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Monkey Branching – A Harmful Practice

Monkey Branching – A Harmful Practice

Updated on Nov 03, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Monkey Branching Relationship - A Harmful Practice

Our modern-day relationships lack the “going steady” tag attached to it. It has become an age-old thing now.

Romantic bonds have become carefree and are meant to be moved with the flow of time. People are relying on online dating websites to find a compatible partner for them.

Many bizarre courting styles have popped up in recent times. One such is Monkey Branching. It is a kind of flirting with other men or women when you are already engaged in a relationship with your present partner.

The various aspects of courtship and healthy boundaries in a relationship have changed over the past few years.

These relationships are not based on mutual trust, respect, and commitment. They start in a fluke and end in utter despair and dissatisfaction.

Monkey Branching Infographic

Monkey Branching – A Harmful Practice
Monkey Branching – A Harmful Practice

What is Monkey Branching? 

Monkey branching is an unhealthy flirting and evil dating technique that happens when people consider other new relationships, while still actively engaged with someone.

Monkey branching occurs when there are many options available to you for love and affection. People consider many alternatives while they are still engaged with their partners.

It is a safety net for them. They do not want to fall on the hard ground if tossed in the air. If something goes out of place with their current partner, they can easily resort to other options to rely on and fall back upon.

In monkey branching relationships, the girl gives away her phone number and contact details to new men, while actively involved in a present relationship. Her present relationship can be a boyfriend, live-in partner, or husband.

The girl meets new guys with the hope of getting something bigger and better out of the new relationship. She pretends to be single and lies to her new partner about her present boyfriend or husband. 

In monkey branching, she often moves from one relationship to the other, without even setting a pause. She jumps from one to the other spontaneously.

Even she participates in one or more relationships with equal ease and efficiency. It’s just like holding on to one branch of the tree and moving on to the next without putting your feet down the ground.

Personality Dynamics of A “Monkey Branching” Partner

A woman who does monkey branching has the following characteristics. You have low moral values and ethical considerations.

  • Poor self-esteem and is guided by the “Law of Attraction”.
  • Do not have healthy emotional boundaries. 
  • Your relations are based on mistrust, deceit, and cheating.
  • May have a fearful and insecure personality.
  • You feel emotionally dependent on others to satiate your feelings of inadequacy and poor self-worth.
  • Always look out for an external source of love and affection. 
  • You are unhappy and dissatisfied with your current relationship. 
  • You expect your new partner to fulfill those things which your present partner is unable to offer you.
  • Constant endeavor to get something bigger and better in terms of looks, money, social status, and power.
  • Manipulation and putting the wrong impression in front of your new partner is an art that you have mastered.
  • You reach out for a new branch in search of greener pastures, while still holding on to the old one. You feel the current one is getting boring day by day.
  • Your “Mr. Backup” is always there in line for you to fall back in times of monotony and emotional distress.
  • Fault finding is your habit. You seek perfection from your partners, which at times becomes an obsession.

10 Signs of Monkey Branching Relationships

In monkey branching relationships, you neither have respect for yourself nor your partner. You are anxious-prone women who have an immense fear of losing relationships.

She cannot think of a life without any. You make backup relations to lean on if any one of them doesn’t work well for you. There are a few signs of monkey branching relationships.

1. Physical appearance

The lady is overly careful about her appearance and beauty. She puts regular visits to the beauty hubs for personal grooming and beauty enhancement. She goes to the gym to look attractive and healthy.

This is a technique you may be used to attract new men into your lives. Applying loads of make-up, buying fancy clothes can be a sign that you wish to impress men.

2. Dating Apps

You might be interested in going online in various dating apps. This is a modern way to get connected with many men at the same time for fun and experimentation. This one is one of the primary signs of monkey branching.

You do this to meet manly, attractive, and status-oriented men in one place. This is like keeping several options available at one time for fun, emotional support, or sex.

3. Accusing and complaining

When a girl or a wife is constantly accusing and complaining about her partner or husband then it is an indication that she has found a new guy to exploit and use in her ways.

Complains can be of infidelity, lack of love, unhappy sex, low social status.

She may do this to alleviate her guilt feeling that arises out of cheating and deceit. It is a projection of her inadequacies on others. She doesn’t want anyone to catch her red-handed.

4. Change in availability and affection

If there is a sudden change in the availability and affection of your partner, it can be a sign of monkey branching. Your partner is not available when you need her the most.

She is either going out frequently or busy chatting in her online sessions.

The girl always pretends to be busy during weekends as well. She is not interested in shared activities with you. Affection is getting less day by day. She appears to be emotionally and physically distant from you.

5. Ignoring and hiding things

Your partner may refuse to spend time with you. They may not talk to you. Might ignore your calls and shows disinterest in going out with you to social events or gatherings.

Moreover, they may hide their phone messages or phone calls from you.

6. Indifference and sudden behavioral changes

You may notice sudden indifference in her behavior and attitude. Your partner may show sudden changes in her likes, hobbies, and preferences.

She may not be bothered by anything happening in your life. This is a sign of emotional distancing. She may not be interested in your activities and friends’ groups.

At times, this indifference can be extreme and she would start avoiding you. There can be verbal fights without any concrete reason.

Denial of love is apparent. This shows that your partner is monkey branching.

7. Ex-partners

Women whose monkey branch usually have many ex-partners. The timeline between the relationships is usually short. Your partner was never alone and may not remember her last single status.

At times, she may tell you about her long list of admirers. Many short and unsteady relations kept her busy all the time. They jump from one relationship to the other very fast without even realizing it.

8. Constant flirting

This one is the most important indicator of monkey branching. Constantly flirting with many guys, while still having an ongoing relationship.

Your partner swings from you to the other guys, while still having an ongoing relationship. Flirting can take forms of continuous chatting, texting, online dating, seducing him innocently. 

9. No common friends

You and your partner do not have common friends. She avoids you if you ask her about her friends. In case, she falls into a trap.

She may cheat on you in various ways. While hanging out with you, she may avoid talking about her friends. You are given no chance to know about her various whereabouts.

10. Emotional boundary

Monkey branching lacks healthy emotional boundaries. The girl cheats on you. She plays with your emotions and trust. Initially, the relationship looks very attractive but slowly it crosses its boundaries.

Your girlfriend or wife may start seducing you sexually. She becomes demanding and controlling. You may feel abused.

She is interested to chase the next relationship and won’t put any effort to make a lasting and enduring relationship with you.

Do Monkey Branching Relationships Last?

No, they don’t. It is better to end the relationship before it’s too bad.

A monkey branching relationship starts with a lot of spark and attraction, both emotional and physical.

It mediates and continues like this for a few days, months, or even years before the girl gets somebody else more attractive and alluring than you.

It can be conceived as harmless fun that can change your life forever.

Later, the relationship becomes monotonous and shows signs of cheating, fraud, deceit, dishonesty, and mistrust.

At last, monkey branching relationships end with emotional pain, despair, and even worse than imaginable. The relation fails because of the following reasons.

  • It fails because it is built on false expectations from your partner’s side.
  • Your partner used you to satiate her emotional and physical needs.
  • Her new partner may catch her red-handed and trust issues come up, which cannot be mended easily.
  • There is a constant fear of losing relations and living a single life. Thus, your partner abuses you emotionally to fill up her inner void.
  • The relation is based on lies and misuse of feelings. There is no mutual love and understanding.
  • Your partner wants the best from you and the blame game starts when her expectations are not fulfilled. 
  • Takes you for granted and hides past issues from you. 
  • The relationship lacks support. It is superficial and lacks good values and ethical judgments.

The link below shows the negative side of women monkey branching.

12 Negative Effects of Monkey Branching

Monkey branching relations are dishonest bonds, where the motive of your partner is to exploit you physically and emotionally.

These contacts can lead to extreme unhappiness for you and your partner. As the relationship is devoid of pleasant emotions, it has harmful effects on your mental health.

The negative effects are as follows –

  1. It causes negative thought patterns and false expectations.
  2. Negative emotional patterns of guilt, anger, depression, suicidal tendencies can occur.
  3. You have feelings of being trapped and cheated.
  4. Unable to commit to a lasting relationship.
  5. Cheating by someone in your previous relationship leads to trust issues in your new relationships. You might doubt the intentions of your new partner.
  6. Low mood and low self-esteem.
  7. Difficulty in making concrete and positive decisions in life.
  8. Severe stress leading to sleep disturbances.
  9. Continuous doubt may rob you of your true happiness.
  10. You are unable to “be present” in your moments because you are preoccupied with the thoughts of being cheated and abused.
  11. Unhappiness for the person who suffers from this problem.
  12. You are preoccupied with “what you can get” versus “what you have now”. There is no happiness and lasting peace in this relationship.

Do Women Monkey Branch? Why?

It is said that this behavior pattern is mostly seen in women. But eventually, there is no evidence to support this theory.

Many men get into this unhealthy habit to find an emotional security and sexual pleasure. The causes of monkey branching are as follows.

  1. Women practicing this habit often exhibit a need to be emotionally dependent on others.
  2. They are inadequate and crave love and understanding from others.
  3. Never happy with their present relationship status, they hunt for something bigger, better, and alluring. This incessant craving knows no bounds.
  4. She feels lonely and cannot accept her single status.
  5. Poor self-validation.
  6. She feels incomplete, insecure, and not worthy without a man in her life. You cannot live by yourself.
  7. She always wants others to fulfill her emotional needs and make her feel existent with utmost security.
  8. You have never loved and trusted her inner goodness.
  9. Women monkey branch because she keeps her options open, in case anything goes wrong with her present relationship.
  10. She feels her new partner fills up the emotional gaps, which was left unfulfilled by her ex-boyfriend.
  11. She wants better men in her life who are handsome, rich, and attractive.
  12. Monkey branching is a sign of her mental weakness. She can dump many relations if found unsuitable in the long run.

What To Do When You Know If Someone is Monkey Branching?

Monkey branching is selfish, lacks commitment, and is greedy. It only involves ‘taking’. There is no emotional contact between partners.

The relationship is not flexible and is controlling and restricting in its makeup. What to do if you know someone with this unhealthy practice?

Few ways about developing self-esteem and personal worth of the person who is monkey branching is essential.

It helps them to get into healthy relationship patterns. You may find the following tips helpful.

1. No questioning

If you find that your girlfriend or wife is monkey branching, avoid asking questions about their whereabouts and behavior.

Avoid giving lectures and sermons as it won’t save the already broken bond.

Stop blaming and questioning her intentions. Your girlfriend or wife may feel that she can get all happiness from her new partner which you failed to provide. Cross questioning at this time can only make things worse.

2. Never force her to continue

Your girlfriend is aware of what she is doing. She knows her moral boundaries. Thus, do not force her to continue in a relationship, when she is reluctant to do so.

Your partner knows her loyalty and she doesn’t want to know it from you.

3. Talk out

You and your partner must discuss the current status of the relationship. Open discussion about your expectations can be helpful to restore mental peace.

Never talk negatively about her new relationship. Let her make her decisions without your help.

Leave her to understand issues on her own. Do not try to control her behavior. Be clear about your expectations from the relationship.

This is the time to verbalize your desires. If she doesn’t agree with it, it is better to walk out of the bond.

4. Talk to a therapist

Take professional help from a relationship counselor, if things appear to be too stressful. It will help to restore peace and happiness in your personal life.

Breakups can be painful if you are committed and genuine from your side. It is hurting to stay in an unfaithful bond.

Self-help Tips for Monkey Branching People

Do you spend your time wishing to meet and live with your dream man? Are you sure that your single status haunts you at every moment?

Do you feel stressed out, if there is no partner in your life? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then it’s the time for some emotional healing.

It is evident that your unhealthy relationship patterns have their root cause, somewhere in the past, maybe in your growing up years. How can you help yourself?

  • Try to find out the reason for your learned attention behavior. Take professional help, if needed.
  • Balance your thought process by thinking positively and feeling genuine. Be truthful of what you think? And how do you feel?
  • Talk to your relatives and friends, whom you trust, and take their suggestions to solve personal issues.
  • Built your broken self-esteem
  • Try to seek happiness with what you have. Do not want more than you deserve.
  • It depends on yourself and not others for emotional support.
  • Work on your moral values.
  • Practice yoga and mindfulness for inner peace and happiness.
  • Visit a psychologist to reduce stress.

Monkey Branching : Frequently Asked Questions

Does monkey branching work?

No, Monkey branching relationships do not work because it is based on mistrust and cheating. It is a cruel flirting that starts with a lot of positive attraction between the partners; but eventually ends in utter despair, when the deceitful actions of one of the partners gets revealed.

What are the six stages of monkey branching?

The six stages of monkey branching are:
1) Flirting and romance – This is the first stage, where partners feel attracted towards each other. Easy romance and sharing of lovable feelings are prominent. Emotional connection feels strong and you people keep going steady for some time.

2) Consistent conversation and texting – In this stage, the girl may want to text you or meet you frequently. Regular hanging out and visits make the relationship look alluring. Monkey brancher can test whether her partner suits her needs and expectations of being an ideal partner.

3) Hiding facts – Monkey brancher can regularly hide facts from her partner. It can be avoiding talks about friends or ex-relationships. This stage is a warning sign, that the relationship is missing out on true love and trust. Hiding personal information or lying facts about self is also present.

4) Surfacing problems – A time comes when the faithful partner identifies the true intent of the monkey brancher and may wish to move out of the relationship. There will be regular verbal fights and emotional abuse. These are red flags that are enough to end this relationship.

5) Regrets and disappointments – This phase is the most difficult one for your faithful partners. The monkey branching partner will walk out, as they are heading to a new branch. The faithful partner feels cheated and suffers regrets and emotional pain.

6) Abandonment or walking out – Both partners move apart in this stage. They abandon each other and find ways to deal with the trauma of a broken relationship.

Will a monkey brancher come back?

Yes, Monkey branchers can come back and try to relate to their ex-partners, if their new relationship suffers from the same signs of relationship issues. Usually, a monkey brancher looks for emotional security and reverts back to those people who they feel can support them in similar ways. The insecure partner may come back if happiness disappears and steady flow of validation from her present partner goes off.

Is Monkey Branching A Rebound?

Monkey branching can be argued as a rebound relationship. When the monkey brancher suspects that her present relationship is showing signs of failure and disappointments, she starts establishing new connections as a way of backup resources.

Do Exes Come Back After Monkey Branching?

Yes, it is possible that Exes may come back together after monkey branching. But, whether such relations can again grow and evolve is a matter of controversy. The faithful partner may not want his partner back because of her deceitful actions. Cheating and playing with emotions are apparent in the relationship. Thus, success rate is minimal or it might not happen altogether.

Closing Thoughts

The parting thoughts make it clear that any relationship that is based on cheating, mistrust, and dishonest intentions cannot be a successful one.

Monkey branching is a need-based relationship that plays with somebody’s emotions. It is toxic and leaves you drained and emotionally exhausted. 

The relationship is loaded with negative energy and continuous disrespect. The never-ending drama and self-betrayal can downpour your emotional well being.

It is sometimes necessary to end things on a bad note to move ahead in life.

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