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Live In Test Drive

Who needs to get married anymore? Couples living together have increased by more than 1500% in the past fifty years. More than half of those couples who do get married will have lived together first. Why? Couples are testing things out first…. a way to protect themselves from failure---like a condom to prevent divorce.

Now here’s the reality: chances of divorce are greater if you live together first. This is based on decades of research from couples that have been there and done that. Couples that lived together before marriage tend to be less satisfied in their marriages and far more likely to divorce.

Lots of couples move in together for economic reasons. Researchers call this “sliding, not deciding” as they move from sleeping together, then going from her place to his place and then finally just living together to save the expense of two places.

The partners haven’t really voiced their agendas. Women tend to see living together as a step towards marriage, while men are more likely to be testing things out. While they may not agree on why they are together, both men and women tend to have lower expectations for live-in mates than they would have for a spouse.

The real sad news is that adults in their 20’s often sink years into a live-in relationship that should have only lasted months. It’s not as easy to “break-up” once you share a place, a lease, furniture, credit cards and often finances. Before sliding into living with someone, try deciding the qualities you truly would like to see in a mate. Then spend some time looking at the qualities you have to offer someone else.

Marriage is more than just sharing a bed and a bank account. It is a commitment that offers one another the assurance of one another’s support. Yes, divorce is still possible, but living together will never offer the emotional strength and integrity that a wedding vow does.


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