Is self-consciousness a product of the expectations imposed by monogamy?
This idea came to me while reading "the Ethical Slut" by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy.
Many of society's (at least Judo-Christian) values uphold the ideal that one man and one woman til "death do us part" is the ideal form of romantic relationship.
All of this emphasis on finding our "other half", our "soul-mate" or our "Mr/Mrs Right" has got me to thinking what an awful lot of pressure that is to hoist onto another person! If we only get one chance to get it right, no wonder we are so interested in not just finding, but also having the perfect body, brain, interests, career etc in order to be competitive in the relationship market.
If society was more accepting of the reality that most of us will go through multiple partners in our lifetime (and dare I even suggest that some of us may have more than one partner at a time?) then what I wonder is if that realization would make us more appreciative of each person's true strengths without trying to make our partner fit into a mold or expecting them to fulfill our every need?
And if we didn't feel like we have to live up to these sorts of expectations, or be afraid of our partners leaving us if they find someone better (at least in the case of polyamory), would we be more able to appreciate ourselves and others?