Very often, and I really do mean often, I receive a question from guys that goes a little something like this:

Lately my MLTR (or OLTR) has been stirring up the drama. Everything was fine for a few months but now sheâs constantly complaining about <this or that>.  Like the other day, she was bitching about <some minor issue> and a few days ago she screamed at me about <some other minor issue>. Iâve been following all the relationship rules you talk about, like seeing her once a week, not texting too much, etc, and they were working great, but lately they donât seem to be working any more. A few months ago, I stopped having sex with other girls because I got lazy <or complacent, or busy with work, or some other excuse>. What’s going on? What should I do?

Eagle-eyed readers already know exactly what the problem is before I even point it out. Isnât it odd that he has no idea what heâs done wrong? Or that all this drama is his fault? Because itâs related to the one thing that causes most girl-drama in the first place? Even if you do everything else right?

Seriously, I really do get this question all the time. Iâve seen it on forums many times as well. Letâs define exactly what the problem is and how he has caused it.

The Three âAssumedâ Categories of Relationships

When most people hear the word âmonogamyâ they usually assume, as I assume, that weâre talking about a couple who have verbally promised in some way to not be sexual with other people. Donât fuck other people and I promise I wonât either. Thatâs monogamy. In many cases these promises are lies, particularly if the man is an Alpha or if the woman is under the age of 23, but thatâs a topic for another time.

Nonmonogamy is usually the opposite, particularly polyamory which is one type of nonmonogamy. This is where a couple has verbally defined that they are allowed get sexual with other people under whatever ground rules they both establish. Under the system I discuss, this is âThe Talkâ that I describe in one of my books, plus a second “OLTR Talk” talk that only OLTRs receive. Itâs when the nonmonogamous aspect of the relationship is clearly verbalized and agreed to by both parties.

The more serious the nonmonogamous relationship is, the more rules there are. In an FB relationship, there are no rules at all. In an MLTR, there are few if any. In an OLTR, there are several. In a live-in OLTR, or OLTR marriage, there are several more, but even then, the number of rules is far fewer than the typical monogamous relationship, even if the two arenât living together. One of the reasons nonmonogamy is so attractive is that there less rules to follow and limitations on your freedom and long-term happiness.

If youâre dating and having sex with someone relatively new, but havenât had any talk about the relationship yet, most normal people assume (correctly) that the relationship is not monogamous (yet) and that they are allowed to get funky with other people. Even normal, everyday monogamous people generally assume this.

Iâve talked at length about how men screw this up and act like mono-boyfriends even if they aren’t, giving women the assumption that the relationship is monogamous even when it is not (and causing all kinds of needless problems). (Hit the archive of this blog to do more reading on that).

There are also needy people, religious people, and/or many women over age 33 who automatically assume that the instant you have sex the first time you are in effect âpromisingâ 100% monogamy even if you’ve said nothing about it, but these ridiculous idiots are thankfully the exceptions to the rule. As I always say, it’s not 1952 any more, and pretending it is will simply cause you pain and frustration.

Those are the three categories people generally assume relationships fall into. Promised monogamous, nonmonogamous, or âdatingâ and not yet monogamous.

However, thereâs a fourth category most people know nothing about.

De Facto Monogamy

Sexual monogamy is defined as two people having sex with each other but neither are getting sexual with anyone else. This is why if you are cheating on someone, or they are cheating on you, youâre not monogamous, regardless of what was promised or what the two of you present to the outside world. It might feel like monogamy, but it isnât. One of you is having sex with multiple people, therefore you are not in a monogamous relationship. This is why I always describe these cheating relationships as âmonogamousâ with quotes, instead of monogamous.

If youâre cheating, or have recently cheated, on your girlfriend or wife, you may argue that you are monogamous, but youâre not. Youâre certainly pair-bonded, but youâre not monogamous. Youâre fucking multiple people, so youâre nonmonogamous, just like me. Youâre just doing it under a different (and far inferior) model than the one Iâm using. The same goes for if youâre a cuckold, and your wife or girlfriend is fucking someone else when you arenât. You are monogamous, but youâre not in a monogamous relationship. It just sort of feels like you are.

This concept also works in reverse, and hereâs how it happens. If you have two MLTRs and one FB, youâre nonmonogamous. Assuming youâre managing these relationships correctly, youâre reaping all the benefits of a nonmonogamous lifestyle.

Letâs say your FB does what all FBs eventually do; she gets a temporary monogamous boyfriend or husband, LSNFTEs you, and she’s gone. You shrug and donât care. You really like your favorite MLTR and somewhat like your other MLTR, so you let it slide and you let her go. Itâs the Alpha Male 2.0 thing to do. Good job.

Letâs say a few months later your second MLTR starts floating away. You start seeing her less and less. Itâs not anything conscious for either of you. Itâs just one of those things. Plus, you really like your main MLTR and sheâs satisfying all of your emotional and sexual needs even though youâre still following all the usual nonmonogamous relationship rules. So the fact that your second MLTR is floating away doesnât really bother you.

One day, you realize you havenât seen your second MLTR for six weeks. All youâve got now is your main MLTR. You know you probably should get back out there and get some new women, but you donât feel like it. Your main girl is plenty, youâve been really busy with work lately, and blah blah blah excuse blah blah pussy blah blah beta blah blah lazy blah blah.

Congratulations, you are now monogamous.

Guess what? That girl youâre calling your âMLTRâ or âOLTRâ isnât either. Sheâs now your monogamous girlfriend. Thatâs right, pal. Sheâs your GF.

âNo sheâs not! Sheâs my MLTR! I donât take her out on fancy dates and I only see her once a week and I follow all the other rules.â

Yeah, but youâre not having sex with anyone else other than her. That means youâre monogamous. You can say youâre nonmonogamous or open or poly or any other words that make you feel comfortable. Doesnât matter what you say. What matters is what you are. Just like Iâve had married-but-cheating men on this very blog scream at me that theyâre monogamous. They can scream all they want, but theyâre still not monogamous. Pair-bonded, but not monogamous.

So you can say youâre in an MLTR and I can say Iâm a turnip. Does it really matter what we say? Nope. All that matters is who we really are and what weâre actually doing.

By the way, not only are you monogamous, but she knows it. Even if you havenât told her this, she still knows it, because womenâs intuition is very good in this area. She can feel the betaness emanating from you, even if you canât. This creates a monogamous frame to match the monogamous relationship and then, voilà! Say hello to all the usual drama and betaization all other monogamous men have to deal with on a regular basis.

âNo! Iâm not monogamous! I never promised her that! We never discussed it!â

Still doesnât matter. De facto monogamy is when you are truly monogamous (youâre not fucking anyone else except her) without actually saying it or making any promises. De facto monogamy is just as bad as promised monogamy, except that you have delayed the usual monogamy drama by a few months. Other than that, itâs monogamy baby!

This is why these de facto monogamous guys who say they have a MLTR or OLTR are confused as to why theyâre getting all this monogamy drama. Itâs because theyâre monogamous. Sheâs not a MLTR or OTLR, sheâs a girlfriend. Girlfriends are drama. Thatâs how monogamy works.

If it makes you feel any better, many years ago I made this mistake myself. When I was first mastering these concepts, I was dating three different women, all of whom I liked. My least favorite floated away, then my second favorite floated away, leaving me with my favorite. I didnât go get any new women because I didnât feel like it, and I figured it would be fine. I could always go get some more later if I needed them, right? (Oh BD, you dumbass.)

After about three months of my de facto monogamy, guess what started to happen? Drama. She started getting snippy in ways no other woman had been before (when I wasnât monogamous). Fortunately, I understood what was going on, so I nexted her ass (which was painful, because I really liked her) and quickly got three more women. That was early 2008 and Iâve never had that problem since, because Iâve never been monogamous since, de facto or otherwise. I learn from my mistakes and I donât repeat them. The last time Iâve had to soft next a woman, for any reason, was almost two years ago.

(By the way, that woman came back to me, many times, including just last year. As usual, nothing was truly lost by nexting. This is why nexting is so much better than breakups.)

Always remember that if you ever get down to just one woman, and keep it at one woman because youâre being a lazy little bitch, you are monogamous. You are going to start getting monogamy drama and problems even if youâre doing everything else correctly, because youâre not following the most important rule of them all: never get sexually monogamous.