Sociosexual Attitudes and Quality of Life in (Non)Monogamous Relationships: The Role of Attraction and Constraining Forces Among Users of the Second Love Web Site

  • David L. RodriguesEmail author
  • Diniz Lopes
  • Marco Pereira
  • Richard De Visser
  • Inês Cabaceira
Original Paper


Research has typically shown that unrestricted sociosexuality is negatively associated with relationship quality and that relationship quality is positively associated with quality of life (QoL). However, these findings may be restricted to individuals in monogamous relationships, especially those with prior extradyadic interactions (i.e., non-consensual non-monogamous; NCNM). Indeed, individuals in consensual non-monogamous (CNM) relationships have more unrestricted sociosexuality and are also more satisfied with and committed to their relationships. Still, little research has examined whether both relationship agreements are associated differently with attraction forces (wanting to be) and constraining forces (having to be) in the relationship and how they are related to QoL. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 373 heterosexuals (73.2% men, Mage = 41.15, SD = 10.18) registered on Second Love, a dating Web site for romantically involved individuals. Results showed differences in the hypothesized model, according to relationship agreement. For individuals in CNM relationships, unrestricted sociosexuality was associated with stronger attraction forces, which were then associated with greater QoL. The opposite pattern was found for those in NCNM relationships. Furthermore, and regardless of relationship agreement, unrestricted sociosexuality was associated with weaker constraining forces, which were associated with greater QoL. These results make a novel contribution to the literature on relationship agreements and how they relate to QoL.


Relationship quality Sociosexuality Extradyadic relationships Consensual non-monogamy Second Love 



Part of this research was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia with grants awarded to CIS-IUL, ISCTE-IUL (UID/PSI/03125/2013), DLR (SFRH/BPD/73528/2010), MP (IF/00402/2014), and IC (PD/BD/135466/2017) and by ISCTE-IUL with a grant “Prémios Científicos do ISCTE-IUL 2018” awarded to DLR. The authors would like to thank Anabela Santos and the Second Love team for allowing access and publishing the Web survey onto their Web site.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Rodrigues
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diniz Lopes
    • 1
  • Marco Pereira
    • 2
  • Richard De Visser
    • 3
  • Inês Cabaceira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Organizational PsychologyInstituto Universitário de Lisboa, CIS-IULLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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