Monkey branching describes the behaviour of people who begin to look for their next relationship while in a relationship. Some go as far as starting a new relationship while still in their current one. They do this without the knowledge and consent of the person they’re currently with. You know those people who are never single? They leave one relationship and immediately get into another. People who do this engage in monkey branching. They swing from one relationship to another in the same way a monkey swings from one tree to another.
Common reasons for monkey branching
People engage in monkey branching for a variety of reasons.
- Fear of being alone: this behaviour is common in people with a fear of abandonment and fear of being alone.
- Lack of commitment: if you’re not committed to a relationship, it makes sense that you’d start lining up the next one.
- Emotional or physical dissatisfaction: if your current relationship isn’t meeting your needs, you could start looking outside for someone else to satisfy them.
- Insecurity: people with low self-esteem could find validation and confidence boost from having multiple love interests.
- Chasing the high: new relationships often have a high that usually wears off with time, there are people who constantly chase this new relationship feeling.
Signs of monkey branching
Some signs you’re with a person who engages in monkey branching include:
- They’ve been in relationships back to back for a long time with almost no breaks where they were single
- Your partner is constantly on their phone and they are overly protective over their phone
- They are secretive about their activities and interactions
- They flirt with other people even in front of you and it’s not the kind of flirting you consider innocent
- They accuse you of cheating and constantly flirting with others even when you’re not. People who engage in that kind of behaviour have a habit of projecting it on others or assuming others are doing what they’re doing
- They are excessively insecure
- They are still on dating apps and you’re not in an open relationship
- They don’t spend as much time with you as they used to because their attention is elsewhere
- They prioritize new connections over your relationship
- When you raise concerns they gaslight you
- They don’t commit to any plans in the future
What to do if you find yourself in a money branching relationship
Confront the issue: if you think this is what’s happening in your relationship, don’t ignore it, bring it up with them.
Set boundaries: if you choose to go ahead with the relationship, then you need to set boundaries about what behaviour is acceptable. Only do this with a partner who admits they’ve been doing something wrong and they want to stop and rebuild trust.
Evaluate the relationship: take time to evaluate whether after the talk you’re partner is exhibiting signs of being genuinely committed to working on the relationship. If there’s no mutual respect and commitment, then you’re working on it alone which is unlikely to work.
Seek professional help: if the situation feels bigger than you can handle on your own, consider seeking professional help from a professional therapist.
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