Are we meant to be in monogamous relationships after all? I grew up looking at my parents’ relationship and saying “these are the people I don’t want to be like”. Mind you, I love them with all my heart, and I appreciate them much more now, as an adult, than when I was young. However, in my eyes, their relationship lacked something important. They were constantly arguing about the little things in life – things which barely matter.
My father went out for work early in the morning, and came back late at night. We barely saw him. My mother spent the weekend cleaning, and was always too tired to go out with him for dinner or anything else. Although today they have changed drastically
after my brother’s death, I still say that the old versions of my mum and dad are the people I don’t want to be like.

Many relationships are being broken, cheating happens regularly, and the rate of divorce and separation keeps increasing every year. We live in a time where breaking up and losing our partner is as easy as losing a phone (if not even easier). Living in a family of this sort, and living in this materialistic time, made me feel confused in my teenage and young adult years. I was left wondering whether we are meant to be in a relationship or not. I was left wondering whether we are meant to be in a monogamous relationship after all. A long-lasting relationship seemed so rare to me these days. Was it unnatural? Were we humans forced to be in relationships that don’t even work out?

I dated guys, and told them that I wanted nothing serious. That is until I dated them for a period of time, when eventually feelings got involved, they grew, and I ended up wanting something more. But when I got the seriousness I wanted, it never worked out. I was too emotional, I had trust issues, and for me it was all or nothing. I wanted to give it my all, but I was barely getting back half of what I gave in return. When I gave surprises – little handmade gifts and sweet, thoughtful messages – to my partners to show them how much they mean to me, I was mistaken for being ‘too nice’ or ‘too clingy’. At the end, this made me want nothing to do with guys whatsoever. But if monogamy does not work, if two people are not meant to be with each other, then what will work? I’ve heard stories of people who were in polyamorous relationships, that is having more than one boyfriend/ girlfriend at the same time, and their partner doing the same. These relationships do not seem to work out either.

Looking a bit into the future – let’s say I want to have children- really and truly, the children need to be born in a stable family, looking up to people who show them that true love really does exist. What happens throughout the children’s childhood and youth times is going to mould their character. It is of utmost important that they have mentors and role models that are deeply in love with each other so that they don’t grow up having trust issues; issues with men or women and believing that relationships suck. If I didn’t find that in my parents, I found that in my uncle and aunt, whom I wish to thank publicly for this. That was crucial to me. That was the silver lining in all the darkness. That was what made me keep looking for the someone who appreciates me.

A monogamous relationship is what we are supposed to be in, even if we get confused, and even if we question it sometimes. A relationship needs work. My mum used to clean a couple’s house when I was young, and I used to go with her to play with their cat in their big garden. Later on throughout the years, we heard that they were both bedridden due to old age, so we went to visit them. I was still a teenager, but I asked her: “Why do you think that everyone is breaking up right now?” She replied, “People don’t make sacrifices anymore”. I still remember these words so clear in my mind.

We don’t want to work towards our relationship. We live in a world where everything comes so easy to us, and if you have money you can get anything you desire in life. You don’t have to clean – you pay a cleaner, you don’t have to walk or use public transport – you buy a car, you don’t have to go up the stairs – you buy a lift, you don’t have to cook – you buy pre-packed frozen food or eat out. So why work towards a relationship when with money everything else is so easy? Why sacrifice? I’m going to leave these questions for you to answer, but I just want to add that nothing good comes easy, and although we live in a world surrounded by money, true and deep happiness in the soul cannot be bought. It can only be felt.

Brenda Casha

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