Italian American Tao Ruspoli, a man with a fascinating and hugely complicated back-story, takes us on a journey to see whether we were ever meant to be with just one person.
It was timely to be sent Monogamish as, just the other week, I’d had a conversation with a female friend of mine who declared her belief that ‘we aren’t meant to be with just one person all our lives’.
Whilst some of this was, no doubt, down to the fact that she had recently split with her partner of ten years, I still found it a little difficult that someone could have that view. Didn’t everyone believe in happily ever after?
Ruspoli seems to be unsure. After recently going through a divorce himself and with an unbelievably complex family background that I wouldn’t even know where to start with, suffice to say his uncle is about the same age has him and he has a large extended family, he sets out to find out.
He speaks with agony aunts, family law practioners, psychologists and more, as well as looking through his own families, complex, past.
He speaks with couples who are newly together, couples who have been together for years and years, couples on their second partners, those who have loved and lost and more.
Despite all these people, it’s his neighbour, costume designer Roberta Haze, who steals the show. I also feel like she hits the nail on the head when talking about cheating when she says:
“It’s more about the attention and the excitement, ‘cos I mean sex is sex, how different is it going to be? But it’s all the building up to it and the flirting and someone pursuing you, when you’re married, that doesn’t happen.”
It’s something that comes up with a few of the couples he speaks to, the attention, the fact that when they’ve been together a while the relationship changes from one about sex and passion to love and friendship.
But it’s perhaps when Roberta says:
“How I feel about love is that I’m trying to learn, at 73, to believe and feel and internalise, that somebody loves me their way…not my idea of what they should be doing.”
I love this statement. It’s something I personally need to learn and I think probably a lot of us could learn from.
There are those that view polygamy as the answer, that you save your love for one partner but that your lust and desire can be passed on to any number. There are those who go further and say both love and sex can be ‘spread about’, for want of a better image to give you!
There are no answers from Ruspoli, in truth I don’t think he got the answers he was wanting or hoping for himself.
It’s fascinating to see that most of the polygamists are not the ordinary people he meets on the street, but the ‘experts’ he talks to. Perhaps they know something we don’t?