A new dating app designed for people who want non-monogamous, open relationships has taken the Internet by storm since its launch last month, drawing at least 70,000 users as of this week.
The app's website says it is an anti-cheating option for members who are "liberated from the confines of conventional, old-fashioned, repressed ways of loving."
The app, called OpenMinded, claims that it caters to people who are interested in "unconventional relationship configurations."
OpenMinded follows the same steps as those found in online dating sites and apps. First, a user is required to become a member. He or she can then create a profile and connect with other users around the globe.
However, unlike other apps, OpenMinded gives users the freedom to identify what kind of relationship they prefer and how many users they would like to be in contact with.
Brandon Wade, OpenMinded founder, released the app in the midst of what he refers to as a "shift" in societal ideals. "Society has come to a point where marriage has taken a downward turn because it no longer satisfies the needs of the modern woman or man," he said.
Conservative social analysts acknowledge the popularity of casual sex, but they disagree with Wade's claims that most Americans are not happy with monogamous marriage. A policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, Rachel Sheffield, said majority of Americans still do not agree with or desire a marriage with extramarital affairs.
Sheffield referred to a Gallup survey released last week where it was revealed that only 8 percent of Americans deem married men or women having an affair as morally acceptable. The stats increased just 1 percent from 2001 to 2015, while social acceptance of other moral matters like homosexuality and having a baby out of wedlock dramatically increased 23 percent and 15 percent in the same time period.
Wade insisted that traditional marriage rules are "unnecessary" in this modern era. "If you look at marriage, it developed as a survival strategy and a means of raising kids," he told the Washington Post. "But relationships are no longer a necessary component of life. People have careers and other interests—they can survive without them."
Sheffield disagreed. Studies show monogamous marriage is still the best set-up for adults, especially in child rearing, she said. Within a stable marriage, children are less likely to be poor, leave school, do drugs, or commit any crimes, according to Heritage research.
"Marital stability matters for children," Sheffield said. "A mother and a father who are committed provide children the greatest opportunity to thrive."