Pros And Cons Of Premarital Cohabitation

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Half a century ago, living with someone of the opposite sex before being married was considered “living in sin” and frowned upon by the majority of people in the United States. Since then, premarital cohabitation has increased an outrageous 1,500% (Jay). According to census data from 1996, 2.9 million people were living together before marriage. In another census only twelve years later, that number alone had increased by a booming 900% when 7.8 million people reported to be living with someone of the opposite sex before being married (DiDonato). With these numbers, it’s easy to assume that premarital cohabitation must be a good idea, right? Unfortunately, the idea that moving in with someone of the opposite sex before being married has been…show more content…
Using common sense, why wouldn’t it be a good decision? Statistically, premarital cohabitation will increase the risk of divorce in the future one main reason being the “cohabitation effect”. Instead of the two people in a relationship being able to grow closer to one another, the cohabitation effect can easily interfere. The cohabitation effect, also referred to as “relationship inertia”, is the idea that couples that cohabitate before marriage are more likely to stay together and slide into a marriage when in reality, the two should break up (Gordon). Moving in together does mean more time together, lower rent, and a step closer to saying “I do”. However, it is also putting oneself in a more difficult situation to end the relationship when it needs to be done. Instead of ending the relationship and being able to walk away, many questions surface. Who will stay and who will go? Does she get the couch and he get the television? Did he pay for that or did she? Who gets the dog? Money, possessions, and quite simply, the time and effort that are put into relationships are all chains shackled around one’s ankles when a break up is needed after they’ve moved in together. Relationship inertia is one of the biggest reasons that moving in together mainly for financial reasons is highly advised against (Ben-Zeev). There is no way to reverse the shared cost of rent, food, and possessions over the period of time that was spent sharing a place. Instead of having to face all the dilemmas that come in the deluxe “premarital cohabitation breakup time bundle”, some find it easier to just stay together, therefore leading unsatisfied couples to take the big next step towards a marriage because it is what they feel they have to do or it’s what follows dating and living with someone. In conclusion,

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