Open Relationships: 9 Facts that Will Surprise You

Open Relationships: 9 Facts that Will Surprise You

Last update: 10 January, 2016

Open relationships, or non-monogamous relationships, are becoming more and more popular, or at least being treated more and more like a natural thing. Despite this, there are still quite a few stereotypes about this kind of relationship and they are wrapped in a sort of mystery, which makes it difficult for many people to so much as tolerate them, much less accept them in other people’s lives.

In any case, open relationships are an option chosen by many couples. Recent studies on the topic are shedding light on this type of relationship in a very interesting way.

Five-Person Cut-Out
What does the study of open relationships tell us?

The following points stand out among the most interesting conclusions offered by the most recent studies on open relationships:

  1. Open relationships are more common between homosexual partners than heterosexual ones, and more common between gay men than lesbians.
  2. Up to 40% of men and 25% of women would be willing to consider having an open relationship. In this sense, it should be noted that many people would be willing to maintain this type of relationship if it were something openly accepted by society.
  3. People can have a natural tendency towards or away from monogamy. There are completely monogamous people, others who are not at all, and others who find themselves somewhere in between.
  4. The stigma around open relationships is strong and very pervasive. In fact, people who participate in open relationships are considered worse than monogamous people in matters concerning commitment, trust, jealousy, generosity, education, or success, among other things. This leads to what is called a halo effect, in which this negativity is extended to other features and behaviors that have absolutely nothing to do with their relationships. This stigma is so great that even people who participate in open relationships consider themselves, in general, to be inferior to monogamous people.
  5. However, not all open relationships are considered equally bad. In this way, swingers (partners who participate in sexual acts with other people together, such as three ways or group sex) are considered less moral, less responsible, and less mature than people who have multiple relationships with different people. Couples who have open relationships in the sense that they occasionally try out sexual relationships with other people are somewhere in the middle.
  6. People who maintain open relationships tend to be more responsible when it comes to the sexual health. In this sense, they tend to be less prone to consume alcohol or use drugs and they take more precautions so as to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
  7. Swingers report having stronger emotions and a more satisfying sexual life than the general population, according to studies.
  8. People with open relationships experience less jealousy than monogamous couples, especially in the case of homosexual couples. This should not be surprising, as an open relationship implies accepting that the other person can be with other people. However, jealousy also exists in these types of relationships, although it occurs much less frequently.
  9. A final interesting conclusion about open relationships is that according to studies, people who participate in this kind of relationship have an equal or even better quality of relationship than monogamous partners in reference to: satisfaction, intimacy, trust, commitment, or communication, although this depends on the type of open relationship.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.