A new article in the NY Times called “The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage” presents some harsh truths for those of us who always believed cohabitation was a necessary step toward marriage. Turns out that couples who cohabitate before tying the knot are more likely to end up divorced. The Times explains:
WHEN researchers ask cohabitors these questions, partners often have different, unspoken — even unconscious — agendas. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.
Founding relationships on convenience or ambiguity can interfere with the process of claiming the people we love. A life built on top of “maybe you’ll do” simply may not feel as dedicated as a life built on top of the “we do” of commitment or marriage.
I’ve always thought that it’s stupid to buy a car without test-driving it first. I don’t have an opinion on cohabition though. I really only care about cars.
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