More than ever before, my friends who are dating are discussing different non-monogamous relationship options. People who I never expected to want a non-traditional relationship are now talking about opening up their relationship or being monogamish. It's definitely becoming more of a popular thing, but how many people are actually doing it? Well, a new YouGov poll of 1,000 adults aged 18 and over found that 11 percent of respondents had engaged in sexual activities with someone else with consent of their partner. So over 1 in 10 have participated in non-monogamy — and it's an even higher stat among younger generations.
"Society is changing and with it, the way we view relationships," Angela Jacob Bermudo, spokesperson for the open relationship dating site OpenMinded, tells Bustle. "Society has come to a point where monogamy is no longer the end-all, be-all when it comes to the things we value in a relationship or when measuring a partner’s commitment to the actual relationship."
I think it's great. Monogamy doesn't work for everyone and more people are finding the type of relationships that work for them. Of course, the difficult part is that it can add another deal-breaker into the dating scene. You both want kids, you both want to live in the same place, but if one of you needs monogamy and the other doesn't want it, you may have to admit that it's not a right fit. But all the better to know that up front. What was really interesting was to see the trends in different ages. Here's what the poll learned about monogamy:
1. Most People Say They Would Not Be OK With It
Even though non-monogamy might be on the rise, it's still far from being the norm. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that they would not be OK with opening up their relationship, while only five percent said that they would be. The remaining 27 percent said that they weren't sure or it would depend on the situation, so there are still a whole bunch on the fence. But even if all of those people decided they were for it, most people are still attached to traditional monogamy.
2. But More Younger People Are Into It
Seventeen percent of people aged 18-44 said they had had sex with someone else with their partner's consent — higher than the 11 percent average. They were also more likely to say they'd be open to it or that they might be depending on the situation, so younger generations are definitely less tied to monogamy.
"The younger generation leads the way when it comes to shifting these views; Formal dating is no longer the norm and they seek out more from relationships," Bermudo says.
3. More People Cheat Than Have Open Relationships
I thought this was the most interesting part— while 11 percent of people had had sex with someone else with their partner's consent, 19 percent had done it without. And in each age group, more people had cheated than had had sex with their partner's consent. Oh, and 21 percent of those 65 and older had had sex with someone else without their partner's consent.
If this many people are cheating, it seems those are mostly all people who would benefit from being in an open or polyamorous relationship, rather than doing it without their partner knowing. Isn't ethical non-monogamy a better option?
"[By] sharing stories from those that involved in the polyamorous community, we are able to de-stigmatize these relationships and inform those that are curious about the lifestyle," says Bermudo.
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