Most of us believe that, after a few years of messing around with other people, you should get married until death do you part. That's essential for a happy, trusting relationship.
And that works for some people, but others choose to be a little more open-minded. And by open-minded, we mean these people have open relationships. Interestingly enough, though, these men and women aren't plagued by jealousy or mistrust. People in open relationships are just as content and satisfied with their partners as monogamous couples, according to research from the University of Michigan.
In the study, which was published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, researchers looked at a sample of about 2,000 people over the age of 25, and had them rate their relationship on qualities like satisfaction, commitment, trust, jealousy, and passionate love.
Even though most people think a monogamous relationship is the gold standard for high levels of fulfillment in those relationship components, the researchers discovered there was no difference between the monogamous and consensual non-monogamous relationships in regard to satisfaction and passionate love. A slight difference popped up in the categories of jealousy and trust, which rated higher in dissatisfaction among the one-partner couples.
“Overall, the outcomes for monogamous and consensual non-monogamous participants were the same—indicating no net benefit of one relationship style over another,” said lead author Terri Conley, associate professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan. Though in the open relationships, the subjects had more satisfaction, trust, commitment, and passion for the primary partner compared to the secondary.