I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

497. The Human Preference For The Dyad

The Human Preference For The Dyad

The web is full of claims, that monogamy were not part of human nature and that polyamory and other forms of promiscuity were the better expression of human nature and needs.   If this were as true as it is often repeated, then this would be visible by the choice of the preferred living arrangements of involved groups of three or more persons.  
Reality indicates the contrary.  Dyads are so much preferred, that even gay people fight to be allowed to be married as dyads.  Most people indicate their preference by living as dyads or by a clear wish find a partner to become a couple, when they are singles using dating sites.    
As far as there are polyamory living arrangements, they are usually a consequence of a religion.   I cannot be sure, if without a religious belief any mormon or muslim women would really choose to share one man.    I have never heard so far of any gay or lesbian triad wishing to be a married group.  

People still prefer dyads as the basic unit of living arrangements as the result of a cost and benefit calculation.

An adult, who is neither dependent nor has dependents be family ties, is free to choose the preferred living arrangement of living alone, living with one other adult or living with more than one adult as a group.   
The following omits any special situation, when people live with parents, children, siblings etc.   The incest taboo excludes the physical needs, which are a part of the deal in the free choice by cost and benefit calculation.   

By living arrangements I mean complete personal involvement, not living as separate and independent households under one roof.   When the preferred living arrangement is a free choice, the decision to prefer and enter a specific arrangement is based upon a cost and benefit calculation, that includes not only material, but also emotional and psychological factors, which are at least equally important, if not predominant.   

Sharing a home as a safe haven means sharing material resources, security against inclemencies of life events, mutual support and advice and mentally stimulating shared time and activities.  All this is very beneficial and for many people a basic need in life.  
Sharing a home means compromising, self-control and the acceptance of restrictions of the freedom to follow every whim due to acting only by agreement with another person.   The own needs are only equally important compared with those of another person.  Additional costs are the risks by making oneself vulnerable.   Sharing very private information and unrestricted access to personal belongings bears a huge risk of being exploited, harmed, hurt and betrayed by someone trusted too much.

Seen as a cost and benefit calculation, dyads have logically the highest potential of life satisfaction for both partners compared with polyamorous groups of any kind.   

Comparing dyads with triads as living arrangements.

To illustrate this, I will compare the living arrangements of a dyad with that of three persons, no matter their gender or orientation.    A dyad by choice is independent of their sexual inclinations as either of two heterosexual or two homosexual persons, as long as they consider themselves as an involved couple.  
  1. Material and practical. 
    Sharing the home and household with one person reduces all fixed costs like rent, heating etc, by one half.   Would one more person be added, the additional reduction of costs would only be one sixth more.  
    But the cost of sharing resources is doubled.   Two persons block the bathroom twice as often as one.  
  2. Safe haven concerning life events.
    A person living alone is at the risk of becoming helpless, when sick or financially in trouble in the case of loosing a job.    This can cause anxiety and worries.   But one person is enough to alleviate the worries by supplying the feeling of security and being protected.   One partner in a dyad is enough to be able to care for someone sick or to share resources.  
    A third person is of no or little additional benefit.   
  3. Supportive emotional safe haven
    When a person is in emotional need of another person's empathy, support or advice, usually one supportive partner is the best situation.  It requires a lot of trust, which is difficult to build with any one person.    Revealing the innermost feelings implies making oneself vulnerable to being taken advantage of, hurt or being damaged by indiscretions.  Overcoming inhibitions due to shame and embarrassment to ask for support is difficult with every person.  Getting support from one partner is of high benefits compared with the cost of the vulnerability risk and strain of overcoming inhibitions.   
    Sharing the troubles with a second person doubles the vulnerability, but does not add many benefits from support.    Having more than one person listening with empathy does not add much to the relief of being listened to by one.
  4. Intellectual companionship.
    Being alone in a museum or other enjoyable cultural situation is often dreary, communicating about one's thoughts, impressions and experiences is joyful and rewarding.   But one person is enough to talk about the picture in a museum.  
    A second person may add a few more different ideas, but does not add much additional benefits to the communication of a dyad.
  5. Man's physiological need for homeostasis
    When the experience of sexuality is controlled and modified by cognition as explained in entry 496, men's physiological need of homeostasis are as real as are the collateral emotional needs.  Most women and also those high quality men, whose sensitivity and bonding ability has not been destroyed, get emotionally attached and their attachment reinforced by physical intimacy. 
    Biologically, there are two genders, and maintaining homeostasis does not require a group or a third person, two partners are enough.  I doubt that even those in favor of polyamory and such would really choose to share a treble bed with two others snoring and tossing.     

The emotional importance of the exclusivity of the dyad.   

The viability and benefits of a dyad as a living arrangement depends upon the realistic expectation and trust, that the partner is reliable, predictable, responsible and bound by accepted obligations.   This depends upon the exclusivity of reciprocally fulfilling each other's relationship needs. 
Exclusivity does not automatically make a partner reliable and predictable, but the refusal of exclusivity prevents the possibility of being able to rely on someone in the case of need.  

Exclusivity is an emotional state of feeling bonded with and committed to one specific partner by a one time decision, which is the result of a careful cost and benefit analysis.    
Exclusivity is more than the repeated self-control as the result of a new cost and benefit calculation every time, whenever some external temptation triggers it.   
  1. Material and practical. 
    Sharing the home requires the reliable expectation of a lasting commitment.   Financial entanglement of shared mortgages, shared rental agreements and no place to go lead to a person's dire situation, when the other's behavior destroys and betrays the trust.   Reliable agreements concerning the exclusivity of the relationship reduce the risks of such entanglements.
  2. and 
  3. The safe haven concerning life events and being emotionally supportive.
    All the benefits of feeling safe and secure and protected depend on the partner's reliability and predictability.    This means to be able to trust, that the partner is always available, when needed.   
    When a partner needs support in any emotional crisis or care in the case of sickness, an exclusive partner is available as a result of his exclusivity.  He has no need, reason or obligations to be somewhere else.  Nobody else is competing for his attention and care.   
    But when a polyamorous partner is part of several dyads, nobody can ever trust, that he is there when needed.   There is always the competition with someone else, who may have a stronger hold or influence over the partner.   A partner refusing exclusivity to the dyad cannot be relied upon, he is not predictable, he is not trustworthy.   He cannot be, even would he wish to, because he cannot clone himself and be present in two dyads at the same time.
  4. Intellectual companionship.
    Only the intellectual companionship can be substituted by sharing activities with just friends having similar interests, so this does not require exclusivity.  But it requires at least the priority of sharing activities with the partner rather than with others, whenever this is the partner's wish and need.
  5. Man's physiological need for homeostasis
    A dyad fulfilling the emotional needs of two persons does not automatically imply sexuality, if for whatever biological or medical reasons both partners have no such needs.  But since for most people except oversexed promiscuous jerks, sexuality is not completely void of emotional attachments, exclusivity of all sexuality to the dyad strengthens and protects the emotional bonding, while sexual entanglements with persons outside the dyad destroys or damages the trust and the reliability of having the dyad as a safe haven. 

I do not imply, that the preferred living arrangement of dyads by a cost and benefit analysis is conscious.   But this preference is an expression of the fact, that dyads are the best representation of the biological dichotomy and its cognitive and emotional perception.  

Monogamy in the traditional sense means the exclusivities of the heterosexual dyad.  Even the people, who are in full denial of the benefits of monogamy as the complete package of exclusivity of sexuality, emotional significance and living arrangements in the full commitment with only one person, are usually not preferring triads or group involvement.   Instead they want to be in more than one dyad.   They want the benefits of more than one dyad without the costs.  They are in denial, that they cannot be present and available all the time in more than one dyad and therefore not equal partners.  

Therefore, while monogamy may not be a part of the animal instincts of humans, especially not of promiscuous males, monogamy is the best way of fulfilling the emotional needs of humans as being determined by their cognition on a long term basis, when monogamy is redefined as the exclusivity of fulfilling all of a partner's relationship needs in a dyad of two committed persons of any gender.   .