More couples are cohabitating today than ever before. In fact, 58% of women ages 19 to 44 had lived with a partner in 2006-2008, up from 33% among a comparable group in 1987, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. But that doesn’t mean it has gotten easier since 1987. There are many cohabitation pros and cons.
Living together before marriage isn’t always easy, but there are also some great things about it. Keep reading to learn about the positives and negatives.
Pro: Can lead to marriage
Cohabiting couples who decide to live together often see themselves getting married one day. In fact, “among Americans who have ever lived with an unmarried partner, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say they thought about it as a step toward marriage,” according to the Pew Research Center.
One pro of cohabitation is that it gives couples a sense of what it will be like to be married. If it goes well, it can easily lead the couple to pop the question.
Sharing household responsibilities, spending more time together, splitting living costs—all of these things help build a long-term connection between couples. Communication is the key to future commitment, and talking to a partner before moving in together may help resolve this issue.
If you want some inspo in your relationship to help you get down the aisle, read 1000+ Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships.
Con: Affects Future Commitment
Although there is an increase in cohabitation, there is a decrease in marriage among millennials. In 1960, 68% of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were, according to the Pew Research Center, often referred to as the cohabitation effect. What does this all mean?
Living together before getting married takes the pressure away from walking down the aisle.
Basically, Millennials have been getting comfortable with cohabiting, but they have been pushing off further commitment. Many young couples agree that they will probably get married one day, but for now, they’re happy just living together.
Pro: More alone time
When you live with your significant other, you have more time for, well, special couple’s alone time. You know what I mean.
Read one of our articles on how to make the most of your sex life.
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Con: Increased Risk of Unplanned Pregnancy
On the other side of the same coin, more time in the bedroom increases the risk of unplanned pregnancy.
In fact, 20% of men and women cohabiting for the first time became pregnant and had a baby within one year of moving in with each other, according to a 2013 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a major negative effect of cohabitation.
However, unplanned pregnancies can likely be avoided with the proper use of birth control and strong communication.
Pro: developing strong communication
When you live with someone, you have to learn how to communicate with them. If you and your sweetie struggled with communication before moving in together, this will make or break your relationship. You’ll either learn how to strengthen your dialogue or it will all come crashing down.
Con: Increased Fights
As we’ve mentioned several times, communication is key.
Young unmarried couples who live together are under a lot of pressure. Fights that may not happen otherwise (about laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.) are more likely to happen when faced with these responsibilities of living together. This is known as a selection effect of cohabitation.
Work on fighting less by reading Love More, Fight Less.
Cohabitation before marriage can make or break a relationship.
There are many pros and cons of cohabitation has pros and cons, so you have to decide what’s right for you and your significant other. Healthy communication is a tool that can help with all of these factors, but only if the couple is willing to find a way to make it work.
What do you think of these cohabitation pros and cons? Let us know!