The Pros And Cons Of Cohabitation Before Marriage

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Introduction In today’s society, cohabitating before marriage is something that is becoming more and more relevant, while there are several challenging views that follow this topic. Cohabitation includes two individuals that are living together that are not legally married or bound together. This is a growing phenomenon that we continue to learn about and the amount of research on this subject continues to increase because how common this issue is in today’s society. Between 2000 and 2011, the percent of the US population cohabiting with a partner rose from under 5% to approximately 7% (Cherlinet al. 2013). There are various views, beliefs, and reasons behind the decision to cohabitate with another individual. When I was younger, I often …show more content…
Understanding the meaning of cohabitation is crucial in almost all relationships. Hiekel, Liefbroer, & Poortman, (2014) study found that cohabiters in some of these types mainly view cohabitation as a stage in the marriage process (i.e. a prelude to marriage, a trial marriage, cohabitation for economic reasons, intend to marry, despite an unfavorable attitude towards the institution of marriage), whereas other cohabiters mainly view it as an alternative to marriage (i.e. refusal of marriage, marriage is irrelevant). The idea of living with someone and getting to know them can seem promising for some individuals whether before marriage or just the next step in the relationship. This time period if the couple decides to marry is often referred to as a trial period for the couple. During this trial period, the couple will have the advantage of getting to know one another, while also experiencing what it is like to live together. Certain findings confirm that cohabitation, nevertheless, has become an increasingly normative step in the process of union formation in many countries (Billari & Liefbroer, 2016). There are several advantages of learning to live together before jumping start into a marriage. In many relationships, marriage is the next step after cohabitation. In this process, the couple will …show more content…
Census data from 2012 shows that 7.8 million couples are living together without walking down the aisle, compared to 2.9 million in 1996 (Fox, 2014). In some societies and cultures, the beliefs and values of marriage can be becoming obsolete, the couple may not be ready for the lifelong commitment of marriage, or have the fear of facing divorce. Commitment fundamentally involves making (and maintaining) a choice among competing options (Stanley, 2005). When individuals are faced with the decision to cohabitate or to marry then often times they will choose cohabitation because it requires no real commitment. These couples can seek all of the benefits from cohabitation and not have to be legally married to the other. In the textbook, it discusses that two people who choose to share one another’s lives in an intimate and commitment relationship, live together, and be jointly responsible for basic living expenses qualify for such programs in states that recognize this designation (Moore & Asay, 2013, p. 28). If there are certain states that are willing to recognize these cohabitating couples, then there is not much of a need or pressure to get married. These couples can receive certain benefits as they would if they were married, but can also exercise their freedom that cohabitation offers. These couples can also be defined as a family and this is changing the views of family structure that has

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