Serial Monogamy: Jumping from One Relationship to Another

Serial monogamy arises from the fear of being alone, emotional dependence, and lack of self-esteem, among other deficiencies. Have you jumped from one relationship to another in the past?
Serial Monogamy: Jumping from One Relationship to Another
Isbelia Esther Farías López

Written and verified by the philosopher Isbelia Esther Farías López.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Serial monogamy is the practice of jumping from one relationship to another. This practice is increasingly being studied due to its negative consequences.

After a romantic relationship ends, a sort of grieving period begins. As research shows, this is a healthy emotional response characterized by pain. However, some people immediately jump from one relationship to the next.

What could be behind this behavior?

What is serial monogamy?

When a relationship ends and the grieving process begins, it’s normal for a person to experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Helplessness
  • Fatigue

Also, they could experience other emotions as this process goes on. But what happens if you skip this process and start a new relationship right away?
Psychologist Vicente Garrido states that serial monogamists engage in this practice because they’re lacking something or something is missing, and they believe that they can fill their “void” with another person.

A couple holding hands.
According to experts on the subject, those who practice “serial monogamy” tend to have emotional deficiencies.

Have you been a serial monogamist? What can you do about it?

You need to analyze if you’ve done this in the past. If you notice that you’ve been single for fairly short periods of time and that you jump from one partner to the next, you’re likely a serial monogamist.

You may have other problems, probably related to your self-esteem, fear of being alone, or emotional dependence.

If this resonates with you, you need to evaluate what’s behind this behavior. This is because, if you have an issue you need to solve for your own good, it’s a good idea for you to see a psychologist to avoid repeating this practice that, in the end, can be harmful.

Why can serial monogamy be harmful?

Many people resort to this practice to avoid harming their self-esteem. However, deep down, they do much more damage. You think the “numbness” you feel works for you, but if the new relationship isn’t good, is more unhealthy than the old one, or doesn’t go well, then you could suffer even more.

This could end up harming your self-esteem, and you may never address your fear of being alone. The emotional dependence would continue, which is also risky, especially for the achievement of your goals.

If you don’t want to affect your self-fulfillment, you should address this serial monogamy once and for all.

How to avoid falling into serial monogamy

Some analytical approaches state that this practice is an emotional crutch for those who don’t want to grieve for their ex-partner.

However, it’s best to follow some recommendations and start a new relationship in a harmonious and relaxed way, ensuring that you’re capable of giving and receiving love.

This article may interest you: Putting an End to Addictive Relationships

A couple embracing.
It’s important to address the issue of serial monogamy, as it’s limiting and could make people repeat past relationship mistakes.

Here are some of the things you can do:

Analyze your relationship history. Then, analyze if you’ve experienced periods where you were single for a considerable amount of time or if you’ve tried to bandage your emotional wounds with other people.

If you ended a relationship recently, take some time before getting into another. How long each grieving process will last will depend on each person, but try to wait for a few months to pass before you start dating someone else.

  • Try to identify your emotions after a breakup. Are you afraid of being alone? Do you want to make your ex jealous? Answering these questions can help you see why you’re engaging in serial monogamy.
  • Be responsible and act consciously. Remember that going out with another person only to forget someone from your past or to fill a void is synonymous with using them.
  • Act consciously. Once you identify your emotions, become aware of what you really want for your emotional life. Do you want to jump from one relationship to another? Have a stable partner and relationship? Only fill voids in your life without ending that vicious cycle?
  • If you feel that you can’t do this on your own, then you should go see a psychologist or counselor for support or accompaniment. You may need therapy to address your internal problems.

Take a stand to end serial monogamy

Remember that you’re a complete person with a lot of strengths that can go as far as you want in life. In fact, you can reach your goals faster on your own or with a stable partner than with someone who you only use to fill an emotional void.

Don’t be afraid to be alone. The best things in life usually happen when you go back to square one and start making conscious decisions.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Villegas Besora, M. (2006). Amor y dependencia en las relaciones de pareja. Revista de Psicoterapia17(68), 5–64.
  • Sanpedro, P. (2005). El mito del amor y sus consecuencias en los vínculos de pareja. Disenso45. Retrieved from
  • Ruptura de la pareja en jóvenes: factores relacionados con su impacto. (2017). Enseñanza e Investigación En Psicología22(3), 342–352.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.