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The different Aspects of Cohabiting: the Negative Effect of Cohabiting versus Marriage

Updated on July 30, 2014

Negative aspects of cohabiting

1 Religion frowns at such arrangements

2 Unwanted pregnancy is common place

3 They are still living single lives

4 The protection under the law for marriages is lacking

5 They might divorce even after marriage

6 Marriage is not guaranteed

7 Sexual gratification is temporal

8 Makes little difference to their finance

9 Depression is common


Before you accept a request to cohabit with a lover as a prelude to (marriage) you should be aware of several issues concerning this all important step. There are many reasons why a couple might decide to cohabite such as, getting closer to each other , as a way of discovering each others strengths and faults because of the close proximity living.

The reasons might seem logical but have you considered the positive against the negative aspects of cohabiting? What is cohabiting and why do couples decide on this aspect of relationship especially when they feel its time to take it to the next level.

Cohabiting is when two people in a relationship decide to live together without marriage as live in lovers. Cohabiting is common in many countries and some believe it’s a definitive step towards marriage, and they favor the arrangement to test their comparability.

Unconfirmed statistics say that between 1970 - 1990 United States of America couples who adopted this mode of living resulted in marriage. This is a far cry in today’s reality, and the notion that cohabiting fosters stability, togetherness and understanding is an entirely wrong belief.

Why do couples decide to cohabit?

Couples have given many reasons why cohabiting makes sense especially if they have decided to progress to the next level, reasons given include compatibility test, sexual gratification, closer intimacy in preparation for marriage. Other reasons are a need to study the partner at close quarters, accommodation issues like maintaining one apartment instead of two, financial considerations and convenience.

Let’s take a closer look at these reasons

Living together before marriage

Getting an apartment together

Living together
Living together | Source
A  couple getting an apartment together
A couple getting an apartment together | Source

Financial reasons

Couples who decide to pull resources to maintain a single apartment by cohabiting might share in the payment of rent and maintenance. But other sundry issue like maintain individual accounts and holding unto their individuality exposes the lie in cohabiting for financial convenience.

Married people pull their resources and finance for the good of the family unit contributing not only financially by having an emotional investment in the family’s future. Cohabiting couples don’t have this restriction except an agreement to share the bills and home maintenance.

Married couples also have the advantage of planning their future with an assurance that the partner is with them one hundred percent of the way. Even to the extent of having a joint accounts arrangement to meet their goals, dreams and aspiration.

Increased financial responsibility of married men makes them work harder and longer to meet family obligations giving them better pay than their single counterparts. The shared financial burden also provides more money between married couples against those cohabiting.

Kiss Tenderness Couple Love Man Silhouette

 kiss tenderness couple love man silhouette
kiss tenderness couple love man silhouette | Source

Sexual gratification

Shagging up with a love interest is entirely different from having a committed relationship that lasts a lifetime, without the element of marriage, true love, friendship and companionship- cohabiting is just sex. Cohabiting couples may argue that they have friendship, companionship and love but still hold tight to their single lifestyle, habits and individuality..

Men can profess love yet have sexual gratification with other partners without the emotional guilt of betrayal, after-all cohabiting couples don’t have legal boundaries that restricts having affairs except verbal commitment.

Statistics show that one in every three men cohabiting find sexual gratification with other partners despite having a live in lover.

Which one isn't a certainty when cohabiting

See results

Marriage prospects

Many women believe cohabiting would eventually lead to marriage this is an erroneous assumption, couples that cohabite isn’t a guarantee for everlasting commitment. Some women have found themselves in a difficult situation after giving there all for several years to find the man secretly married or marring someone else.

The man might have no intention of ever getting married and finds it convenient enjoying all the advantages of cohabiting without permanent commitment.

The negative effects of cohabiting

Most couples that cohabit separate after one year, while about a third who eventually get married might experience divorce after two years of marriage. Cohabiting has many negative aspects due to the nature of the arrangement.


Divorce | Source


Divorce | Source

An increased chance of Divorce

Men who prefer cohabiting before marriage have radical views concerning marriage and might not be conformists and are unconventional in their thinking and behavior. They might not be bound by religious doctrines and morality making them less concerned about the institution of marriage.

Men restricted by religious principles and traditions concerning marriage are more likely to stay committed to a marriage that one without boundaries. Religion provides support, counseling, checks and balances that aids the couple weather the storms of marriage.


Because of the non legal aspect of the situation the couple is not bound by law and any investment in the union is purely by faith in the partner. Law suits are common place especially concerning property and even the custody of an illegitimate child.

The non legal aspect also reduces restrictions on each individual’s behavior and antecedents, has nothing binding them together, and the burden of responsibility does not exist in such arrangement.

About cohabiting

physical effect
non legal
anti religion
no guarantees
moral laxity
no marriage
against tradition


The Holy Bibile
The Holy Bibile | Source

What does religion say about cohabiting?

Most religious teachings and even traditions frown on cohabiting and are generally against such arrangements, so it’s difficult to find people guided by religion in such pairing. Purity is highly revered in many cultures even going through certain rites in African context making such arrangement a social death for an African woman.

Both Christian and Muslim teaching are strongly against unmarried couples living together in sin.

Separate leisure activity

Cohabiting couples tend to live separate lives and have separate friends and acquaintances making them more single than they think. Sometimes the families aren’t preview to this arrangement and even when they know does not regard the partner as family.

Separate leisure activity is common place in cohabiting couples and rids the couple of quality time and shared experiences. Cohabiting couples despite living together actually live separate lives form their partners.

Unwanted pregnancy

Cohabiting couples are sexually active and despite preventive measures might get pregnant with a child; the pregnancy is unplanned and binding even when the arrangement fails. Unwanted pregnancy is a serious concern with cohabiting couples and might have negative effect on a child in this unwholesome arrangement.

Having a baby while cohabiting doesn’t guarantee or neither increases the prospect of marriage, the child is left having emotional and physiological issues.

A Christians perspective on cohabiting

Depression is common

People living together without getting married sometimes experience bouts of depression because of the temporary nature of the arrangement. There is no concrete plan for the future and a lady might find herself living upwards five years without any change in the arrangement

Age is a very important problem

Women are susceptible to age related challenges linked to having children and the hope of getting a suitable husband if she wastes several years without getting married. Men might also waste many years with the wrong woman while his age mates have had children who might even have reached their teens.

Last word

In America, Europe and Australia cohabiting is commonplace and might have some advantages but weighted against the disadvantages the arrangement falls short. Cohabiting doesn’t guarantee future marriage, commitment, or exclusivity in the relationship.

Although there’s an element of comfort true partnership eludes such pairing because total commitment found in family units is absent. Other negatives are unwanted pregnancy, non legal aspect of the union.

Cohabiting might have temporary relief from single living yet the couple is actually two single individuals sharing the same space.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image


      4 years ago

      Voted up and interesting!

      However I must say that in the U.S. most couples do not move in together 'hoping to get married'. Usually it's a matter of them getting along very well and finding that one is spending more time at the other person's place. Financially it makes no sense to pay double rents, utilities, and so forth. More often than not both people feel "emotionally connected" even if they have no desire to get married. No one "cohabitates" with everyone they date.

      I've personally have been in live in relationships that have lasted up to 7 years. In other instances 5 years and 2 years. I was always upfront about not having any desire to get married at that time in my life. No one should ever move in with someone having a "hidden agenda" hoping it will lead to marriage. Nevertheless in the U.S. 52% of all weddings take place between couples who (did) cohabitate prior to marriage.

      Truth be told it makes little difference whether a couple lives together or not. If they (want) to get married they (will) get married!

      The biggest upside to living together is if things (don't) work out it's a lot less expensive going through a breakup than it is going through a divorce.

      When it comes to relationships most of us (fail our way) to success. The number one cause for divorce is and always has been (choosing) the "wrong mate" for oneself.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace in relationships: we either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have.

      The goal is to find someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship that you do, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least there is a mutual depth of love and desire for one another.

      There is no amount of "work" or "communication" that can overcome being with someone who does not want what you want.

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde


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