Monkey Branching: Recognizing the Signs in Your Relationship

monkey branching

In the intricate dance of modern relationships, a new pattern has emerged, known as "Monkey Branching." This term, evocative of a monkey swinging from branch to branch without touching the ground, refers to the practice of being in a relationship while simultaneously establishing a new one, ensuring there’s no gap between partners. This behavior can leave the current partner feeling used, insecure, and hurt. Let's delve into what monkey branching is and the signs that you might be experiencing it.

What is Monkey Branching?

Monkey branching happens when someone in a relationship starts looking for a new partner before ending their current one. They don’t let go of the first "branch" (their current partner) until they have a firm grip on the next one. This behavior stems from a fear of being alone, a lack of commitment, or the perpetual pursuit of something better.

The 23 Signs of Monkey Branching

  1. Decreased Emotional Intimacy: Your partner seems emotionally distant, sharing less about their thoughts and feelings.

  2. Increased Secrecy: They become more secretive, especially with their phone or online activities.

  3. Changes in Routine: They change their routine without a clear reason, possibly to spend time with someone else.

  4. Less Time Together: You notice a significant decrease in the time you spend together.

  5. Avoiding Future Plans: Your partner avoids making long-term plans with you.

  6. Unexplained Absences: They have frequent absences they can’t or won’t explain.

  7. New Social Circle: They develop a new group of friends and don’t include you in their interactions.

  8. Decreased Physical Intimacy: There’s a noticeable drop in affection and physical intimacy.

  9. Constantly on the Phone: They spend more time texting or on social media than usual.

  10. Sudden Changes in Appearance: They start paying more attention to their looks in a way that’s out of character.

  11. Frequent Mentions of a New Person: There’s constant talk about a new friend or colleague.

  12. Defensiveness: They become defensive when you ask about their behavior or changes in routine.

  13. Criticism: Your partner starts criticizing you more, possibly comparing you to others.

  14. Gaslighting: They make you doubt your feelings or concerns about the relationship.

  15. Reduced Reliability: They become less dependable, often breaking promises or changing plans last minute.

  16. Financial Changes: Unexplained changes in spending or financial habits may occur.

  17. Privacy Overload: Their need for privacy increases, often excluding you from parts of their life.

  18. Emotional Withdrawal: They seem withdrawn or uninterested in emotional conversations.

  19. Shift in Priorities: Their priorities change, and you're no longer at the top of the list.

  20. Less Involvement in Your Life: They show less interest in your life, career, or family.

  21. Avoiding Communication: They avoid deep or meaningful conversations about your relationship.

  22. Feeling Like an Option: You start to feel like you're just one of the options they are considering.

  23. Subtle Comparisons: They subtly compare you to other people, hinting at what they find more appealing.

Protecting Yourself from Monkey Branching

protecting yourself from monkey branching

If you recognize these signs in your relationship, it’s important to protect yourself emotionally. Communication is key. Approach your partner with your concerns in a calm and non-confrontational manner. It’s crucial to understand where these behaviors are coming from and if the relationship can be salvaged or improved.

However, remember that you deserve a relationship where you're valued, respected, and not seen as a mere option. If monkey branching is evident, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship and consider moving on to someone who appreciates your worth.


Monkey branching is a tough reality in the modern dating world, but recognizing the signs can save you from prolonged emotional turmoil. Remember, a relationship should enhance your life, not leave you in constant doubt or feeling like a placeholder. By staying aware and valuing your self-worth, you can navigate the complexities of relationships with more confidence and emotional security.


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