About Cohabitation

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Cohabitation is the practice of being together in a romantic partnership prior to marriage. Cohabitation is widespread in the United States, as data shows that 12000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 cohabit before their first marriage (Manning 52). The average length of cohabitation has risen from 13 months in 1995 to 22 months today. The majority of couples who live together prior to marriage marry and live together for the remainder of their life, though a few end the relationship. Couples that cohabitate have stronger marriages because of the many benefits of cohabitation. This paper explores the advantages and effects of living together before marriage as well as how these impacts create stronger relations.

Relationship Outcome

Many people view the pre-marital cohabitation as the risk factor for separation since it depicts poorer marriage quality, later marital instability as well as less association satisfaction. Furthermore, when compared to married partners, cohabiting pairs tend to argue more, are insecure about counterpart's feelings, have more difficulties in resolving disagreements, and more predicaments linked to their future aims (Malek 14). However, the findings and claims are concerns for pre-marital cohabitation, but a closer look illustrates more complicated picture since there are less divorce cases when these couples get married. Couples who live together before marriage make better relationships because they start knowing one another on a closer personal level thus preparing themselves for living (Upton-Davis 27). Besides, living together prior marriage has got various advantages and positive impacts on the relationship. Also, pre-marital cohabitation act like the rehearsal for marriage making each partner have more time and get used to each other. The impacts, advantages, and experiences that make people living together before marriage have better relationships include inertial effect, saving money, sharing responsibilities, fun, decrease of social stigma, learning compatibility among other (Kuperberg 9).

Inertia Effect

Cohabitation is considered as the strong predictor of living together after marriage due to the inertia impact. When couples cohabitate, the momentum towards tying knots starts and it is more difficult to end it due to the massive investment (Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman 9). However, the inertia impact is relevant to people who were not engaged before cohabitation. The inertia effect refers to the resistance to change the partner which leads to a stronger marriage since every partner understands each other more. Moreover, couples tend to plan for their marriage including saving for the wedding hence when they get married they find it difficult to separate due to the promises they made while cohabitating.

Becoming Familiar

Living together before marriage acts like an opportunity to know each other more as well as discovering the best time to marry. Moreover, cohabitating acts like an eye-opener and gives couples the chance and time to accept each other's irritating habits (Craig 3). Some behaviors can be unacceptable hence living together helps people talk about them before they get into marriage. Also, living together entails taking and giving making couples learn how to stay in peace forever. Becoming familiar with your partner helps to recognize the likes and dislikes in order to prevent trouble within the house as well as finding better solutions (Manning 53). Knowing each other before marriage helps in creating life decisions together such as the number of children and house type which decreases the chances of divorce after marriage.

Managing Finances

Cohabitating means sharing the bills between the two partners from cable subscription to the rent payment. The sharing of financial burden helps couples to achieve financial stability. Financial instability is one of the major causes of unstable relationships after marriage due to increased living burden (Upton-Davis 25). Living together before marriage helps couples develop a strategy on how to allocate both salaries into the living expenditures. The living costs are split in a way that every counterpart is comfortable which proceeds to marriage. Besides, living together saves money for honeymoon and wedding as well as paying the debt for each other which strengthens the bond.

Learning Compatibility

The most important and biggest advantage of staying with your partner is finding out if both of you are compatible enough for the wedding. The duration acts like the test to know each other more and understand if you can cope with the habits (Craig 11). Moreover, cohabitating assists couples to realize how to share life with each other which means they must be compatible to execute that for a long time. Individuals who cohabitate tend to get used to one another including the sleeping habits, response to stress, anger, and how they behave with their friends. Learning compatibility leads to better relationships since couples are aware of their partner's weaknesses as well as ways of handling them in different situations (Kuperberg 13). Also, compatibility assists in selecting the right person to marry since one can easily quit the marriage if he or she finds that the partner's habits cannot be tolerated.


Marriage is not a joke hence cohabitation serves as the trial period. Living together gives couples the opportunity to evaluate matrimony in its truest comprising the problems, inconsistencies, traits, and thought processes that result in the marital relationship (Craig 7). Although couples who live together before marriage remain positive about their affairs, cohabitating is still a trial since it is a challenge for partners to remain romantic and passionate in the stress that a marriage house can bring. Every partner is tested on how he or she reacts to each other at the time of different situations which helps in finding solutions and planning for future continuation (Craig 7).

Pressure and Social Stigma

Cohabitating helps one take the pressure out of the relationship. When living together, you do not feel like getting into marriage is a way of making the other person satisfied or happy. The need for marriage can be frustrating particularly when partners are unsure of total commitment to each other (Manning 56). By taking the pressure off the wedding, couples appreciate each other and live in harmony. Furthermore, living together before marriage makes the social stigma disappear enabling more couples to make choices of moving along which is also accepted by several parents. Furthermore, living together helps couples to focus on their life rather than listening to their parents and the society since the community keeps on judging couples who cohabitate prior marriage. Some of the parents do not allow their kids to marry or get married to people of particular race, tribe, or nationality, but staying together before marriage makes them accept their children's decision as well as stopping to worry (Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman 17). The elimination of pressure and social stigma facilitates the establishment of stronger relationships that are supported by relatives from both sides hence making couples feel appreciated.

Fun and Responsibility Sharing

Pre-marital cohabitation is fun particularly when couples are comfortable with each other. Partners tend to see each other every time and plan their days together. Moreover, the couples have fun together including partying, watching movies, and swimming which creates good memories that cannot be lost (Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman 8). Having fun together as well as feeding each other's sexual appetites tends to establish a stronger bond that is a precursor to a better relationship during marriage. Living together makes marriage look very pleasing since both partners gauge their seriousness. Additionally, living together assists in bridging the communication gaps that take place when in different places leading to a successful marriage (Malek 16). Nevertheless, cohabitating prepares couples for the future responsibilities when they marry. Sharing responsibilities such as cleaning and cooking as well as paying bills are significant in a relationship hence cohabitating makes one know if he or she is going to cope with serious tasks after marriage. Besides, staying together prior to marital relationships helps one identify if the partner is a player thus gauging his or her seriousness in marriage (Malek 12).


In conclusion, the number of cohabitating couples has increased which illustrates how partners tend to understand each other more before getting into marriage. Cohabitating leads to better relationships after marriage since it serves as the learning and trial duration where each partner recognizes the compatible and incompatible behaviors. Furthermore, couples enjoy staying together, making them establish plans of sharing responsibilities and managing finances mutually. A strong bond is created when couples live together before marriage because they understand the likes and dislikes of each other which assist in preventing conflicts within the house after marriage.

Works Cited

Craig, Lind. “The Truth of Unmarried Cohabitation and the Significance of History.” Mod. Law Rev. Modern Law Review 77.4 (2014): 7–13. Print

Kuperberg, Arielle. “Reassessing Differences in Work and Income in Cohabitation and Marriage.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74.4 (2012): 688–707. Print.

Malek, Normi Binti Abdul. “Is Cohabitation an Alternative to Marriage?” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 219.13 (2016): 12–18. Print.

Manning, Wendy D. “Cohabitation and Child Wellbeing.” The Future of Children The Future of Children 25.2 (2015): 51–66. Print.

Rhoades, Galena K, Scott M Stanley, and Howard J Markman. “The Impact of the Transition to Cohabitation on Relationship Functioning: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Findings.” Journal of Family Psychology Journal of Family Psychology 26.3 (2012): 348–358. Print.

Upton-Davis, Karen. “Living Apart Together Relationships (LAT): Severing Intimacy from Obligation.” Gend. Issues Gender Issues 29.1–4 (2012): 25–38. Print.

December 15, 2022

Family Life



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