The 6 Levels of Monogamy vs. Nonmonogamy Belief


first date advice, first online date, online dating advice, meaning of an open relationship, traits of an alpha male

One of the more popular posts here is the one regarding the four levels of your belief regarding women. Today I’m going to talk about the six levels of belief regarding your views on relationships. You fall into one of the six levels described below (whether you know it or not).

One could also view the below levels as stages many men go through when they first discover these concepts (be it from the manosphere or elsewhere). Some men start at lower stages and slowly over time move to higher ones. Others just pick a stage and stubbornly stay there forever.

Here they are:

Level 1: Absolute monogamy is always the ideal for all relationships, period, end of story. Open or poly relationships don’t work at all. 

This level is usually populated by hyper-dominant people, low-sex-drive people, sexually inexperienced people, very young people, or very religious people. It’s a very boring and dismal place to live beyond a relationship’s initial, temporary honeymoon period.

The only time Level 1 makes any sort of sense is if you hate sex (or at least have a very low sex drive) and your partner is the same way.

Level 2: Threesomes with two women and one man are okay. But other than that one exception, monogamy is always best. Open relationships don’t work. 

Some guys have referred this to “kinky monogamy” or “monogamish”. It’s one teeny tiny notch better than absolute monogamy, but men in Level 2 still experience all the same relationship problems as men in Level 1.

Level 3: Open relationships are great…as long as you’re not serious. As soon as you actually get serious with someone, you need to be monogamous. Open relationships don’t work unless they’re casual. Serious open relationships are impossible. 

This is probably the most common level of people under the age of 40 in the modern era. Today’s society is (thankfully) more sexually open and understanding (in some ways) than in decades past, and most people have no problem with people “sleeping around” as long as they aren’t “serious” or “committed” to anyone. This is even seen as “empowering” to some.

But! The instant you want to get “serious” with someone, all this freedom and empowerment vanishes out the window, and now you must get monogamous just as if it was 1952 again. The problem, of course, is that it’s not 1952 any more, even if you want it to be. We’ve discussed that on this blog many times before.

Level 4: Open relationships, even very serious ones, even open marriages, work great. They’re actually better for certain people. But! If you actually want to have KIDS, then you need to be monogamous. You cannot raise children in an open marriage. That’s impossible.

I see a lot of Level 4 guys in the seduction community. “Open/poly relationships are awesome…even better than monogamy. But I want kids someday and when I do that, then I’ll be monogamous. I mean c’mon. You can’t be out fucking chicks while you’ve got small kids at home. C’mon man. That won’t work.”

The problem is that there are millions of open marriages with children all over the western world. These folks tend to be very discreet, because people in the first four levels will judge them harshly. The odds are you already know a married couple with children who have an open, semi-open, or de facto open (tolerated cheating) marriage right now, and you don’t even know it.

Level 5: Monogamy does not work. If you want to be monogamous for a year or two, and then go have sex with someone else after you break up, then fine. But beyond that, monogamy doesn’t work because human beings were never designed that way. Casual, serious, married, or raising kids…it doesn’t matter. Open/poly relationships are, while not perfect, always the better way to go, and there are many proven ways to do this.

Level 5 is where I live. It’s a very happy place to be.

I know monogamy doesn’t work, but I do reluctantly admit that short-term serial monogamy can work for certain people as long as they never expect to have an always-happy relationship that lasts beyond 3 years or so. I will never be monogamous, even if I live with a woman and/or have more kids. Not only does this make me happy, it makes me happy more often than monogamous people.

Sadly, while people in levels 2 – 4 are extremely common, people in Level 5 are in the minority. The good news is that we are the fastest-growing of all the levels, by far. Every year there are more of us, and in a few decades we will be affecting great societal changes. Good ones.

Level 6: Monogamy is oppression. Being monogamous under any context is against basic human rights and is evil. It should never be attempted or agreed to, ever.

Level 6 is a severe, unusual fringe. While I do lean a little in its direction, I find Level 6 extreme and a little silly. Regardless, there are indeed people out there at Level 6 who are far more rabidly anti-monogamy than even I am. Most of these folks I’ve encountered tend to live outside the United States, so I don’t encounter a lot of them on a daily basis. Regardless, I have talked to many of them. And damn, if you think I’m tough on monogamy, you should hear what these people say (most of whom are women!).

Like it or not, YOU fall into one of the above six levels. Maybe you’ve been sitting at your level forever and won’t budge. Maybe you started out at lower levels and eventually saw the light, and moved, even if reluctantly, into higher levels over time.

I started out at Level 4. I was never monogamous before age 25 and always considered monogamy silly, even when I was a virgin in high school, making fun of my buddies who had girlfriends. However at age 25 I really wanted to have kids, so being a good Level 4 soldier I mistakenly thought that the “only” way to do that was to get married and monogamous. Most of you know the rest of the story. Today I sit happily at Level 5, and will likely be there the rest of my life.

Where do you fall in the above scale? And have you always been there?


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  1. I thought I started as a one for religious reasons, but then realized that in practice I was actually a three.

    The reason I thought I was a one was because I held onto the “no sex before marriage” belief, but there were periods when I was casually dating more than one woman at a time, but once things got serious I’d switch to a monogamous relationship.

    Now I’d say I’m a dysfunctional five. Rather than being in favor of open relationships because of any kind of enlightenment on my part, I’m more opposed to monogamous relationships because of first hand experience with marriage and divorce. I’m not going to make that kind of commitment again, so five becomes kind of the default position if I ever decide to have something resembling a nuclear family.

    Although…I’m also willing to admit the possibility that I’m just an emotionally unavailable three. All relationships are open because I’m too guarded to let them get serious.

  2. Love the post. But why do you specify “two women and one man”? Why not “two men and one woman” or the other possible combinations?

  3. I’m also willing to admit the possibility that I’m just an emotionally unavailable three.

    Just remember that being emotionally unavailable is a bad thing, not a good thing. One of the few valid points pro-monogamy folks make is that some guys are nonmonogamous only because they’re frighted or angry due to past relationships traumas. Nonmonogamy is truly “healthy” only when you can really let down and love a woman while not supplicating to her or making her monogamy promises you know damn well you can’t keep.

    Love the post. But why do you specify “two women and one man”? Why not “two men and one woman” or the other possible combinations?

    That wording is used on purpose. Because the vast majority of guys at level 2 are not going to let “their” woman be fucked by another man. That’s more level 3 and above stuff.

  4. I don’t fit in to any of the 6 levels. I think that Poly arrangement can work for some people at certain phases of their life. I also think there may be a biologic component that makes a small percentage (maybe 10%) of people better suited to Poly arrangements; i.e. higher sociosexuality. But for the majority of people IMO, monogamy is the healthier relationship arrangement by far.

    That is my major disagreement with you. You’re an ideologue with this. A flip version of the religious cultural conservative. Humans in general, women in particular are psychologically predisposed to exclusive emotional/sexual pair bonds. The human animal operates best within those confines. And I mean psychologically. Monogamous pair bonds are the best way to create a shared life. Humans need emotional sustenance to work their way though life (and that includes dealing with the inevitable stressors of life). That comes best in the context of a sexually exclusive committed pair bond.

    The overwhelming majority of humans would never FLOURISH in Poly arrangements. NO WAY. I can’t see how a man of your experience can’t see that. I have now been doing PUA for about 3 years with modest results. But the reason I did it was because of a bad divorce and bad memories of early adulthood. I wanted variety before I was too old in life to get it. But there is no way I would EVER recommend a PUA lifestyle or a Poly lifestyle to any person who wasn’t predisposed towards promiscuity.

    Open arrangements in the end are *dangerous* for people who are not wired for them (the majority). It may be that monogamous pair bonds only last for 4-7 years for most people and that serial monogamy is the best fit for the human animal. Maybe. But all my life experience points to the fact that humans flourish best in a monogamous pair bond and a shared life with long term value exchange. Seeing women once ever 10 days or twice a week is nowhere near enough for full emotional satisfaction. PUAs get away with this because women move in and out of phases where they are short term focused. But IMO women over 25 who do either casual sex, or open relationships are rarely ever happy long term and often psychologically damaged.

    So count me as part of the group that thinks that Poly relationships are for psychologically unhealthy people who are UNABLE to form deep emotional connections. Basically sociopaths who have limited empathy. The one except is the maybe 10% of people who are just wired differently.

    For me, I know what I intend to do with game: climb the ladder and sell the top. My goal over the next 2 years is to push myself to find that aging beauty (32-37) who is psychological healthy and then marry her. A lifetime of constant recruitment of new women is empty. The best men do not do this. Really, all it should be is a phase for the young and even then it should be limited.

  5. Interesting.

    But I think you’ve left out a viable level.

    4.5: The belief that monogamy and polyamory are both workable arrangements (with their own pros and cons).

  6. Monogamous pair bonds are the best way to create a shared life.

    Then why do so few people stay monogamous (without breaking up or cheating) for more than a few years?

    The overwhelming majority of humans would never FLOURISH in Poly arrangements.

    I agree. Now forget “poly”. What about a relationship/marriage where you love each other, and only each other, and are committed to each other, but you’re allowed to get a little something on the side to satisfy certain biological/physical needs? That’s what I’m usually talking about. That’s not “poly”, that’s “open relationship”. I support both concepts, but there’s a difference between the two.

    Don’t get hung up on this “poly” stuff (always dating multiple people).

  7. Level 6 and darn proud of it, baby! :)

    Owning people’s bodies is wrong. Telling someone else what they may or may not do with their body is wrong. Everyone has the right to do as they please, including fall in love with someone new, and thus, end the relationship. Nature should take its course. Trying to suppress nature with tyrannical rules is indeed a human rights violation.

    Although I do believe that you can be monogamous in practice, as long as you’re not monogamous by way of verbal or formal agreement. Permission does not imply its exercise, so two people may be have sex with no one but each other and still be in an open relationship because they technically have permission to do anything they want. But official monogamy does violate human rights.

    No, I wasn’t always on Level 6. I used to be on 3, then 4, then 5, and now 6, where I’m happy to stay.

  8. This is funny…just to be clear for those reading, there are two guys named “Jack” and they’re two completely different people and often have two completely different opinions, like in this case.

    Perhaps one of you could change your name slightly when posting on this blog, like “SuperJack” or “Jack In The Box” or something? To avoid confusion with our lovely readers? :)

    Although I do believe that you can be monogamous in practice, as long as you’re not monogamous by way of verbal or formal agreement. Permission does not imply its exercise, so two people may be have sex with no one but each other and still be in an open relationship because they technically have permission to do anything they want.

    Agree 100%. I can envision a time when I’m much older (perhaps over 60) where I will be in an open relationship, but because of my age or time constraints or interest level, there may be a few weeks (or perhaps even months) where I might not be having sex with more than one woman, not because I promised it, but because that’s just how it worked out. I will still eventually get around to playing with someone else, so I’m still not monogamous. As you said, the danger to the relationship is in the promise, not necessarily the act (though the act of monogamy does bring its own dangers too, like neediness, oneitis, etc.)

  9. If you’ll notice, the pro-monogamy jack spells his name with a lower case “j.” But fine, here you go.

    By the way, you forgot to mention those people who believe only in SSOLTRs but not GSOLTRs.

  10. Both monogamy and polygamy can work for an alpha, neither will reliably work for the beta.

    I prefer monogamy by far, but it’s just that: a preference.

    I would say the reason monogamy works for so few people, is that it requires the ability to apply internalised game techniques effortlessly, whilst refraining from totally dominating the relationship.

  11. I have a more pessimistic view on this (do not confuse this with that I’m pessimistic in general though ;) ). Also, I’m not the best with definitions about relationship terms.

    Here are my believes:
    – Monogamy does not work for me, because I’m stuck to one person.
    – Polygamy does not work for me, because then I’m stuck to my desires of having sex with girls.

    From what I currently noticed, polygamy takes up more time than monogamy. Whenever I was in a type of open relationship, it took me more time to deal with girls. I like this, this is fun, but it also allows me less time to develop professionaly (as a tech-entrepreneur). Currently doing three study programs + I work 20 hours (that’s definitely my priority). I’m reframing myself that work = fun, it could be a dangerous place to be in, which I like. I love dangerous places, especially psychologically, I explored all my save ones already.

    So monogamy –> more deep, less fun (in spikes), less time
    Polygame –> more fun (in spikes), less deep (but still deep don’t get me wrong), at least 1.5 times as longer than monogamy.

    And it’s hard enough already to just keep one girlfriend with my current schedule :)

    I’m curious what you have to say about this.

  12. 1. I spend far less time with women on a year-to-year basis than normal men I know with mono-girlfriends. So if being poly “takes too much time”, you’re doing something wrong…or you’re always in sarging mode (which I am not.)

    2. Poly (i.e. MLTRs and FBs) is “less deep” than monogamy, but open relationships (i.e. OLTR) are not. I have a feeling you’d be more happy with an open relationship than you would a poly relationship.

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