So what if your Facebook profile reads "In a Relationship" or even "Married"? If you're under 25, it might be more accurate to go with "It's Complicated," says a new study out of Oregon State University, which came to some pretty depressing conclusions about faithfulness in younger pairings.
Researchers asked 434 couples aged 18-25 about their relationships, and concluded that 40 percent disagreed as to whether or not they were "seeing each other exclusively," even if they claimed to have discussed it with one another. And among couples who were on the same page about their relationship, 30 percent reported cheating. But this isn't just a case of college kids who can't help but hook up "without strings attached" between classes and frat parties ...
Oh, no, no. Here's where it gets a bit more befuddling: The study also found that married couples were no more likely than others to have an "explicit monogamy agreement" in place, and couples with children were even less likely!
But the study found that monogamy improved with how emotionally committed the couples were. Well, yeah ... isn't that kind of like saying the more you care about losing weight, the more likely you are to adopt healthier habits? Thanks for nothin', researchers.
Here's the thing: When it comes to the 18- to 25-year-olds who have yet to say "I do," cheating while in a relationship still isn't really acceptable, but I could see how it is definitely is more understandable. Being young and immature obviously plays a major role in their lack of monogamy.
But, as for the MARRIED ones ... what the hell? Why even bother taking vows if you're not going to be faithful? News flash: Getting married isn't just about being the center of attention, dressing up, and getting smashed. And unless these couples agree from the outset that they'll be in an open marriage, it seems a little insane that they would ever question their exclusivity. But they do! Why?
Researchers chalked it up to couples -- especially younger couples -- having a difficult time communicating about "these issues," like ... uh ... not having sex with other people? (Oh, right. Because that's kind of THE POINT of being in a committed relationship -- not to mention, a marriage!) Then, they threw up their hands and said, "Just wear condoms to avoid getting disease-ridden from all that sexting, Skype-sex, or whatever you're doing."
In other words, instead of trying to actually talk to one another to set definitive boundaries and make sure they're on the same page, young people should just assume they're eventually going to get chlamydia or HPV from their partner. Awesome.
What do you think about this study's findings? Is it that difficult to discuss exclusivity?
Image via John Benson/Flickr