"The Relationship 'Rule' 1 in 5 Americans Are Breaking"
Remember that study that found 21% of Americans1 have been in a consensual nonmonogamous (CNM) relationship?
It continues to make the rounds, most recently in two leading young-women's online magazines: Refinery 29 ("delivers nonstop inspiration to help women live a more stylish and creative life"), and Bustle ("THE voice for young women, covering anything and everything they love").
● In Refinery 29:
The Relationship "Rule" 1 in 5 Americans Are Breaking
Sigh. Another cheating-looking illustration for a story about
consensual situations. Photographers, please take
some pix illustrating actual poly, not misconceptions
of it, and supply them to stock agencies!
By Sara Coughlin
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Traditional relationship advice may dictate that monogamy is the only way to have a successful, trusting relationship, but it's actually fairly common for people to seek out alternative relationship structures. According to a recent study, one in five Americans have been in a non-monogamous relationship.
For the study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy in April, researchers investigated the prevalence of non-monogamous relationships using two nationally representative samples amounting to 8,718 single American adults. The sample was pulled from the annual Singles In America survey, which asked participants if they had ever had an open sexual relationship.
And what the researchers found will be surprising news to anyone who thinks that open relationships, polyamory, and the like aren't "normal." ...
The researchers noted that, although age, race, political affiliations, and socio-economic status didn't affect the likelihood that someone had experienced a non-monogamous relationship, people who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were slightly more likely than those who identified as heterosexual to have been in an open relationship.
Even though the traditional "love story" tends to involve two people meeting, falling in love, and living happily ever after, if one fifth of Americans are exploring another kind of happy ending, maybe it's time to widen the scope of that narrative....
Read the whole article (August 24, 2016).
● In Bustle:
1 In 5 People Date Non-Monogamously, Says Wide-Ranging Survey — Finally
Relevance of this stock photo is unclear. Photographers,
get busy. (Photo: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy)
By Mariella Mosthof
While millennials are dating non-monogamously more than any generation to come before us, somehow, polyamory, or the practice of consenting open relationships, remains on the fringes of mainstream culture and discourse.
... Interestingly, the study found that the prevalence of non-monogamy stayed steady among most identity groups. ... The race and class data flies in the face of media portrayals which often paint poly folks as rich, white, and highly educated.
...But there's no reason why non-exclusivity can't also accompany a more serious relationship if all parties can set good boundaries and maintain open lines of communication. Which is precisely why the study concluded that polyamory is prevalent enough that it needs to be regarded as a legitimate relationship model in social science circles.
"These findings suggest that a sizable and diverse proportion of U.S. adults have experienced [consensual non-monogamy (CNM)]," the study notes, "highlighting the need to incorporate CNM into theoretical and empirical therapy and family science work."
As someone who a) walked into every therapist-shopping appointment declaring that I needed them to be poly-friendly in order for us to be a good match, and someone who b) routinely emails mental health professionals for quotes, only to be told that they don't know much about polyamory, I feel uniquely qualified to give a full-throated affirmation of this conclusion. Ignoring the reality of 20 percent of the population in a health care field isn't helpful. And neither is ignoring their lived experience in a mental health practice that focuses so intently on relationships. ...
The whole article (August 27, 2016)
1. The survey drew its sample from people who are currently single, so the 21% figure should be considered only a minimum — because 100% of Americans have been single for some period. Those who are currently partnered or married have had additional years in which they may have had a consensually nonmonogamous relationship at some time.