Open Relationships Are Increasing In Canada And More Millennials Want Them Than Ever Before

More young Canadians than ever before want open relationships according to a new study by UBC.
Open Relationships Are Increasing In Canada And More Millennials Want Them Than Ever Before
Staff Writer

A new study conducted by a university in Canadasuggests that more young Canadians want open relationships than ever before. This University of British Columbia (UBC) study reveals that more and more Canadian millennials are wanting to be in an open relationship and more are becoming accepting of the idea. The research has been published online and is now available to the public.

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The new research from the University of British Columbia suggests that a large number of young adults in Canada, and more than ever before, are either in or willing to try out an open relationship. 

UBC has defined open relationships as when individuals mutually agree to participate in sexual, emotional, and romantic interactions with more than one person. The university explained that an example of this would be polyamory or swinging. 

In order to conduct the study, the university took part in a nationally representative survey. According to UBC, this was one of the first studies to be done outside of the United States that accesses the idea of an open relationship based on representative samples.

Altogether, about 2,000 Canadians adults were surveyed through an online questionnaire. Of those 2,000 young adults, 4% of those that were in relationships reported being in an open relationship. Another 30% reported having been in an open relationship at some point in their life. 

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The study also shows that more than one in 10 Canadians would categorize an open relationship as their “ideal relationship type.” This means that around 12% of Canadian young adults see open relationships as being the best possible relationship. 

"Our findings suggest that more people would like to be in an open relationship than already are, possibly because of the stigma associated with these types of relationships and the difficulty of broaching this subject with partners,” said Nichole Fairbrother, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the UBC department of psychiatry.

According to the results of the study, nearly an equal amount of men and women responded to the survey. Around 55% of respondents were married or living with a romantic partner while another 31% were single.

Researchers found that people who engaged in and preferred open relationships were often younger. Men were also more likely to be in open relationships than women. 

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Although a large number of people preferred to be in an open relationship, there was not much difference in relationship satisfaction between those who are monogamous and those who are not. UBC found that having a match between ones actual and preferred relationship type was inherently associated with greater relationship satisfaction. 

According to Fairbrother, more people would like to be in an open relationship. She suggests that many people may not be willing to commit to an open relationship possibly due to the stigma. “Even with the stigma, however, it still appears that a sizeable number of Canadian adults are either in or would like to be in an open relationship,” said Fairbrother. 

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For more information, you can read the entire study online.

Stephanie Hilash
Staff Writer
Stephanie Hilash is a guest staff writer