In the category of “Things Monogamous People Say”:
There’s freedom in commitment.
Let’s suppose, for a minute, that “commitment” is equivalent to “exclusivity.” Of course, as a polyamorous person, I don’t subscribe to that equivalency in the slightest. But for this example, I’m using the language that (many) monogamous people use.
When I was younger and didn’t know polyamory was an option, or (later) didn’t yet think I could personally handle it, I would apprehensively think about my projected future in a monogamous marriage. I wanted to take comfort in things that people said, like the above.
It made no intuitive sense to me.
I had to sort of parse it out deliberately. Okay, I think what they probably mean is:
You won’t have the anxieties inherent in dating new people anymore.
Once you’re in an exclusive long-term relationship, you don’t need to worry about whether you’ve selected a good partner, because you’ve made that decision once and can stop thinking about it now.
You won’t have the general mental overhead of being single and perpetually seeking someone; you will have the freedom to instead devote that mental energy towards something that feels reliable, such as your spouse or your kids or your hobbies.
Is that what they mean? Maybe. Or maybe there’s something more I still haven’t gleaned.
Problem is, none of that comes even slightly close to selling me on monogamy. For one thing, if I’m seeking freedom, those aren’t the types of freedoms that matter to me. Because, if they were, even within polyamory, I don’t have to date any more than I want to. There’s no rule that I need to always seek new partners. There’s no rule that I have to date anyone ever.
I have the freedom to choose to experience all of those things, or to give myself the freedom from them.
The freedom I want, plain and simple, is the freedom for all my relationships to find their own natural, best-fitting formats. To date, if we want. To have a physically or emotionally intimate relationship, if we want. To be buddies, if we want. To choose what we want. And freedom from those decisions doesn’t feel like any sort of freedom to me at all. That’s me; to each their own. I know there are many who feel differently than me, and that’s the beauty of the diversity of human experience.