Monogamy has been the norm for centuries. Whether it’s through religious doctrine or societal structures, having one partner is just the accepted form of romance throughout modern times, at least in Western countries.
As attitudes towards sex and sexuality become more relaxed in our day in age, we should question why monogamy is seen as more beneficial and preferable.
I mean, if you really care and love someone, by all means be with them, but if you find yourself constantly thinking about that fabled green grass on the other side, maybe it’s time to reevaluate things.
A study out of the University of Michigan took on the subject of non-monogamous relationships, basically what we call “open relationships”, and the results were rather interesting.
As Terri Conley, the study’s lead author and associate professor of psychology and women’s studies at University of Michigan, said in a news release, they found very little difference in happiness between the two types of relationships.
“Overall, the outcomes for monogamous and consensual non-monogamous participants were the same – indicating no net benefit of one relationship style over another.”
Basically, there’s no real difference in the “success” of monogamous versus non-monogamous relationships. From the study itself,
“Because the idea that consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships are functional (i.e., satisfying and of high quality) is controversial, we included a basic study to assess, in a variety of ways, the quality of these relationships. In that study, we found few differences in relationship functioning between individuals engaged in monogamy and those in CNM relationships.”
People who are happy in their relationships, are happy in their relationships regardless of monogamy or polyamory.
The stigma of having open relationships is more harmful than the relationships themselves, they even effected researchers, according to the study.
“Finally, in a second study, we determined that even researchers who present data about CNM are affected by the stigma surrounding such relationships. That is, researchers presenting findings favoring polyamory were perceived as more biased than researchers presenting findings favoring monogamy.”
Basically, if researchers came up with favorable conclusions about polyamorous relationships, they were thought of as biased.
At the end of the day, do what makes you happy. If you are in a fulfilling, trusting, happy relationship, so be it. If you want to spice things up, that’s fine too. Just make sure everyone involved is getting what they want out of the relationship.