Most young adults today will live with each other before marriage. Instead of deciding to get married before moving in with a romantic partner, they test out the relationship first. But is living together before getting married really such a good idea? Here are five risks to consider before you move in together:
Couples who live together are more likely to get divorced.
It seems like the reverse would be true, but cohabiting couples actually have higher divorce rates than couples who wait to live together. Experts attribute this phenomenon to a theory called “sliding.”
Here’s what sliding is: a boy meets a girl. They fall in love. They move in together, purchase a joint cell phone plan, and adopt a puppy together. A few months or years down the road, they realize they don’t really like their partner as much as they thought they did.
But by that point, since they share an apartment or house, a puppy or a child, and maybe even a bank account, it’s really hard to break up. So they get married instead to a person they might have only dated for a few months.
Couples who move in together are less committed.
Sliding also attributes to a couple’s commitment level after marriage, even if they never divorce. Living together before marriage is linked to lower levels of dedication, especially in men. These couples may be more open to looking around and having affairs than a couple who committed before moving in together.
Cohabiting is linked to abuse.
Couples who live together have a higher chance of abuse from their partner. Children from a previous relationship are also more likely to suffer from abuse. And, on top of that, these couples are also more likely to engage in self-abusive behaviors like alcohol abuse or drug abuse.
Cohabiting couples are more likely to be less happy.
Cohabiting couples regularly report lower satisfaction in their relationship than married couples. Cohabiting is not necessarily a commitment so couples may feel less secure in their relationship than they otherwise would.
The woman gets the short end of the stick.
Cohabiting couples are more likely to reinforce traditional gender roles. The female in the relationship often does more of the housework than the male, even though she probably works full-time.
Even if the woman is the bread-winner in the relationship, she still probably does the majority of the cooking and cleaning. While cohabiting goes against tradition by avoiding marriage, it doesn’t necessarily mean the partners share domestic burdens equally.
Thinking about moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Give us a call to talk about the risks.