Is An Open Relationship Right For You?

Americans are very interested in the idea of consensual nonmonogamy. In fact, a 2016 national YouGov poll of 1,000 adults found that 48% of men and 31% of women said that their ideal relationship would be nonmonogamous to some degree; however, far fewer than that indicated that they were currently involved in a nonmonogamous relationship. So, while lots of people seem to think that they'd be happier if they opened their relationship in some way, would that actually be the case in reality? Not necessarily.

Generally speaking, people aren't very good at predicting their future emotional states, a phenomenon social psychologists have dubbed affective forecasting errors. We tend to overestimate our emotional reactions to various situations because we just can't predict all of the things that will have changed in our lives between now and some specific point in the future. What this means is that you're likely to have a hard time making an accurate prediction about how you'd feel if you opened your relationship.

That said, your personality may offer some valuable clues about whether consensual nonmonogamy might be right for you--and this is the subject of my latest column over at Playboy. In this article, I take a look at four different personality traits scientists have studied in terms of how they relate to satisfaction in monogamous and consensually nonmonogamous relationships. These include sociosexual orientation, attachment style, erotophilia, and sexual sensation seeking. Research suggests that the degree to which people possess these traits might predispose them to being happier in certain kinds of relationships. 

Check out the full article to learn more about what each of these traits means and what they say about your likelihood of being content in a sexually open relationship. While you're over at Playboy, check out the Hard Science column to learn more about the science of sex. Some of my other recent articles include: 

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