According to recent studies, there is a growing desire among people to have more free and open relationships. An open relationship may involve a variety of relationship styles, such as, friendship, occasional flirting or a platonic love affair. However, the new findings suggest that open relationships involve a much higher level of intimacy. The new study also suggests that open relationships have much greater impact on health and well-being for the individuals involved.
According to the researchers, four percent of survey participants in a dating relationship said that they are in an open relationship at the moment. One-thirds of all survey participants reported having been in one before. And over one in ten (12%) said that open relationships would be their ideal relationship form. The majority of participants said that they like being open and sharing. However, when asked if they feel satisfied with their relationship, only six percent indicated that their relationship is truly balanced and healthy. This study confirms previous research that demonstrates how much potential harm can result from having an unhealthy and open relationship.
In addition to health and emotional concerns, there are a number of legal implications of open relationships. Polygamy is illegal in many countries, including Canada and the United States, and could face serious consequences, including possible jail time. Also, if you enter into a monogamous relationship where one partner has cheated on you, then you could be charged with adultery. In short, being in an open relationship carries significant social, legal and emotional risks.
One of the primary reasons why polyamory is appealing is the perceived simplicity and freedom it offers. However, according to several studies, that perceived simplicity and freedom are not enough to ensure long term success in relationships characterized by monogamy. In fact, open relationships tend to fizzle out quickly, with partners breaking up or even getting a divorce once things start to look gray.
In spite of the popularity of open relationships, people involved in them often say that they are unhappy and even sometimes resentful of their partner. After spending time with a partner, a non-monogamous person will likely find that space opens up and blossoms into a variety of additional and interesting activities. But if a monogamous partner also wants space, the non-monogamous partner may not feel comfortable opening up, and this could lead to resentment and a decreased intimacy with their partner.
Open relationships offer flexibility, and flexibility offers the promise of growth. But just as in monogamous relationships, space, openness and jealousy can breed resentment. Openness, space and jealousy are like magnets that pull at one another and cause them to grow closer and tighter until they become a bond that surpasses all others. As a result, open relationships often fail because the couple grows apart instead of together.