Monogamy on the rocks: 2024's surprising dating trends revealed

Aussie's are redefining love and relationships in 2024, embracing openness and non-traditional arrangements.

Get ready for a romance revolution! 2024 is poised to be a game-changer, shaking off traditional dating norms and embracing a new era of relationship exploration. And who better to spill the tea on these seismic shifts than Ashley Madison, the ultimate authority on modern connections, as the world's leading married dating site?

Australia, taking the world stage, proudly claims the third spot globally for sign-ups to Ashley Madison, setting the tone for an explosive year ahead in the domain of Aussie daters.

Friends talking on the street at night
The top dating trends of 2024 are set to reshape modern relationships. Photo: Getty

Ashley Madison's latest survey brings to light four pivotal trends steering the course of this year's dating scene. The data reveals that societal attitudes towards monogamy and women's empowerment in relationships are undergoing transformative shifts, redefining the very essence of modern love.

Here's your sneak peek into the global dating trends set to dominate 2024.

Trend #1 Monogamy on the Rocks

According to the data, Gen Z is at the forefront of a love revolution, signing up for Ashley Madison in droves. This isn't just about flouting the monogamous norm; it's an exploration of diverse relationship paradigms. In a society that's evolving, there's a pragmatic acceptance that love isn't a one-size-fits-all affair.


Amid this transformation, 2023 saw Gen Z leading the charge in Ashley Madison sign-ups, challenging the traditional narrative of monogamy. The rise of Gen Z on Ashley Madison mirrors a broader societal move away from traditional monogamy, proving that non-monogamous relationships are no longer on the fringe but gaining mainstream acceptance. Paul Keable, Chief Strategy Officer at Ashley Madison, attributes this trend in Australia, along with our high sign-up rates, to the country's "independent spirit."

Indeed, society as a whole is experiencing a notable shift toward non-monogamous relationships, with a nearly 10% increase in acceptance globally. The dating scene is evolving, and Gen Z is at the forefront, redefining the norms of modern relationships.

United multiracial friends having fun embracing and walking together outdoor
Gen Z is leading a love revolution, increasingly embracing non-monogamous relationships. Photo: Getty

But what does this mean for the future of relationships? Dr Tammy Nelson, PhD, author, licensed therapist, and consultant to Ashley Madison told Yahoo Lifestyle that non-monogamy, or what she calls "open monogamy," is not just a trend; it’s a revolution.

"We have not had this type of shift in relationships in more than 200 years," Dr Nelson said. "While almost 40% of couples still divorce and affairs are rampant, many people are deciding that they don’t want to repeat their parent’s marriage and that the nuclear family is an experiment that has run its course and no longer applies to today’s lifestyles."

Dr Nelson points out that in today's society, where people live longer, loving more than one partner is increasingly accepted.

"Younger generations prefer not to repeat the mistakes of their parents, and desire more transparency, more honesty, and want to stay sexier for longer. They also recognise that one person may not be able to fill all of their needs, and outsourcing to other partners may create a healthier family unit," Dr Nelson said.

Trend #2 Femme Freedom

Women in particular are rewriting the rules on monogamy, with studies indicating their increased openness to non-monogamous relationships.

Ashley Madison's surveys highlight that women, three times more than men, have consistently embraced non-monogamy (18% vs. 5%). As women express their sexual preferences more openly and embrace their sexual autonomy, they challenge societal norms and stereotypes.

polyamourous women
Women, three times more than men, consistently embrace non-monogamy, according to Ashley Madison's surveys. Photo: Getty

According to Dr Nelson, women are serving as the gatekeepers of open relationships. Contrary to assumptions, it's often women who decide when to open or close relationships, seeking fulfilment without compromising their family life. As Dr Nelson puts it, "Women are no longer settling for bad sex or unsatisfying relationships, and are seeking out their own satisfaction without giving up their family life at home." This highlights a transformative shift where women are rewriting the rules and embracing newfound freedom in defining their relationships.

In line with this, Ashley Madison's data reveals that a significant 26% of women declared themselves in open relationships in a 2021 survey, compared to only 13% of men. This trend persisted in a 2023 survey, with 26% of women embracing open relationships compared to 14% of men.

Further analysis from a 2023 trends survey by Ashley Madison shows that while 72% of men prefer to keep their affairs discreet, 57% of women adopt a more open stance. This data highlights a significant shift, with women boldly expressing their sexual preferences and challenging societal norms.

Trend #3 The Profile Renaissance

In the domain of online dating, the challenge often lies in deciphering compatibility beyond the surface-level details of a dating profile. Recognising this, people are investing more effort into crafting profiles that reflect their true selves, going beyond the conventional introductory summaries.

Ashley Madison data shows a 178% average increase in members detailing their hobbies and dedicating more attention to the content of their profiles, reflecting a desire for deeper connections. The shift goes beyond the generic, as members delve into sharing insights into their interests, religious beliefs, and hobbies.

Dating app or site in mobile phone screen. Close up of a lonely man uses a smartphone to flip through women's profiles and presses a heart button with his finger. Banner or mockup website concept.
People are putting more effort into creating detailed profiles, reflecting a desire for deeper connections. Photo: Getty

Dr Nelson notes that more individuals are also openly indicating their relationship preferences on dating profiles and apps. As she puts it, "The trend on dating profiles and on more apps than ever is to indicate that you are in an open relationship or an open marriage." This transparency serves as an important conversation starter, allowing individuals to understand each other's relationship preferences before meeting in person.

Dr Nelson also underscores the complexity of monogamy, suggesting the need for nuanced indicators on dating profiles to clarify relationship expectations.

Trend #4 Amour, Metamour!

Polyamory isn't just a buzzword; it's becoming a preferred relationship choice across generations. From Gen Z to Boomers, the desire for polyamorous relationships is palpable.

Among the surveyed members, 27% of Gen Z, 19% of millennials, 24% of Gen Xers, and 25% of Boomers expressed a preference for polyamory, challenging the traditional confines of monogamy. A substantial 80% of Ashley Madison members believe in the capacity to love more than one person simultaneously, with 66% claiming to have experienced this at some point in their lives.

Close male and female friends walking down city street together. Rear view of mix raced people walking outside and hugging each other. Friendship and support concept
Polyamory is becoming a preferred relationship choice. Photo: Getty

Dr Nelson suggests that, in fact, we all possess the emotional bandwidth to embrace multiple relationships. She notes, "We have more than one child, more than one aunt or uncle, more than one pet, or more than one friend. We are not immune to the affections of multiple relationships."

However, she acknowledges that the idea of polyamory can be intimidating due to its perceived threat to primary commitments at home. Dr Nelson encourages open discussions about the different types of relationships one might enter into, emphasising the importance of distinguishing between casual connections and more serious partnerships.

Subscribe to our new MAFS newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Got a story tip? Email us at