DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – A surprising find when it comes to monogamous relationships and relationships that are more open.
There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to happiness and satisfaction in heterosexual monogamous and consensual nonmonogamous relationships says lead author Terri Conley, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.
“With jealously you can just say, that’s almost a characteristic of their relationship — that they are allowed to have relationships with other people, so they are going to be less jealous but the trust finding was interesting — just because it suggests that, perhaps in some cases, being a little less restrictive about your relationship rules might lead to higher trust,” says Conley.
The study, which included 2,124 people over age 25 in different relationships, rated relationship components: satisfaction, commitment, trust, jealousy and passionate love, which is the intense love feeling often described in new relationships.
“Overall, the outcomes for monogamous and consensual nonmonogamous participants were the same—indicating no net benefit of one relationship style over another,” says Conley.
But what was surprising, jealousy was lower and trust higher in people who identify as swingers, poly-amorous, and as being in an open relationship:
“I’ve done studies about stigmas surrounding these relationships and found that people just assume that these relationships can’t work — for example, can’t work because there are too many jealously issues – would be the type of comment that would come up,” says Conley. “So this has just really given me an indication that for people who chose these relationships — they can be perfectly happy in them.”
The findings appear in the current issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science.