Dating serial-monogamist/strange that I'm worried?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2011
Dating serial-monogamist/strange that I'm worried?
9
Fri, 12-16-2011 - 6:22pm

Hello all, I'm new to the message boards and thought this would be a good way to reach out for advice. My boyfriend (30) and I (28) have been together for a year. He's basically the perfect man: emotionally mature, committed, successful in his job, loving, intelligent, etc, etc. It's been smooth sailing, but there's one nagging thing in my head. He's been a serial monogamist his whole adult life having six nearly back to back long term relationships (me being the sixth). I suppose that's a good thing knowing he's never been the jerk that treats women badly. In fact he told me they all ended with him getting his heart broken by them taking advantage of him one way or another. He tells me he loves me like no other, has done more for me than any other girl: took me to Europe, going to support me through grad school, being the first girl he's moving in with. But I can't get it out of my head that what if I'm just someone else he fell in love with?

Maybe it's jealousy or insecurity on my part, but I frequently get a little cautious when I think how he's said "I love you" to nearly every other girlfriend. By contrast, I've mostly been a commitment-probe until now. Beside a puppy-love boyfriend at 18, there was 4 year relationship (bad. long story). Beyond that I was happy being the girl just dating around and enjoying casual flings. When I say I love him, it truly has weight given the fact that I'm very particular on who I say that to. Maybe I'm concerned that his "I love you's" don't have the same weight given that he's said that to everyone, despite all he's done for me. He says it hurts him when I bring up this concern because it makes him feel like he can never do enough to prove the extent of his feelings for me. Am I being a little fair in thinking this or just being neurotic? I'm looking for outside opinions to give a dose of reality one way or another. Much thanks...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

Monalicia, I don't see him as

Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Well, I have to disagree with the other response a little bit. I do think it's concerning when people are unable to be single for any stretch of time and immediately jump from one serious relationship to another. It suggests a neediness or desperate nature which results in superficial relationships and feelings purely because the individual needs someone, ANYone, in their life. People like this are usually quick to say "I love you" (how far into the relationship did he say it to you?) and I don't think it's strange to question the fact that you're now the sixth woman he's said that to. While most of us have some kind of relationship history which means we may have said "I love you" to someone else in the past, I can see why being the sixth kind of makes you feel like "how am I special to him when he's said this to FIVE other women?"

The fact that within a year, he's already taken you to Europe (I assume that means he paid for you), moved in with you, and plans to support you through grad school (again, does this mean he's supporting you financially?) also seems to suggest that he moves somewhat fast in a relationship - and after being hurt so many times by people taking advantage of his giving nature, you'd think he would have become wary of that! I'm not sure what that means - whether it adds to the idea that his feelings are superficial or whether he's just a naive hopeless romantic and hasn't learned from his experiences, I don't know.

Having said all that, I just want to say I'm not suggesting you break up with him or anything. You love him and have a great relationship with him, it would be a shame to walk away from that because you can't get passed his relationship history. It's possible he is just giving by nature and in the past, people have taken advantage of that and maybe he's finally found someone - you - who wouldn't do that to him. THAT is what makes you special and different from all his former girlfriends.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

Monalicia-

Hi. As

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

>>

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001

A belated welcome to the board, Monalicia ~

A question before I can form accurate thoughts:

I understand that he's a "serial monogamist", what


~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005

"I guess I've never seen the point of being single just so you can tick that box."

It's not "just so you can tick that box". It's so you have time to move on, reflex, learn from your mistakes, etc. I am not saying EVERYONE who has ever moved on quickly will be doing so because they are desperate and can't be on their own, especially if it only happened once in your life... but when there's a repetitive pattern of it - and five or six times is quite a lot - I would be wary. Of course I'm basing this on the fact that the OP says "six nearly back to back" relationships. I assume that means there was very little time in between each one.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009

I see two possible issues here. One, you seem to be jealous and insecure of the fact that he's had significant relationships with other people, as though that fact alone undermines his relationship with you (it doesn't). Two, if he is a "serial monogamist" I would wonder if he's ever had enough time as a single man to figure out who he is. He says that all of his relationships ended because his ex took advantage of him - It's pretty unlikely that this would happen over and over again without him being a common denominator in all of this, isn't it? Unless he has spent some time figuring out WHY this happened... I would wonder what you are in for. If this guy has issues, then he needs to fix them before he getsin in a relationship with you. It's strange because you say you have been together a year, but you write as though this is a new relationship you are analyzing. After a year together, you should already know his motives and how much you mean to him. If you are still insecure about his past, and whether or not you are just another link in the chain, I would take that as a serious red flag.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008

Hi Mona,

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004

I guess I would ask are there concrete things or signs that you are seeing in the relationship that cause you pause? Not just the fact that he has this past but actual things that he says and does, or things that he doesn't say or doesn't do, that you find not quite right? I think you can know a lot about a person in a year, but not all. I would give it some more time. You say you are going to move in together. This can change a relationship, the moving in, the constantly being around each other, etc. That is when you will really find out how it is going to be with him.

I agree with the others that say with him having 6 previous relationships or whatever, and him claiming they all ended solely because of them doing things to him, as if he had no part at all in the demise of the relationship, its a little too far fetched to believe. He surely had something to do with at least some of the breakups. Its ok if he did. No one is perfect, or the perfect partner. Most relationhsips don't work out, and thats ok too. You have to work through the process to end up finding the one for you. Every relationship teaches you something about what you want and don't want in future relationships. Hopefully he has learned a lot.