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For today’s 20- and 30-somethings, these trends are meaningful.

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Call them cheaters, swingers, or "whatever couples"—the bottom line is these couples buck monogamy for a more open approach to their relationship.

Sex with another person is allowed, but it's not flaunted or discussed outside the household. THE SCIENCE OF MONOGAMY "There are a wide variety of open-relationship models out there, and they can vary drastically from one couple to another," says David Barash, Ph.

For many of us, the urge to couple up is a strong one. But does love mean never dating or having sex with other people?

Several years ago, I decided to challenge the idea that the only way to a loving, committed relationship was to be monogamous.

Their openness isn't a license to bed everything in sight—respect and discretion rule. D., professor of psychology at the University of Washington and co-author of The Myth of Monogamy.

"Having an open relationship can work really well for some people," he says.The main unifying element to open relationship styles is non-exclusivity of romantic or sexual relationships.Some believe that open relationships occur more frequently in certain demographics, such as the young rather than the old in America, including, more specifically, the college-educated middle-class, rather than the uneducated working-class, or people of certain ethnic and/or other racial minorities.This means that they agree that other people relating in a flirting manner, sexual or physical, or intimate way with their partner is permitted, or often times tolerated.Generally, an open relationship is when the parties involved have two or more sexual relationships occurring at the same time either as a short-term relationship, such as dating, or a long-term relationship, such as marriage..We eventually broke up (for various reasons, most of which weren’t related to our openness), but since then I’ve remained interested in rethinking relationships—and it turns out I’m not alone.