2023 Abstracts Stage 3

Does Fidelity in a Monogamous Relationship Limit an Individual’s Freedom?

This project aims to illuminate how monogamy creates a romantic ideal in which individuals involved rely on one partner to fulfil endless needs. In order to satisfy these demands, a partner has responsibilities such as; being the greatest lover, the best parent, the trusted confidant, the emotional companion and the intellectual equal. Such expectations from a partner facilitates a restriction on their freedom. Hence, this romantic ideal creates a paradox where we have never been more reliant on our partner’s loyalty but have also never been more prone to stray since we live in a time where we feel entitled to pursue our desire because this is the culture where we deserve to be happy and utilise our freedom to the fullest. An act of infidelity is rooted in a need for an emotional connection, freedom, autonomy and a wish to reclaim lost aspects of oneself. Whereas, in polyamorous relationships “lovers guard their own and their partner’s autonomy, which is understood as the freedom to feel differently tomorrow” (Grahle 2002, 24).