Monkey Branching in Relationships — When Your Partner is Always on the Lookout for New…

Monkey Branching in Relationships — When Your Partner is Always on the Lookout for New… monkey branching in relationships — when your partner is always on the lookout for new…
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When you are in a relationship with someone who is emotionally immature, they will always have fears and deep insecurities throughout the relationship. They may oscillate between committing to the relationship and looking for a new partner. One of those behaviors they may engage in is called monkey branching.

Monkey branching is when a person swings from one relationship to another. It is similar to how monkeys swing from one branch to another. They swing confidently and swiftly from one branch to another with ease, and they do not release a branch before securing a new one.

When it comes to relationships, monkey branchers prepare themselves for the next partner while they are still in a committed relationship with you. They appear committed, but at the same time, they are grooming their next target.

It is more about keeping their options wide open, just in case their supply is cut off in their current relationship. People who engage in this behavior are often looking for a backup plan in case their current relationship does not work out.

This behavior can be damaging to the current relationship because it shows a lack of commitment and trust to work on the relationship.

Why do People Monkey Branch?

There are many reasons why people monkey branch, and the main one is the fear of being alone. Monkey branchers have this deep fear of being single or being with themselves, and that is why they keep their options wide open just in case their current relationship ends. This is because they lack self-worth, and their sense of self is attached to being in a relationship. Without a relationship, they will feel the emptiness deep inside, which is uncomfortable, and they would rather have a backup plan than work on themselves.

Another reason is that they want to maintain their supply. This mostly applies to narcissists who need admiration and attention to survive. They will branch out to another relationship once they feel that their current relationship is not serving their needs properly. You might have started to figure them out, or they are bored with you, and they need a new exciting relationship. Also, to a narcissist, being committed to one relationship may not be enough to satisfy their constant need for validation and recognition.

A narcissist may also monkey branch as a way to satisfy their inflated ego as it provides them with a constant stream of attention and admiration from multiple sources. It makes them feel important and feeds their unrealistic feeling of entitlement. They feel entitled to whatever they want. They may also use it to show you that they are still in control and as a show of their might, especially when they feel threatened in the relationship.

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One last reason why someone might monkey branch is simply that they have commitment issues. The idea of committing to a relationship may be so overwhelming and intimidating to them. They may be afraid of losing their independence by sticking to the relationship, or they still have unresolved betrayal issues from their past relationships. They want to have romantic involvements and companionship, and monkey branching provides a sense of security by providing options and avoiding the pressure of being monogamous.

Common Signs of Monkey Branching

1. Extremely Flirtatious

One common sign that your partner might be monkey branching is when they flirt excessively, even in situations where it may not be necessary. Flirting is often an invitation or a way to break the awkward barrier and test the boundaries before potentially hooking up with someone.

It’s easy for someone who is receptive to flirtation to become a potential monkey branch, and this is one of the simplest ways for someone to transition from one relationship to another. When you confront your partner about their flirting or express your discomfort with it, they may become defensive.

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2. Dating Apps

Unless your partner is a ‘developer’ or a ‘relationship coach’, ownership of multiple dating apps and profiles is a sign of monkey branching. Dating Apps are the best place to explore and see who’s ready for a relationship out there.

It is a simple definition of infinitely keeping their options wide open. If they “forgot to delete them” then you can assist them by deleting the apps but if they sound defensive then know, it’s called a dating app for a reason. They are probably using those apps to connect with potential romantic interests.

3. Overprotective with Their Phones

Another sign that your partner may be monkey branching is when they are very secretive about their phone activity. They may be hesitant to leave their phone with anyone, have multiple passwords on their devices, receive phone calls in secrecy, or quickly close apps or messages when you approach them. This behavior can be a sign that there are things they don’t want you to know, such as their romantic pursuits.

We also need to note that when someone is protective of their devices, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re monkey branching, as there are other reasons why someone may want to keep their phone private.

4. Constantly Lying About Their Plans

Another sign of monkey branching is when your partner constantly lies about their plans or is secretive about what they’re doing. They may provide vague, defensive, or evasive statements about their schedule or whereabouts, even when there’s no need to be. When you catch them lying, they become defensive or give unsatisfactory answers to your concerns.

This behavior can be a sign that they are maintaining multiple romantic partners while still keeping things in their current relationship. However, it’s also important to note that someone lying to you doesn’t necessarily mean they are pursuing other romantic relationships.

5. Lack of Interest

One last sign that your partner may be monkey branching is if they are starting to lose interest and affection in you. They may start pulling disappearing acts or acting busy when you need them the most. They may be spending more time out with ‘friends’ than they used to, or they may be prioritizing other needs and pursuits as a way to dodge the relationship. The relationship is growing physically and emotionally distant. This may be a sign that they are actively seeking other partners because they are bored with you.

It’s also important to note that a lack of interest doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is monkey branching. They may be dealing with personal issues or going through a rough time, such as stress or depression.

Is Monkey Branching Exclusive to Narcissists?

Monkey branching behavior is not exclusive to narcissists and people might engage in this behavior for various reasons like fear of commitment, avoidance strategy and even desire for variety.

However, monkey branching is a clear red flag that your relationship is unhealthy or emotionally abusive. It betrays honesty and trust which are the basic building blocks of a healthy relationship.

What to Do if Your Partner is Monkey Branching?

Relationship are quite complex because even if you know your partner is displaying some signs of monkey branching, you may not ‘confront’ them because of your own fears and insecurities.

The first thing you can do is to understand your boundaries, limits, what you can tolerate and what you cannot tolerate from others. This will just bring the ball back to your court before even confronting your partner. It’s more of understanding the relationship you have with yourself and checking if your actions and interests in the relationship are in alignment with your general wellbeing. This is a simple exercise, take a couple of hours to a day to just know about your principles, value and limits

Once you understand your boundaries, you then communicate them to you partner. You can discuss the current state of the relationship. If your partner is receptive and you see that they genuinely need help in resolving their issues then you can decide if you want to walk the journey with them or suggest for them to go for therapy.

If they are very defensive and evasive about your concerns and your boundaries, then the relationship will not work. If your partner cannot respect your boundaries or doesn’t see any ‘wrongness’ in their actions, then the relationship lacks the vulnerability and openness to be even called a relationship.

Lastly, if you have any concerns about your relationship or of how things are going on in the relationship but you’re afraid to raise your concerns, then that’s where we go back to the advice of “Use the relationship to work on yourself.” If you’re afraid of confronting your partner or to assert your voice and boundaries because they may leave you or get angry then that’s an opportunity to look at those deep fears and insecurities you have. Your relationship should be your greatest catalyst for your own growth.

Without your own growth, your relationship will not grow or you may find yourself stuck in an unhealthy relationship because you lack the inner resources and strength to get out of it.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

References

1. https://kimsaeed.com/2021/06/13/monkey-branching-why-narcissists-are-always-in-new-relationships/

2. https://thepleasantrelationship.com/monkey-branching/

3. https://www.soberish.co/monkey-branching/

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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