There’s one person out there in this world to be “yours”, to love you, to serve you, to fulfill your wishes, to aim for the same goal like you, to sail through good seas and difficult seas with you not leaving your side, and which will stay with you for the rest of your life, no matter what happens...
As reality started to change, as human life in the Western world became faster and people became more and more focused on consuming, as well as became more and more very individual, changing as personalities a couple of times throughout life, a small deduction from this ideal was made in terms of changing that dream to a “cohabitant”, which just stays for an undefined amount of years by your side, but very probably not for the rest of your whole life. - The slash in the timeline that they call “when people began to divorce more often”.
As well as when same-sex relationships became publicly tolerated and not prosecuted anymore.
But one basic principle throughout all these changes in human relationships remained the same: There’s just one person out there to love you and to be with, not two, three or more.
One person to be intimate with, one person to be the most deeply emotional with, one person to lie in bed and sleep with. Anything else is associated with “dirt”, with being a slut and dragging shame onto one’s name. Leading relationships with more than one person at the same time also easily gets associated with “you do it with everyone who isn’t quick enough to run away from you”, implying an increased sexual neediness, which is, again, associated with different sorts of judgment over the specific person and its character, such as human poorness, a lack of taking care of oneself, lacking personal pride and self-respect, and disloyalty.
Although meanwhile there are means to prevent diseases from spreading through uncontrolled and carelessly having sex with everyone, and means to prevent a woman from possibly getting a child each time she sleeps with a man (as long as she doesn’t make use of a sex technique that prevents semen from entering her vagina), still this dogma from old times keeps being present. It gets used in marketing and in cultural standards - and at least since more Muslims live in the Western world too and bring their custom along with them that up to 4 wives are allowed within the framework of their religion, the refusal and the non-understanding towards relationships between more than two people of a whatever kind of sexual sort increased by a chunk again because it gets considered “alien” to human nature and “inhuman” in emotional terms - for whatever reason - to live one’s life like this.
But, boiled down to the heart of it - what objectivity lies behind all this?
What non-cultural, non-emotional, non-religious reason is there to keep enforcing that illusion, like it is a God-given truth?
Is there actually any at all?
All that what people link with other than a 2-person-relationship are associations that are being shoveled at them and taught to them ever since they were children. Associations that originate in Jewish/Christian religion, that originate in justified fears of earlier centuries and lack of means to put a stop to them effectively, which have been reformed and reshaped over the centuries into more modern forms as religion became lesser and lesser important for a person’s life; even as inventions like condoms and other contraceptives were made and common people allowed to use them.
The only factor that there maybe remains left with some sort of justification, to not let “everyone doing it with everyone higgledy-piggledy” come true is to not produce too many half-siblings which don’t know about each other being such - because incest of whatever kind and genetic sameness proves to be bad for for procreation and leads to increased amounts of birth defects and hereditary diseases.
But - is founding a family and continuing one’s family bloodline the main reason why people come together and form other than platonic relationships?
Or is “family” still just defined by adults procreating children? Haven’t there other forms already come together that generate a similar emotional environment?
Also, through people divorcing way more often throughout their lives, or not marrying at all and getting children even though, isn’t there an increased amount of half-siblings present in a single family through the “patchwork”-model anyway?
So, what reason is it based on to keep this dogma still around and people faithfully believing in it?
One big reason is marketing - because marketing can sell a ton of crap to people then, if they keep looking for that “only one” partner to complete their lives.
People need gadgets, utensils and human services to get pretty to court for each other (e. g. pretty, eye-catching or certain specific clothes, makeup, perfume, hairdressing, manicure, body shaving, coaches for flirting), people need spaces to potentially meet other people in which they will date later (e. g. online dating services, dating agencies, partially also bars and clubs, restaurants for having the date too), people need expensive things to impress other people (e. g. jewelry, expensive cars, a good dress), also they need high-earning jobs in order to leave behind the impression of economic security.
If you keep up that illusion of “there’s one person among millions out there which is destined to end up with you and stay with you forever”, there’s a ton of advantages for this reigning economic system called “capitalism”.
People are going to try to their best to invest in superficial commercial things, people are going to bring in their workforce to earn high status and a big salary - they’re going to aim and stretch for things they can’t reach, but along the way someone else can make a profit from those efforts.
Also, if people just aim for one person, and their heads are filled with illusions about perfection, they’re straight destined to get disappointed by the reality and quickly invest into courting for someone new again. - Which generates new profit for those people whose enterprises sell them the necessary means to enter the new hunt.
If people got down to reducing their expectations, and maybe sometimes accepting that, what they sought to find in just one person alone, to meet it in a couple of people, then this excessive courting would lose a significant reason for it to exist. People perhaps were way more relaxed, didn’t invest these tons of money (they sometimes don’t even have) into crap that’s not gonna secure them the fulfillment they pursue, and they became less judgmental of each other which maybe brings some relationships apart in the first place. Think of excessive jealousy, think of the countless personal definitions what makes out and counts as “cheating”, think of taking possession of a partner’s very life - think of that whole game of either turning or getting turned into a person that you’re not just in order to keep up each other’s expectations towards a relationship.
Investing one’s every power and material in one person is comparable to try to stake everything on one card - very high risk, very much the scenario of possibly losing everything (although you didn’t need to lose it all) and burning one’s hands along with it.
Of course, this provides a situation for adrenaline junkies and for people who are in desperate need of their ego being caressed - because getting the one and winning is very tempting, as it is just that unlikely -, but, realistically speaking, there needs to happen serious contemplation if it is worth accepting that risk every time. All the while as there are many other people out there too and someone can easily quit a relationship if anything about it doesn’t suit for them.
It isn’t the same situation anymore as the potential amount of available partners wasn’t that large because human communities lived farther apart, moving one’s location to a completely different area wasn’t that easy and single individuals didn’t have the modern means to communicate over large distances. So that you were often forced to get along with what you have available locally.
Another factor is: Why do emotional and physical needs always have to be covered in unity?
Who defined that? Who wrote the decree that this has to be the case?
Isn’t the spectrum of possible relationships between humans richer than just that one specific form as the highest form of intimacy, and no other can ever make it to a comparable quality?
Even human psyche is very colorful, can develop into many directions that socially may be considered as “bizarre” - and still there is nearly always a way or at least an ambition to establish tolerance for it.
So, why not also for the idea that you can have several intimate relationships that also include physical aspects?
In the end, some humans have them anyway without anybody of the people involved even knowing about each other (e. g. “ghetto customs of intimate relationships”)... And without spending their life with accepting moral shame.