Monogamy is out of fashion and polyamorous relationships, involving multiple partners, could become the norm, a controversial BBC investigation has said.
BBC Radio 4 documentary, Monogamy and the Rules of Love, featured a number of interviews with people in polyamorous relationships, which are intimate relationships between three or more people at the same time.
Presenter Jo Fidgen questioned whether there is still room for sexual fidelity in a “society where choice is everything”.
She suggested that the “taboo” surrounding intimate multi-partner relationships could disappear within the next ten years.
Miss Fidgen interviewed a ‘polyamorous family’ who share a house in Sheffield.
Charlie is a woman who has been married to Tom for six years. Tom is also in a relationship with Sarah, with Charlie’s approval.
Subsequently, Sarah and Charlie also began a relationship. Then Sarah got engaged to a man called Chris. And Charlie tells the programme, “somewhere along the line I fell in love with Chris and now we’re all planning to grow old together”.
They all admitted that managing a relationship with multiple partners can be exhausting, but they say, “we don’t have a choice. We’re in love with each other”.
The programme neglects to examine the effects of polyamorous relationships on children and the show’s presenter said she didn’t want to “get into a debate about what’s best for society or whether we are genetically programmed to have one partner or many”.
Miss Fidgen said: “We don’t see any contradiction in loving more than one friend. No-one asks us to only love one of our children. Why shouldn’t it be any different with romantic love?”
In June a group of polyamorists in Canada called for the same legal status as other relationships, following the group’s first national convention in Canada.
Canada redefined marriage in 2005 and saw a major legal case involving polygamy in 2011.
The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association intervened in the case and now says it wants to see polyamorous relationships treated on the same legal footing as others.
In May polyamorous supporters in New Zealand started calling for legal recognition just weeks after same-sex marriage was legalised in the country.
In March the politician who masterminded the gay marriage campaign in Holland said that ‘group marriage’ was now being discussed in the country.