end of one relationship and the beginning of the next. Such is a sign of serial monogamy, and you need to do a little research to know what the genesis is.

Serial monogamists are not fans of letting the dust settle on one breakup before they are on the prowl for another. Even more so, some of them already have a list of willing partners if the present one does not work out. Hence, if what you two have doesn’t work out, don’t expect him to be single for longer than a couple of days.

3. They’ve been engaged three or more times without getting married

Serial monogamists are experts at popping the question, and they go into every relationship with that at the back of their minds. As such, all they need is a couple of months (or dates), and they will feel that the time is right. Remember, they believe that every relationship must lead to a happily ever after, and such a belief is a catalyst for heightened expectations.

As such, if you are dating a person that has been engaged three times or more without getting married, the chances are high that such a person is a serial monogamist. This rule is not ironclad, but the options are right up there. If you have your suspicions, you should take your time before accepting that proposal.

4. Their friends or family tell you that they are never single

It gets to a particular stage in a relationship whereby you become close enough to your partner’s inner circle that they feel comfortable enough to share personal tales. Such tales could include their past flings, engagements, and guilty pleasures. However, one thing is pretty apparent, the person you are presently seeing is never single and hasn’t been for ages.

It is not a red flag per se; it only shows that your partner is not a fan of sleeping alone (if you know what we mean). If that is something that you are comfortable with, then there’s no cause for concern. However, if you are not a fan of having romantic relations with a serial monogamist, then now’s the time to call it off.

5. They’ve been married more than three times without losing any spouses through death

Do we even have to talk about this? We do not think so, and this is the ultimate proof that the person you call “bae” is a serial monogamist. The reason is that marriage is the highest form of romance and the culmination of love. For a person to terminate three or more and still be in the dating pool shows that such a person can’t stand being single.

It is hands down the most severe sign of serial monogamy, a warning sign to a potential partner. It might not if such a partner is not looking for a long-term commitment. But, if the opposite is the case, then it’s better to stay far from a three-time divorcee.

Causes of Serial Monogamy

Here are some causative factors that lead to serial monogamy.

1. The quest for fresh love

Serial monogamists are suckers for new love tales, and they are known to go the extra mile to achieve such a lofty goal. Staying with one person might not cut it, so jumping into another relationship at the end of a past one might do the trick. Such behavior might serve as a coping mechanism as well as a not-so-cheap thrill.

2. The fear of being alone

Serial monogamists are typically individuals that have not mastered the concept of self-love, so they look for validation in committed relationships. The fear of being alone spurs them into the waiting arms of another lover a mere few days after a breakup. A valid serial monogamist does not have time to brood over a failed relationship; instead, it’s time to look for another willing fish in the dating pool.

3. An emotional happily ever after mentality

Most people in the world hope to find that partner that would be there till the day they die. However, serial monogamists take it a notch higher, and they let such a mentality dictate how they act in the aftermath of a relationship. They will stop at nothing till they find solace in the arms of a new partner, and they treat each tie on their own merits.

Final Thoughts

Serial monogamy is not the same as constant rebounding, as a valid serial monogamist would treat each new partner like royalty and nothing less. Also, there is nothing problematic with serial monogamy, and it is not a toxic trait that can be detrimental to society. Serial monogamists could be the sweetest people out there, they could be the most loyal bunch, and they are real ride or dies. However, do not expect that these serial monogamists would be brooding over a relationship gone sour. They are likely to be in the arms of a new partner as soon as you bat an eyelid. And the chances are that the new partner has moved into their crib!


Matthew is an experienced and passionate BIPOC and inclusivity mental health expert. They are also a blogger, speaker, and relationship coach. Matthew helps people practice self-love and find mental and emotional peace through simple, practical tips and resources.

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