Modern Relationships: The One Dating Rule People Are Breaking

couple in wedding attire holding hands

Couple holding hands | iStock.com

While certain cultural norms have stood test of time, there are some dating rules that simply no longer apply. Archaic practices have fallen by the wayside, so some time-honored traditions have gone out the window. (But remember, chivalry isn’t totally dead yet, and treating any person with respect will never go out of style.)

Have you ever wondered who even made up dating rules in the first place? Or how they came to be? Well, from knowing how long you should wait to call to opening the door for your partner, dating rules have ebbed and flowed since the beginning of human evolution. Some have worked, others have not, but few have been so intricately tied to such studied scientific and anthropological research as this one. So, what’s the one dating rule people are breaking? Monogamy, of course!

While it may seem as though monogamy has ruled the roost since the birth of the Founding Fathers, that’s not exactly the case. Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S., there are some groups that still practice plural marriage today, along with many people who question whether or not humans are really meant to be monogamous. In fact, The New York Times reports the majority of the world doesn’t believe in strict monogamy.

Young couple with matching tattoos kissing

Couple kissing | iStock.com

And now more than ever, people seem to be breaking with tradition in search of expanding their horizons. Research shows one in five single American adults has had some sort of non-monogamous relationship in their lifetime. This doesn’t account for cheating or having an affair, either. Non-monogamous relationships include polyamory and open relationships, in which all partners involved are fully aware of one another, agree to the relationship dynamic. That being said, typical relationship expectations, such as trust, love, and respect, are honored. So, is it time to start changing the way we think about non-monogamous relationships?

As we know, an immensely wide range of cultural norms and dating customs exists throughout the world, some of which Americans find peculiar. So why, then, is it so taboo to question one that’s hardly recognized as abnormal in so many other parts of the world? In many sub-Saharan African and Islamic countries, for instance, polygyny (one husband having multiple wives) is legal and quite common, according to Psychology Today.

couple on beach

Couple holding hands on beach | iStock.com

While many in the U.S. are still skeptical of breaking with monogamy, there are more and more groups, festivals, and even destination resorts popping up that cater to the 20% of American adults who believe in non-monogamous relationships. Such places are often revered as welcoming communities, ones that openly accept those living outside the societal norms of the dating world.

So, if you feel like you’re the only person you know questioning whether or not monogamy fits your lifestyle, just remember, these places exist for a reason. Even still, they can be pretty intimidating for someone who’s never branched out from a monogamous relationship before. For those curious to see what’s out there, it’s worth looking into something like OpenMinded. It’s like any other dating website, except it caters to those looking for non-traditional relationships.

Sometimes, it’s best to dive in headfirst, right?

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