Scarlett Johansson Says Monogamy Isn’t Natural — Do You Agree?
By Macaela Mackenzie
What do you say?
Let’s talk about the most controversial of “m words”—monogamy. In a recent interview with Playboy, Scarlett Johansson, (who split with her second husband last summer), said that she feels that marriage is a lot of work, making her think that ’til-death-do-us-part relationships don’t come naturally to people.
“I don’t think it’s natural to be a monogamous person. I might be skewered for that, but I think it’s work. It’s a lot of work,” she said according to People. “The fact that it is such work for so many people—for everyone—the fact of that proves that it is not a natural thing. It’s something I have a lot of respect for and have participated in, but I think it definitely goes against some instinct to look beyond.”
According to the experts, Johansson is on to something.
“I don’t feel like it’s natural to be in a monogamous relationship,” says Dr. Franklin Porter, a couples’ therapist in New York City. “From an evolutionary standpoint, men are wired to impregnate multiple women to further the species,” he says. However, over time, people began forming families even though their instincts to get with whoever they wanted still remained, says Porter.
But even if staying with one person for the rest of your life doesn’t come naturally, we’ve learned that a lot of benefits come with having a ride or die, says Rebecca Hendrix, a couples’ therapist in New York. “As human beings we have a deep primal desire to matter to someone else, to know that if we reach out for them they are there for us,” she says.
And because of those benefits, like having someone who will enable your addiction to Thai takeout or pour you a glass of wine after a rough day, we sacrifice the rush we get from being with someone new, says Rachel Sussman, a New York-based therapist.
“Human beings are pleasure seekers,” she says. “And it’s hard to show up to the same relationship every day when it’s boring.” As comfy as it is to be in a healthy relationship, the monotony could make some want to ditch one on one relationships for something a little more primal.
At the end of the day, all the experts we tapped agreed that monogamy can be hard AF, but that doesn’t mean it’s not totally worth it if you’re in it for the long haul.
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