One third of Germans believe monogamy is outdated

One third of Germans believe monogamy is outdated

Young Germans are looking to more modern constellations when it comes to shaping their romantic relationships, a recent representative survey has found. In fact, half of younger Germans are open to being open.

Monogamy is dead for young Germans

For half of the under-30s in Germany, consensual non-monogamy is the future of love. According to a representative survey by market research company Fittkau and Maaß, 49 percent of men and 48 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 29 believe that “open relationships will be more common in the future”. 

Historically, young people led the way for revolutionary changes in the sex and romance department. When it comes to opening up a relationship so that both partners can have other sexual relations on certain agreed terms, that trend continues. 

But according to the Fittkau and Maaß survey, the contemporary shift towards questioning the sustainability and value of monogamy can be seen across the generations in Germany. 32 percent of Germans between the ages of 18 to 69 said they thought some form of open relationship would be more common for couples in the future.

Today, rates of divorce are on the decline in Germany, likely due to the fact that fewer people feel pressure to marry in a long-term relationship in the first place. Between 1990 and 2005 however - the period during which the generation who now see consensual non-monogamy as the future were children and their parents were in the 30s and 40s - there was a huge increase in divorces in Germany, up from 122.865 in 1990 to 201.639 in 2005.

“In the past, there was thought to be no alternative to a monogamous relationship,” psychologist Lisa Fischbach told the dpa. “Today, young people, in particular, are thinking more freely, are open to discussing new ways of living and approaching the topic”.

14 percent of Germans have been in an open relationship

While half of the under-30s in Germany believe consensual non-monogamy is the future, for others, there is no time like the present. 14 percent of survey respondents said that they had already been in an open relationship. In the 18 to 39-year-old category, 19 percent of men and 10 percent of women said they had tried out a free-er love.

For those who feel a little more daunted by the emotional complexities which may come from opening up a relationship, jealousy was named as the dominant reason for not wanting to do so. 64 percent of women and 56 percent of men said they were “too jealous for an open relationship”. Among women, the risk of falling in love and complicating the arrangement was also a factor.

For others, work, children and friends were seen to be too much of a time commitment to have enough hours in the day for opening up a relationship. 64 percent of women and 56 percent of men said they wouldn’t be able to find enough time to go on dates with new people if they were in an open relationship.

Interestingly, 35 percent of all survey respondents said that if they were to have an open relationship, they wouldn’t tell their friends and family, for fear that outsiders would not approve of their relationship arrangements.

Thumb image credit: Photoroyalty /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

Read more



Leave a comment