Pros & Cons of Cohabitation
What are the pros and cons of cohabitation?
This is a topic of interest to me, Rafiq23. I did a hub about this and found that the research says cohabitation is not a good idea. I think, however, it is a very individual decision for each person and the couple. The general pros are that you get to see how the other person lives, maintains a household, deals with finances, etc., before you make a formal commitment that you may regret later. The cons are that moving in first means you want to test the waters without really making the commitment and working through the differences. The interesting thing I found when I interviewed a few hubbers for my article is that 99% of them had good experiences with cohabitation which turned into long term marriages. So each to his own.
I read somewhere the vast majority of weddings taking place these days occur between couples who have lived together prior to marriage. I believe if two people truly (want) to get married they will get married baring any "deal breakers".
Janshares, I agree with you, but there are many people who cannot afford the expenses of marriage. Cohabitation is the only option for them.
Marriage licenses in the U.S. are cheap. Getting married by the Justice of the Peace is cheap. Having a (huge wedding) is expensive. However getting married is not.
If you want something you'll find a way! If you don't you'll find an excuse.
There's also such thing as common-law marriage. I remember in Colorado it was 15 years of cohabitation. Social Security rewards spousal benefits if the marriage lasted at least 10 years though dissolved. Marriage takes a strong commitment to work.
The obvious pros are saving money because more often than not there are two payroll checks coming into a dwelling and the bills are split in half.
A couple also gets to spend more time together without packing.
The cons vary from person to person based upon (their) expectations. Contrary to popular belief most people do not move in together with "plans" for marriage. It's usually for convenience or financial sense.
Assume a couple lives across town from one another and they've been in a relationship for a year or more. Odds are they'll have a set of clothes, toiletries, and other items at each other's house. It may be an instance where one person is always at the other's home.
One day someone says:
"It doesn't make sense for us to be paying (two rents) and two sets of utility bills. Lets get a place together!"
That's how most cohabitations begin.
However over time people and relationships change. There may come a point where one person believes they're going to eventually get married even though they've never discussed it.
A couple of years roll by and this person starts to feel as though their relationship has hit a wall. Maybe they've always wanted to get married and have watched friends wed. They may have agreed to live together with the "hidden agenda" it would lead to marriage.
If their mate is content with the way things are they suddenly feel "used". They forgot the reason they moved in together was financial.
Another scenario is a couple lives an hour or two away from one another and only are together for passionate romantic weekends.
Every Sunday they're on the verge of tears when their mate packs their bag to go away. One Sunday morning after some passionate love making and breakfast in bed one person says: "Wouldn't it be nice if we could have this every morning? Do you want to get a place together?" To say "no" at this point would be the equivalent of hearing the words "I love you" and not saying anything back.
The reality is "vacation sex" where one person packs a bag to travel and the other is a host is better and more passionate than couples who are married or living together. They don't feel like they have to "make the most" of their time together.
Lastly you may discover you hate each other's living habits/housecleaning. This however could be a "pro" if you were considering marriage but now know better.
I think marriage is a strong element in keeping both the individuals together for a long term in contrast to cohabitation. Cohabitation can come to a dead end anytime.
In the U.S. the divorce rate hovers around 50%. That doesn't include married couples who live apart or in separate quarters of their house. Staying married due to financial hardship of divorce is not a way to live. Oftentimes those who stay cheat!
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