Canadians Really Want To Find Love, Especially With Multiple Partners, A New Study Finds

Young people are more into non-monogamy. 💑

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
People on piggy back high five each other.

People on piggy back high five each other.

Most Canadians are looking for love, but monogamy less so, according to a new country-wide study on partnership preferences.

The UQAM-led project MACLIC, "Mapping Contemporary Love and Intimacy Ideals in Canada," documents modern attitudes toward intimate relationships and arrangements across the country.

Montreal researchers found most age groups prefer romantic exclusivity, but support for sexual exclusivity increases with age.

"Our results show that Canadians in an intimate relationship expressed a stronger endorsement for romantic exclusivity than for sexual exclusivity as a relationship ideal," said research lead and UQAM sociology Professor Chiara Piazzesi.

Romantic exclusivity refers to a romantic love relationship with one partner at a time, while sexual exclusivity sees partners limit their sexual relationships to a single person.

Over 4000 people across Canada responded to the team's survey — 58% women, 36% men, and 5.4% non-binary folks — sharing their views on the perfect relationship. About a third were single, and within that demographic, three out of ten were dating one or more people.

Among respondents aged 65 and over, most considered sexual exclusivity to be ideal (87%), compared to young people between 18 and 24 (66%).

A majority of respondents in a relationship prefer romantic exclusivity (81%), while fewer need sexual exclusivity (70%). Heterosexual adults in an intimate relationship largely seek both romantic exclusivity (91%) and sexual exclusivity (83%).

Meanwhile, only around half of 2SLGBTQIA+ adults in an intimate relationship deem romantic exclusivity (55%) or sexual exclusivity (36%) ideal. Among non-binary adults who are in a relationship, 36% prefer romantic exclusivity, compared to 24% when it comes to sexual exclusivity.

Single heterosexual participants were more likely to endorse sexual exclusivity compared to single 2SLBGTQIA+ participants, regardless of gender. However, single women of any sexual orientation were more likely to prefer romantic and sexual exclusivity.

Only 16% of Canadian adults in non-monogamous relationships saw romantic exclusivity as ideal, and 6% prefer sexual exclusivity. Among single participants dating one or more people, two-thirds considered romantic exclusivity as ideal, while only 51% prefer sexual exclusivity.

Fortunately for all involved in the study, and Canadians at large, love is in the air this month. That means it's time to get out there and celebrate your S.O., or find a partner or two… or more.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.
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