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An open relationship is an intimate relationship which is consensually non-monogamous.
This term may sometimes refer to polyamory, but it is often used to signify a primary emotional and intimate relationship between two partners who agree to have sexual relationships but not romantic relationships with other people.
The term open relationship is sometimes used interchangeably with the closely related term polyamory, but the two concepts are not identical.
The main unifying element to open relationship styles is non-exclusivity of romantic or sexual relationships.
Open relationships include any type of romantic relationship (dating, marriage, etc.) that is open.
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.
A 1974 study showed that male students who either cohabit or live in a communal group are more likely to become involved in open relationships than females, and are still more interested in the concept than females even if not participating in open relationships.
In the post-WWII 1950s-1970s, it was traditional to "date around" (with guidelines such not going out with one particular suitor twice in a row) until ready to start "going steady" (the onset of exclusivity and sexual exploration); since then, non-exclusive dating around has lost favour and going directly to steady (now known simply as exclusive dating) has been elevated instead.
One of the most significant factors that aids a relationship in being successful is that it is about making the relationship fit the needs of all parties involved.
Both men and women in these, especially in closed groups, are also more likely to be in managerial jobs.