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Love On Lay Away

Updated on August 7, 2013

I have labeled myself as being one of the best lay-away shoppers of all time!  I've always liked the option of being able to pay on a high-price object a little at a time.  It's like setting a short-term goal and achieving it.

Jewelry, clothes, furniture are things that you will find on someone's lay-away slip.  However, lately there is a new commodity that has entered into the realm of lay-away.  Love!

Committed Couple

There are nearly 93 million unmarried Americans over age 18, representing roughly 42% of the adult population. - U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2007.”

What is Love on Lay Away?

Love on Lay Away is a term used for a relationship between committed adults who say that they love each other but one of the partners either refuse or is not ready to commit. It can also be used for a person who is involved with some one who is not committed to them but they are in a relationship with.

Simply put, it is love on HOLD! It's stagnated. It's gone through the initial transition of friendship, courting, and commitment but has not gotten to the altar. I must warn you, however, that some couples will say that they have chosen, for whatever reason(s), to not finalize this commitment at the altar -- Love, on Lay Away.

You've heard of that term "I rather fight, then switch!" These couples have become lulled into a relationship that, for the present time, is convenient, comforting, and creates more financial and emotional stability compared to being alone.

Oftentimes, it is the partner who wants a full commitment that will overlook their own emotional welfare in order to win or convince their partner that marriage is the viable cement to a long-term relationship.

23.0% of the unmarried population aged 18 and older are people of color and 77.0% are white. While a clear majority of the unmarried population is white, it is considerably more racially diverse than the married population. - U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), 2007.

I Want To Be With You

Reasons For CoHabitating

There are many reasons for cohabitating and they range from economic issues to not wanting to be alone. Some of these reasons are the same for couples who no longer love each other but have consciously decided to remain in the same households.


The ability to share mortgage/rental payments, grocery bills, utilities bills, and car payments. Healthcare costs are another consideration. One partner may not have medical or dental coverage while the other partner does.


It costs to re-establish yourself somewhere else, whether it is time or money. Staying close to one's job location is key when contemplating such a move.


Most people will not be able to maintain the same lifestyle if one of the partners leave. They may share responsibilities as dropping off children to daycare facilities or school. They will be required to downsize from a larger home to a smaller home. Their circle of friends will often change. Who wants to continually be running into their ex all over town and at dinner parties.

  • Fear of Divorce
  • Trial Run -- See if relationship will work out before taking the step to marry.
  • Compromising with a partner that "simply" does not want to be married but you love him/her.

For Blacks, regardless of employment or insurance status, the majority is always unmarried. For whites, regardless of employment status, the unmarried always account for the minority of the insured and the majority of the uninsured. - CPS, 2008.

What Causes Tension in a Lay Away Relationship?

Religious or Moral Beliefs

Love on Lay Away situations can span years! This causes great difficulties for those who come from a religious background. The nagging angst of living as a married couple becomes a bone of contention in the light of God's Word.

The partner is torn between their love of God and the committed relationship. However, often the partner will convince themself that maybe next month or next year they will end up at the altar in union before God.

The Co-Mingling of Assets

In these types of relationships you have two single people living together while sharing finances and obligations.  This can become a sticky and difficult situation if or when it's time to go their separate ways.

The Children

Some keep love on lay away because a child(ren) have been born to the union.  This may cause some couples to remain together for long periods of time without finalizing their committment.

Unmarried Parents

In 2006, nearly 13 million unmarried American parents lived with their children. Among them, more than 80% were unmarried mothers. - U.S. Census Bureau. “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2007.”

Couple With Children

Some Facts

55% of different-sex cohabiters do marry within five years of moving in together. 40% break up within that same time period. About 10% remain in an unmarried relationship for five years or more. - Smock, Pamela. 2000. "Cohabitation in the United States." Annual Review of Sociology.

Mail News On-Line reported on May 22, 2013, that nine out of ten children were born to cohabitating couples this year will find that their parents more than likely will be splitville by the time they are 16 years old!

These figures were reached by national concensus and academic surveys confirming that just 9% of children, living with co-habiting parents, will live with both natural children upon reaching age 16.

The figures were produced by researcher Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation think tank, who said: ‘The report provides solid evidence that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents.

The study by the academic think tank, that was headed by High Court Family Division Judge Sir Paul Coleridge, was based on findings from the Census of 2001 and recent results from Understanding Society, a government-backed survey which charts the lives of people in 40,000 homes!

Last month, David Cameron pledged to recognise marriage in the tax system before the next general election in 2015

This report also stated that in the year of 2001, four out of ten teenagers aged 15 were not living with both parents, and among the parents of 15-year-olds who stayed together, 97 per cent were married.

Statistics Say

The probability of an offer of health insurance through an employer increases with family income for both married and unmarried women. - CDC, 2008.

Overall, unmarried (divorced or never married) women aged 25-64 years are more likely to be uninsured (21%) than married women (13%) in the same age group. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2008.

55% of different-sex cohabiters do marry within five years of moving in together. 40% break up within that same time period. About 10% remain in an unmarried relationship for five years or more. - Smock, Pamela. 2000. "Cohabitation in the United States." Annual Review of Sociology.

Have You or Are You in a Love On Lay Away Situation?

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Delay May Mean Denial!

Delaying a final committment steals valuable time from a partner if the relationship falls short of finalization. The bible speaks about redeeming the time. Time is something that we cannot retrieve, save, or replenish.

We must be wise with the time given to us. Sometimes we've tied ourselves to someone who will eventually decide that they no longer love us anymore and move on to finalize a commitment to someone else and in a much shorter time span.

Final Thoughts

Love on lay away prevents us recognizing another promising prospect because we are already committed to another. Thereby, closing opportunities to meet and create a viable life with someone who not only wants to be committed but wants to be married to you.

Scripture says (paraphrasing) "how can two walk together, lest they agree?" Cohabiting is living together without a commitment to whether the storms and allowing for an easy exit or escape from the current relationship.

Living without a true committed partner is like playing russian roulette with your heart.


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