Cohabitation before marriage is a disaster, study says

Living with the love of your life may not be the best idea if you’re trying to get hitched.

A couple of months ago, the Journal of Family Psychology detailed a study about cohabitation before marriage (h/t The Awl ) and this is what the site LiveScience wrote about it:

Quickly moving in with your honey may be the kiss of death for some couples. New research indicates that couples who move in together before they get engaged or married are less happy and less likely to stay together than couples who wait.

The researchers contend that couples who eventually get married after living together are armed with a double dose of arguments — those from the early relationship (like jealousy) and from the marriage (household chores and bills) — that eventually can tank the relationship.

“In lots of ways, moving in together makes sense; why wouldn’t you want to live together and test it out? But the process to test makes it harder to end the relationship,” which in turn makes it more likely that the unenthusiastic couple will just slide into an unhappy marriage, study researcher Galena Rhoades of the University of Denver told LiveScience. “We need to find some ways that couples can have that test without making it harder to break up.”

I know from personal experience that testing the waters of something like marriage that really isn’t can be catastrophic. But again, I wonder how many of the more than 1,200 couples surveyed were people of color. I also wonder how many of them are privileged enough to live on their own if their relationships don’t work out. As we all know, the wedding/marriage industry in this country is off the hook expensive, but then, so is courtship. Conservative Christians: 1, Secular paramours: 0.

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