Skip to main content
Contact organiser for link

21 January 2022 - 21 January 2022

1:00PM - 2:00PM


  • Free

Share page:
This is the image alt text Research Seminar General Image

This talk is part of the Department of Psychology (Durham University) seminar series.

Humans seek and form multiple, concurrent intimate relationships. Evolutionary science has revealed the adapted logic of peoples’ motives and strategies for multi-partner mating – and the intense partner conflict and rivalry that can accompany it. This focus on the zero-sum, competitive features of multi-partner mating has revealed how and when romantic conflict might arise. Comparatively little research has studied how intimate partners might cooperate in their pursuit of extra-pair relationships. In this presentation, I argue that people who form consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships (i.e., those in which partners agree that they may have sex or form intimate attachments with other people) might successfully achieve this cooperation by engaging in relationship maintenance practices that attenuate the recurrent adaptive problems introduced by multi-partner mating. I support my argument with evidence showing how people in CNM relationships manage issues related to jealousy, violent intrasexual competition, partner divestment, cuckoldry, and disease transmission. I also present data that my international team and I have collected to quantify the relationship maintenance practices of people in CNM relationships and how these practices improve relationship quality. I conclude by discussing how and why evolutionary and relationship scientists should incorporate CNM into their research agenda and how doing so might improve current models of human mating.

Please email the organiser for the webinar link: