Being in a relationship is hard. Even if you love someone, even if you’re compatible in every way, you’ll still sometimes want to run screaming from the room because of how your partner chews, or because you can’t talk about how things are getting stale in the bedroom.
Some people combat the malaise by keeping an "open relationship" policy, meaning non-monogamous. Polyamory isn’t for everyone, but one group of people sure seems to be nailing it. According to a new study by Christopher Stults, a researcher at The Center For Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies at New York University, gay men have an incredibly high success rate with functional open relationships. Once again, gay men are ahead of fashion.
Stults says that the basic reason non-monogamous relationships can lead to greater closeness in couples is that they’re forced to talk about some difficult stuff. He told The Guardian, “My impression so far is that they don’t seem less satisfied, and it may even be that their communication is better than among monogamous couples because they’ve had to negotiate specific details.”
But why gay men? Hmm, well Stults’ has only interviewed gay men between the ages of 19 and 43, in part so he can study the effects of potential risk for HIV/STI infection in open gay partnerships (good news: none contracted HIV, one couple got an STI, which seems par for the course).
So it may be that heterosexual couples who allow each other love and sex outside the relationship are also doing great. Unless they really hate how their partner sounds when they chew.