(File photo)

12% of Canadians want to be in an open relationship: UBC

A study by UBC found a sizeable number of Canadian adults would like to be in an open relationship

Monogamy isn’t for everyone. In fact, 12 per cent of Canadians say they would ideally be in an open relationship, according to a new research from the University of British Columbia.

A nationally representative survey of about 2,000 Canadian adults found that four per cent of those in relationships were in an open relationship, while 20 per cent said they’d been in an open relationship in the past.

Nichole Fairbrother, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the UBC department of psychiatry, said the 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 talking about it with a partner.

“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.”

What is an open relationship?

UBC defines an open relationship as those in which individuals agree to participate in sexual, emotional and romantic interactions with more than one partner.

This includes, polyamory (engaging in multiple romantic relationships) and swinging (engaging in multiple sexual relationships outside of a relationship, alone or together, with minimal or no emotional or romantic involvement).

For the study researchers had about 2,000 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 94 answer an online questionnaire from market research firm Ipsos.

An almost equal number of men and women answered the survey.

READ MORE: 5 things you need to know about polyamory

Men were also more likely to have reported being in an open relationship

Of those respondents 55 per cent were married or living with a romantic partner, while 31 per cent were single, ten per cent were separated or divorced and nearly four per cent were widowed, said Fairbrother.

“Researchers found that people engaging in and preferring open relationships tended to be slightly younger. Men were also more likely to have reported being in an open relationship and to identify open as their ideal relationship type,” she said. “Relationship satisfaction didn’t differ significantly between individuals in monogamous and open relationships.

Fairbrother said researchers believe that the reason for why greater numbers of men tend to prefer open to monogamous relationship could be partially due to the greater prevalence of open relationships among same-sex male couples.

“Given that a significant minority of respondents say they prefer open relationships, it may be useful for mental health providers to consider ways of making it easier for couples to talk about their relationship preferences in therapy,” she said.

The researchers have also collected survey answers from hundreds of UBC and Ryerson University students to analyze the characteristics of people who prefer different relationship configurations.

READ MORE: Love and marriage? Not in this B.C. town

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

PHOTOS: Neighbourhood stroll during a pandemic

Jackie Zelt went looking for people in a time of isolation

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

District reports case of COVID-19 in Elkford

Owner Ahmed El-Maddah requests any customer who visited pharmacy on March 17 self-isolate

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Most Read