Feb 20, 2024 - News

Atlanta sees rising interest in polyamory and open relationships

Illustration of three single red roses, each with a red ribbon tied in a bow.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Dating in Atlanta can be expensive, but that hasn't stopped folks from exploring relationships beyond monogamy.

Why it matters: Media coverage, a buzzy new memoir and shows like "Couple to Throuple" are bringing polyamory into mainstream conversations.

  • Interest in nonmonogomy grew during the pandemic lockdown, when people had more time to consider their sexual identities and what their relationship goals are, says Ana Kirova, CEO of sex-positive dating app Feeld.

By the numbers: Data is limited on the prevalence of polyamory — and surveys differ in how they ask about relationship preferences — but there seems to be an uptick in openness to it.

  • In Atlanta, 28% of OkCupid daters over the past two years said they would consider an open relationship, according to data shared with Axios.
  • Dating app Feeld's seen a 120% increase over the last three years in the number of Atlanta users including the terms "ethically non-monogamous" and "polyamorous" in their profiles, according to the company.

Zoom out: About one-third of polled American singles say they've had a consensually nonmonogamous relationship, according to Match's 2024 Singles in America study.

  • A slightly higher proportion described their ideal relationship as something other than monogamy in a 2023 YouGov survey.

What they're saying: Atlanta City Council member Liliana Bakhtiari told NBC News in 2022 that she's nonmonogamous and has been dating two partners for several years.

  • Kris Brown, Bakhtiari's partner for over a decade, said the three of them prefer the label nonmonogamy over polyamory.
  • "We're openly showing it and proud of it," said Bakhtiari during a video interview beside her partners. "It should be destigmatized. It's a very valid familial structure that people should embrace."

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