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Dan Savage and his Neology Monogamish

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Towards the late 20th century, the epithet “all things must pass” was seemingly applicable to many factors of modern life, with tenets and ideologies we’d lived with for, like, forever, being turned on their heads. We have seen a sexual revolution in the 1960s, but since the new millennium has started, things continue to change, and also at a greater pace. With the Fantasy App you can learn more about how much society’s actions and attitudes towards relationships have been and are changing. We can also delve into the neologies that are explaining and analyzing our behaviors in dating, romance and love. One such neology is Monogamish, coined by Dan Savage.

Who is Dan Savage?

Dan Savage writes the column Savage Love, an internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column. He is an LGBT activist, author, journalist and media pundit/commentator. No stranger to controversial subjects or shying away from strong opinions, the views of Dan Savage on monogamy are interesting indeed.

The Need To Redefine Monogamy

According to Dan Savage, monogamy is no longer the right word to describe many modern relationships. In its most basic premise, monogamy means “one person for life”. Some commentators, like Esther Perel, for example, have the opinion that this has evolved to become “one person at a time”.  Mating for life seems to be a concept that has dimmed over time as an accepted norm.  You might say that this is proven by the number of failed monogamous relationships (except it’s interesting to note that the divorce rate peaked in the 1980s and has been on a steady decline since).  Take it to the extreme and what develops are maximum open relationships - polyamory, swinging and open marriages. However, these only equate (as known) to 4-5% of relationships in the US. There arises, therefore, a need for definition of a relationship that is not totally monogamous.

What Does Monogamish Mean?

A monogamish relationship is one that has moved away from the traditional relationship where fidelity is expected, nay demanded, but has not moved far enough away to have lost sight of the idea of monogamy. Within the definition of monogamish Dan Savage doesn’t address the extremes of monogamy, but that is exactly the point.

Couples in a monogamish relationship have a commitment to each other, but they do not live by the rules of a traditional monogamous relationship. You comply only with the rules and boundaries you yourself have set for your relationship; rules that define what is normal and appropriate specifically for two of you. In a monogamish relationship, the couple is able to define how the balance between freedom and restraint will be achieved.

The Dan Savage monogamish concept enables couples who want to define their relationship by modern tenets without feeling the need to be limited by normalised or constrained ideology do so. And what’s important is that both partners in the couple are in full agreement with the limits and freedoms; otherwise you get back onto that sticky wicket of crossing the line into infidelity.

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