Relationships can be a lot of "work, work, work, work, work." Sometimes it is easier to do things a little differently.
After multiple reports claimed that pop stars Drake and Rihanna had split after a much publicized and long-rumored summer romance, now it seems that the couple might not have broken up after all.
Drake, who was spotted over the weekend with new flame India Love, and Rihanna are trying out an open relationship, that is, one in which they are allowed to date other people, according to People. The non-traditional arrangement might not match up perfectly with fans' fantasies about the Grammy-winning stars, but there is a lot of evidence that open relationships work.
One in five Americans have been in a non-monogamous relationship at some point in their lives, according to an April 2016 study by the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. And while the practice is often associated with uber-liberal progressives and "free love" hippies, the study found that the presence of open or polygamous relationships persists across people of all ages, education levels, incomes, religions, regions, political affiliations, and races. The study also found that open relations were slightly more common in the LGBT community and in men.
The prevalence of open relationships has also increased in pop culture, from Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) in Netflix's "House of Cards," to Judy King (Blair Brown) in Season 4 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," to Hulu's "Casual" and Amazon's "Transparent."
Not only is this type of relationship growing more common, there is evidence that it might have a leg up on traditional monogamy. A 2014 study by the academic journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy concluded that older adults in open relationships reported being happier, healthier, and more sexually active than the average. Experts say the appeal of open relationships is that it gives the partners a sense of freedom, individuality and the ability to experiment and keep things fresh. Adults in true open relationships often claim they are not hardwired for monogamy and tend to be very honest with their partners about their extra-curricular activities.
However, for most people, jealousy and insecurity tend to get in the way of the potential freedom.
"There are a wide variety of open-relationship models out there, and they can vary drastically from one couple to another. Having an open relationship can work really well for some people," David Barash, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and co-author of "The Myth of Monogamy" told Men's Fitness.
"However, as people, we're also inclined to be sexually jealous of a partner being with someone else, and from a biological standpoint, we're resistant to that partner having another relationship."
Drake is famous for his R&B ballads of passionate jealousy.
"These days, all I do is wonder if you're bendin' over backwards for someone else; wonder if you're rolling up a Backwoods for someone else; doing things I taught you, gettin' nasty for someone else. You don't need no one else," he croons on the 2015 smash hit "Hotline Bling."
And Rihanna can be equally vicious in her music about men who do her wrong.
But fans know it is never safe to bet against the couple.