Confessions From A Former Serial Monogamist: Too Young To Be So Serious

By Ilex Bien-Aime

Often times when I sit down to write, I think of my future children. I think about the things that I have gone through and how I see those situations much differently now. In life you really don’t get “do-overs” but if I could keep my children away from some of the unnecessary heartaches that I have faced, I will try my best to do so. Often times we think about the monetary fortune that we will leave them with.  However, we neglect leaving them the fortune of wisdom itself.

I wish that I would have learned not to take dating so seriously at such an early age. Being raised by women, my view of dating differed from most men. I was not the kind of guy who believed in a lot of messing around. Sure I did it once or twice but for the most part, I was a serial monogamist. Now that I look back at it, it was crazy that I was always in love with somebody. From the movies I watched and stories I’d heard, I swear to you that I thought I would find my wife in high school or college and live happily ever after. I didn’t realize how unrealistic this scenario really was. As much as we think we know what we want out of life and relationships, as we mature we will look back and realize that our thoughts have changed several times. When we were 17-22 years old, what did we really know about anything? We barely knew what we wanted our major to be in college and yet we were trying to be in these life changing courtships!

I look back at my twenties and realize that I wasted so much time chasing after relationships that were doomed to fail. We were young and now out on our own. Unlike when we were in college, we now had apartments, cars, and money to spend. This should have been the most selfish time of our lives! Not in a malicious or hurtful way but we should have taken this time to truly discover who we really were and what we really wanted but what did I do? I complicated things by chasing after women that I had no business chasing after!

Whether we realize it or not, we try to grow up too fast. In many cases instead of us learning to grow on our own, we add unnecessary crutches and stumbling blocks to our lives. We barely know what we want while trying to cater to the needs of others. At that time we tried to play “adult house”, when we should have been trying to get our own house in order. We spent too many days and nights crying and moaning for people to whom we gave too much power and attention. Now these people are an after thought, yet the complications from those relationships still haunt us to this very day.

I still have friends who are serial monogamist. They cannot stand to be alone. They break up with one person and are moving them out just to help another person move in. Serial monogamists usually do not see the real issue. They are using others to fill a void that can never truly be filled by anyone else. Often times they don’t really want the person that they are dating, they just don’t want to be alone. It’s a destructive pattern -it’s like being hungry but deciding to snack on chips and cookies. They will never really satisfy you and they are hurting you more than they are helping you.

I am a true believer that we should date around and have fun while we are younger. That does not mean sleep around or whore around and maliciously play games with other people, but just go out and discover who you are and what you really want. More times than not, you will discover that your wants and likes will change drastically over time. Things that you thought were important, mean little to you now. Some of us should also practice being alone. We often ask God to show us our next step or to speak to us and then we never stay still or quiet long enough to hear Him speak. It’s great getting to know another person and finding the one to spend the rest of your days with but I will remind my children to be a little selfish and learn about themselves first.

My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC with my lovely wife. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations.

8 replies
  1. shayna
    shayna says:

    I feel its the contrary. We have a delayed adulthood and a protracted adolescence. Nothing wrong with settle down in the mid-twenties. I'm tired of seeing us behaving like "kids" up into our 30s. We need to grow up and be mature, not just with marriage but in all aspects of our lives.

  2. Ilex
    Ilex says:

    You guys are what I call the exception though. Many people are too young to get married at 24 but some people are not. There is no exact science to this but younger people are not as wise and equipped to handle the pitfalls of marriage.

  3. 20 and Engaged
    20 and Engaged says:

    I got married young, and prior to my husband, I had 3 "serious" boyfriends (if you can call a relationship serious in high school). So I'm starting my 20s as a young wife. So many people tell my husband and I that we made a mistake getting married so young, and I disagree. People say we should've lived more, but live how? A lot of the examples are materialistic. Date several people? No thanks; I can have a good time with platonic friends. We just knew early on. I definitely agree; you shouldn't be a serial monogamist because you spend a lot of time mending a broken heart and replacing one love with another. But I think you can still "live" while being in a serious relationship with someone.
    My recent post 20 and Laid Off…Again?

    • Ayize
      Ayize says:

      You’re absolutely right sis…..the Mrs. and I got married at 24 and have ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS whatsoever.

  4. Michelle Sargent
    Michelle Sargent says:

    WOW, this is so true!!! Sad but true!!

  5. Amirah Nuriddin
    Amirah Nuriddin says:

    One of my brothers is like that. Never lived alone…one woman to the next in a matter of a coupla weeks.

  6. Patricia Knight
    Patricia Knight says:

    …and the truth shall set us free! Thank you brother for reforming and contributing to a stable black family; we all need you and your wife to hold it down, so that the kids in our race have a bridge to walk across (into their lives). I agree wholeheartedly; the older should teach the younger so that the same mistakes aren't made generation after generation.

    These are the reasons why we need to stop the madness and keep our marriages strong. Kids do what they see their parents do. If parent's are serial monogamists (shacking and hookin' up), what shall we expect of little Junior & Jamila once puberty hits?!

  7. Mike TW
    Mike TW says:

    Lord have Mercy, This is sooo me! I don’t know what to say..

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