Science has the formula for an open relationship to work

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The key is in the “triple C model”: mutual consent, communication and comfort.

Science has the formula for an open relationship to work
Despite the damage and confusion that Disney movies have generated, as well as other romantic film titles, today it is much more accepted that love can occur in many different ways. The classic relationship between a man and a woman is a good option for some people, but it is not what others want.

There are those who fall in love with people of the same gender, also two by two, or who prefer to have relationships with several people at the same time. Any option is valid, provided that all the members that are part of it are happy and comfortable. But is this really possible when more than two factors are involved in the equation?

This is a question usually asked by those who decide to enter a polyamorous relationship, in any of its variants. But some researchers also do it, such as the authors of a new study, published in The Journal of Sex Research. According to these researchers, from the University of Rochester, the trick is in what they have described as a model of the “triple C”: mutual consent, communication and comfort. Sounds obvious, but it’s not always that simple.

In equality everything goes
To carry out the study, the authors analyzed the responses of an online survey in which 1,600 white women participated, aged between 20 and 30 years.

They noted that satisfaction was lower in partially open or unilateral relationships
Although all were in a relationship, with an average duration of 4 and a half years, they were divided into several groups, depending on whether they were early or late monogamous relationships, partially open relationships, couples with both members interested in consensual non-monogamy or couples in which one of the members opted for polyamory and another for monogamy. The latter were called unilateral couples. Needless to say, the level of satisfaction was different between them.

They found that both monogamous and polyamorous groups had high levels of satisfaction and individual functioning. However, in the case of partially open or unilateral relations, things changed, since they were less delicate and affectionate with their partners, with which they also showed higher levels of dissatisfaction.

The reason, based on the conclusions of the study authors, is the lack of some of the three C, as one of them, Forrest Hangen, explained in a statement: “Sexual activity with another person besides the main couple , without mutual consent, comfort or communication, it can easily be understood as a form of betrayal or trap. “To this, one of his companions, Ronald Rogge, adds that we know that communication is useful for all couples, but that it is essential for those found in non-monogamous relationships, as they are exposed to the additional challenges of maintaining a non-traditional relationship in a culture dominated by monogamy.

It should be noted that the study has important limitations, such as the focus on cross-sectional data, rather than long-term follow-up, or the fact of having only considered one member of the relationship, which also belongs to a very specific group: women, white and young.

It should not be taken as a dogma, therefore, but it serves as a sign that polyamorous relationships are not as far-fetched as we tend to think, but that it should never be forgotten that they are the people who make up the relationship, they should all paddle in the same direction. If they don’t, sooner or later, the wreck is insured.

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