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Serial Monogamy vs Serial Dating

Linda Collins - August 25, 2020


We all definitely know someone that seems to always be in a relationship. One ends, and they get right back into another one, and the cycle repeats itself. That my friend, is serial monogamy. On the other hand, we have serial daters. The ones that line up date after date, but never seem to be looking for anything serious.

I spoke a friend of mine, Britt,34, who has been hopping from relationship to relationship since I’ve known her. Most recently, she moved in with a guy she met on Tinder after knowing him for just a few weeks. “I’ve always just felt comfortable and secure in relationships. I don’t really think that I go after them, I feel like they just come my way. I’m hopeful that one day, I’ll get it right.”

“Friday, I had drinks with Sarah, Saturday met for brunch with Nadia, and Sunday went on a hike with Amanda,” Brian said. “I don’t think I really like any of them tough.” He shrugged. Wow, I really feel for those girls, hopefully he was upfront and honest with them.

Serial monogamy and serial dating are completely different, but they have some positives and may even give the person the same feeling.

What is Serial Monogamy?

According to Supportiv.com, serial monogamy is a relationship style that involves having a series of monogamous (often long-term) relationships, rather than taking solo breaks or casually dating in between. Serial monogamists feel more comfortable in exclusive, committed relationships than on casual dates or hook-ups.*

Serial monogamists always feel the need to be with someone. They use being in a relationship to enhance their self-worth and self-esteem. Others may simply just not like being alone.

Because serial monogamists are invested and dedicated, they don’t tend to play games (or ghost you ). It’s natural for them to put their significant other first.

Signs you’re a serial monogamist

  • Co-dependent

    You are ALWAYS in a relationship, and if not, you’re looking for your next one.

  • Don’t like being alone

    You may struggle with some insecurities, and that’s okay! But you may use relationships to prove your self-worth.

  • You love LOVE

    You tend to fall very fast. Maybe even planning your future with them in your head, or pushing for the next big step like moving in with each other.

  • Not learning from past mistakes

    When one relationship doesn’t work out, you immediately do the same thing again. Most likely even dating the same kind of person that you KNOW is bad for you.

What is Serial Dating?

Serial dating is in the name itself, someone who loves dating multiple people to get their internal needs met. Serial daters can avoid telling you too much about themselves, and may not ask you many questions about yourself either. They don’t want to get too attached and want to stay disconnected.

This in turn, makes it easier for them to move on to other partners, or date multiple people at the same time.

Signs You’re a Serial Dater

  • Not fond of commitment

    This is the biggest sign. If the “what are we?” question comes up while you’re dating someone, you run.

  • You don’t want to get hurt

    Relationships are hard. Break-ups are even harder. You put up a wall or don’t get too close to people, so you don’t hurt.

  • Excitement

    You are always looking for that new person feeling, the one where you’re nervous and can’t wait to tell your friends about them.

  • You don’t want to be alone

    Speaks for itself. You always need to be surrounded by people or at least talking to someone new.

Which One is Worse?

Technically, neither serial monogamy nor serial dating are bad. Monogamy isn’t better or worse than dating is, it just seems to be the normal thing to do. Everyone has had those conversations you want to avoid at Thanksgiving, with relatives asking why you aren’t with someone, or when you’re going to have kids. And with dating, our needs just may be different. Maybe it’s the fear of getting hurt, or fear of being alone.

Advice for Serial Monogamists

Take some time for yourself. You need to learn how to love yourself and figure things out on your own before bringing another person in your life. They can just cloud your judgement, or make you think you want certain things when you don’t.

Advice for Serial Daters

Be honest! When dating, be upfront with the people that you meet and let them know that you aren’t looking for anything serious. That way it’s up to them if they want to continue, and hopefully nobody gets hurt in the process.

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