By STEPH COCKROFT FOR MAILONLINE
Dropped to 42% if woman had more than 2 partners and 22% if more than 10
Sex with many different partners ‘may be risky’ if wanting a happy marriage
Those with more partners struggled because they are aware of alternatives
Women who have several sexual partners before getting married have less happy marriages – but men do no harm by playing the field,a study has found.
According to new research by the National Marriage Project, more than half of married women who had only ever slept with their future husband felt highly satisfied in their marriage.
But that percentage dropped to 42 per cent once the woman had had pre-marital sex with at least two partners. It dropped to 22 per cent for those with ten or more partners.
But, for men, the number of partners a man they appeared to have no bearing on how satisfied they felt within a marriage.
Researchers said the study showed that sex with many different partners ‘may be risky’ if the woman is in search of a high-quality marriage.
It concluded: ‘Remember that what you do before you say ‘I do’ seems to have a notable impact on your marital future. So decide wisely.’
The findings were published in ‘Before ‘I Do’: What Do Premarital Experiences Have to Do with Marital Quality Among Today’s Young Adults?’, published at the University of Virginia.
The report, by Galena K Rhoades and Scott M Stanley, said the first conclusion of the study was that ‘What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas’.
It means our past experiences, especially when it comes to love, are linked to our future marital quality, they said.
The researchers said those who had more partners perhaps find it difficult to commit to their spouse because they were aware of the alternatives.
They added that more experiences of breaking up can give people a ‘more jaundiced view of love’ which could affect future relationships.
The report said: ‘Many in Generation YOLO (you only live once) believe that what happens while you’re young won’t affect your future. But our research paints a different picture.
‘This doesn’t mean that sex before marriage will doom a marriage, but sex with many different partners may be risky if you’re looking for a high-quality marriage.’
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It continued: ‘Having had more relationship experiences prior to marriage also means more experience breaking up.
‘A history of multiple breakups may make people take a more jaundiced view of love and relationships.’
The study also found that couples who had more than 150 guests at their ceremony had the greatest marital quality down the line.
Researchers for the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, pictured, said that sex with many different partners ‘may be risky’ for those seeking to have a high-quality marriage in the future.
It said: ‘We think this finding has to do with making a public declaration of commitment and having community support.
‘The more support a couple has, the better they are able to navigate the occasional choppy waters associated with marriage.’
The study tracked the relationships of a representative national sample in America of 1,294 unmarried men and women aged 18-34.
The researchers followed the subjects for five years. In that time, 418 were married.
Only 23 per cent of those who got married during the survey had sex solely with the person they married.