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Serial Monogamy: Guys & Games - Dating Advice

Updated on March 23, 2012

When He Disappears Just When You're Falling in Love

I received an email from Tamara, which so many of us can relate to. On the rebound from a divorce, Tamara began dating a guy online trepidatiously. She described the relationship which consisted of live meetings, intimacy, lots of chats and emails and texts, communication, mutual support and romance. And then suddenly, it didn't. He backed off 100% saying he didn't want a relationship in more ways than one. Tamara was patient, apologised for pressuring him, offered friendship. And now she's left wondering what the hell happened.

Tamara, I can tell you what happened. He sounds to me like a serial monogamist.

Serial monogamists are people that move toward a committed relationship, showing every sign that they are in 100% (BIG things like this guy allowing Tamara's kid to call him daddy). They seem to love falling in love. They enjoy that beginning phase of a relationship, where things are wonderful and fluffy and you feel lightheaded and surreal. They are all about you and your world, getting close, and dreaming.

They say "I love you" like in Tamara's case. They give you every reason to think this will keep going and going.

And then, reality sets in. They realize how their lives will change, how they will have to compromise or sacrifice, or share. And they fall out of love with love, and run away. Until the next time they meet someone. And it is so wonderful it doesn't even compare to anything before it.

They don't let relationships get to the point of actual work. They don't change their lives. They don't even know that relationships take compromise and effort, because they never let one get to that point.

The only women that last with guys like that, are ones that don't put up with the shit.

Those women maintain their mystery, and strength, and men can't resist that.

Tamara, you did nothing that caused this to happen. It was this guy. It's just the way he is wired. He enjoyed you and your love and had fun. It was a dream for him. A fantasy. Surreal. But when he thought about starting his business and the things going on in his life, he fell out of love with love and went back to his reality. And in his reality, there is no room for compromise, change or commitments.

When he first started shrinking away and acting cowardly and cold, you allowed it. You accepted it. You actually reinforced to him that he can treat you like that, that it was perfectly all right, because you met it with no self respect, or thoughts about yourself. You told him you were sorry for pressuring him. You told him in other words, that this behavior was acceptable. While he gave you excuses and shortness, you offered friendship.

To put it bluntly Tamara, when you directly let a guy know he can treat you like a doormat, he will.

If you want to regain your strength and mystery, stop catering to his bullshit game.

Nothing you say or do will change the heart of this. Do not blame yourself. But don't let yourself get dragged down any further. It is wonderful that you're an understanding, forgiving partner. But when you're like that while your partner is not, there is no balance, there is no compromise. There is only you, bent over and taking it. And believe this: there is nothing less attractive to any man. Nothing.

Tamara, you asked for it, so here's my advice going forward. If he texts, ignore it. Eventually if he wants to talk to you, he will call. Remember you want to recapture his attention with your strength and mystery. You want his respect not his pity. And you do not want to become super-bitch because clearly that isn't you.

If (and it's a big if) if he calls, you should be happy, cheerful, and unavailable. Your being happy is attractive. Men like happy women, especially when they are expecting an ass kicking. It's like when a dog runs off: when he comes back you don't ever yell. That kind of negative reinforcement is associated in the dog's mind with the immediate action. The returning. The coming home. They are not capable of so many synapse firings as to associate all the way backward in time to when they ran off. When you yell, you do nothing but reinforce to the dog the next time he runs away that coming home sucks. And he might not want to.

So if he calls, be happy. "Hey! Hi! How are you! Wow, it is such a nice surprise to hear from you!" This reinforces it is a good thing to call you. It also states you weren't expecting to hear from him. You aren't just sitting by the phone waiting for him, which is a pathetic image.

Quickly, cut the call short. I'm serious. Painfully short. As soon as he answers and says, he's ok, and asks how you are, you are out of there. "I'm great! As a matter of fact I'm late for some plans. I have to dash, but I am so glad you called. Hey, you take care! Bye!~"

Sounds gamey? Well guess what Tamara. Guys game. He gamed you with all that bullshit pulling away and being cold for no reason. In general guys love games. They play Tetris on their phones and buy XBox or PS or whatever. They love sports, they play paintball. They shoot darts or pool. They bet. Guys game.

If you want this guy, game right back. Once he believes you are happy and strong and mysterious again, he will be interested again. Especially when he feels that positive reinforcement of his effort to connect.

There are two ways to look at him, and you will need to decide which way you're going to take.

1 - This guy is just a typical immature harmless guy, that has patterned his serial monogamy in this way. You like him, and you want to get him to rethink how he acts, and behaves. I mean, lets face it - he didn't beat you or cheat on you or act with malice toward your child. He just got scared and did what he does. He withdrew and treated you coldly. As much as that was NOT ok, it still wasn't a felony.


2 - This guy is just too immature and self involved for you. You'd rather just move on.

Which ever it is, this is a stepping stone in your path. This is an opportunity to learn a little something about guys in general.

And Tamara, this is an opportunity to learn something about yourself too. Don't be so understanding of unacceptable behavior. You're worth more than that. And if you don't show guys that fact, then you are actually showing them the opposite.

If you like this HUB please click the “Thumbs-Up” below just before the comments.


All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    8 years ago

    oh my gosh!!!! im so going through this right now!!!! im actually a serial monogamist myself but im trying to tame my lover on the side!!!! im messed up last nite and engaged in some naughty texting with him ( stupid i know i should have just ignored it!!!) going forward if (if he texts again which he probably wont) i will ignore it because i am worth more than an occasional text and booty call!!! im turning this bitch around now!!! thanxx i so needed to read this. very insightful!!!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    your hub on marriage helped me out so much i wanted to check out what else you wrote. this is a very good hub with good advice. it is not a situation i am in but i still think this is a very good hub.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    i want you to know that this sight helped me because it sounded like to answered my question. ive been married for 34 year and known my husband for 39years. he cheated on me 20 years ago and i have never trusted him since then. he was my first love and was with him since i was 21 . im 60 now . i never had an affair till i met this man at my job . he was not my type but one i always wanted to date but was afraid to. anyway my husband left for the military for 1 year, and was angry for that so i guess i had this affair. he did things my husband never did to me and i love it . i told him about my life , all of it . he told me after about 2 months he loved me and wanted to marry me and i thought i loved him to. he was always saying that he would always want more with me so 1 year later after my husband came home i told him i wanted out. i told him about all the feelings i had about our life and how i wasn't happy anymore. well needless to say my lover got cold just like you said , in fact i thought you were one the money about everything. he was exactly like you said. He told me he need to fix his own problems with money and his life. he told me i had a long road ahead of me . well he met a women on line and now there in love after 2 weeks and he never said goodbye to me. now he won't even talk to me. i wish i had read this link before , casue i beg him, and kept emailing him and calling him. he never will speak to me again. thank god i made up with my huaband and am trying to work things out now . i will never cheat again. thank you for listening. he was a serial and how.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY


    Thanks so much for checking in! I'm so glad you found the advice well rounded, and helpful. You sound well on the way to healing and happiness.

    Best to you in all you do,


  • profile image


    11 years ago


    Many thanks for the hub. Very revealing. Many people told me all sorts of things, from chase him and tell him about himself, to dump him. What you wrote was different, and very balanced, and I felt in my heart you were hitting on something.

    Yes it's true he has some emotional baggage, as Isabella says, and it's true that, whilst sometimes, if I had him in front of me, I would probably strangle him, what he did it's wrong, but everything he did before was right. I'm divorcing because some very ugly circumstances and, for me to fall like this for someone, it's because he did many things right.

    This is why, given the options Veronica put in front of me, I'm choosing number 1 and, if he ever calls again, I will do as I've been suggested to do. He needs to realize something about himself, so I won't simply dump him, but I won't just fall back on his arms and "affirm" his behaviour.

    He promised that, at some point, we would have a beer and a chat. We'll see when that happens.

    But I've learnt something about myself, and this is probably the most enlighting thing about this hub. Veronica said that I had made myself a doormat, that I had affirmed him on his bad behaviour, and that I just sat there making excuses for him and taking more of it.

    All my life I've taken on my wrongdoings and the wrongdoings of others' in a continuous effort to be accepted and liked. And I just got more of the same bad treatment, one way or another. People just know they can throw rubbish at me and that I will eventually excuse it and carry on.

    And, whilst is good to be forgiving, it's also important that people know the result of their actions. It's important that people know that you don't treat someone like their heart doesn't matter, and that I don't behave as everyone's doormat.

    Thank you very much for pointing that out, and for being so honest.

    I don't know whether my man will return. I will continue my life and, if he doesn't, believe me, it will very much be his loss. But, if he wants to come back, he will have to give me some respect, I won't be a bitch on him, but I won't serve his moods anymore.

    Thank you for the hub, the advice, and the time you've taken considering this. As I said, it's probably the most balanced advice I've had on this situation. I trust that the right thing will happen in the end. And, for sure, I'll keep you posted with this!!

    Take care, all of you x

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY

    Thanks Isabella. I agree, Tamara wasn't going to "win", but walking away with your strength and dignity is winning all the time in the bigger picture. Am I right or what!

    Tamara, let's hear from you!

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 

    11 years ago

    Great hub!!

    In all fairness, though, even if Tamara had held up the hand at the first sign of that BS, it probably would have ended anyway. Men who test those waters tend to have serious emotional baggage either which way, and they don't respond well to being called on it!

    And for me, if I held the hand up and he checked himself and offered to go back to 'how it was" - I wouldn't want him anymore anyway!

    Men! Pffft! ;-p

  • Goodwitch profile image


    11 years ago

    Excellent. Even in situations where you did nothing wrong - it always takes two!


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