ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Living Together: Is it (The New Marriage)?

Updated on July 19, 2012

Married In Our Hearts....

"Married In Our Hearts"

It seems like lately everything is "The New Something" 50 is the new 40, 40 is the new 30, and black is the new white! Ok maybe that's going too far. Nonetheless: Is Living Together (The New Marriage)? In 1960 only 460,000 couples identified themselves as living together.

According to Psychology Today nearly 5 million opposite sex couples are living together in the United States. More than 50% of couples that marry today have lived together before hand. There are another 600,000 same sex partners living together.

Weddings in the U.S. Hit 100 Year Low

The following comes from an article Hope Yen of Associated Press recently wrote regarding the state of marriage based upon a census study in 2009.

“In America, marriages fell to a record low in 2009, with just 52 percent of adults 18 and over saying they were joined in wedlock, compared to 57 percent in 2000.

The never-married included 46.3 percent of young adults 25-34, with sharp increases in single people in cities in the Midwest and Southwest, including Cleveland, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, N.M. It was the first time the share of unmarried young adults exceeded those who were married.

Marriages have been declining for years due to rising divorce, more unmarried couples living together and increased job prospects for women.”

Living Together Out of Convenience

In this day and age there are many couples who moved in together NOT as a pre-marriage requirement but simply because it became more convenient than packing an over-night bag and driving across town.

One person was always over the other one's house and they were paying rent for two places or they felt “married in their hearts”.

In fact my guess is more than half of the couples living together moved in without having any "future marriage discussion".

It can begin as easily as leaving a tooth brush, a change of underwear, hair products, and gradually a change of clothes for those times someone sleeps over on Sunday evening and needs them for going to work on Monday. As the relationship progresses keys are exchanged. More and more things are left until a dual residence has been established.

At some point one partner’s place becomes the “primary house” for spending time together. An event occurs such as one person’s lease is about to expire or someone gets a new job, which happens to be closer to his or her significant other’s home

Marriage by Default

As Nancy Wartik wrote in the aforementioned article from Psychology Today “Going from living together to married can happen by accident”

One factor leading to divorce for couples that lived together is they often get married for the wrong reason. Once a couple has lived together for a couple of years it’s not uncommon for family and friends to press them on when they will be taking “the next step.” At friend’s weddings they are asked, “When will it be your turn?”

It’s natural for couples living together to start making purchases together (a new bed, new sofa, entertainment system and in some cases even a home). Many couples purchase a pet. Others experience an “accidental pregnancy”. The couple has now lived together for years, they own a home furnishings and a pet together or possibly have a child and suddenly it just “makes sense to tie the knot”. Some couples get married out of guilt.

John Jacobs, a New York City psychiatrist and author of All You Need Is Love and Other Lies About Marriage” states: "I know a lot of men who've been living with women for a couple of years, and they're very ambivalent about marrying them. What sways them is a feeling they owe it to her. She'll be back on the market and she's older. He's taken up a lot of her time.”


Another ill-conceived idea is marriage by demand as stated in the following scenario.

“Charles, a 44-year-old New Yorker (who asked that his name be changed), admits that in his 30s, he almost married a live-in girlfriend of three years for reasons having little to do with love. The two moved in together six months after meeting when his sublet came to an end. "I thought it probably wasn't the best idea, but it was so much easier than looking for an apartment," Charles says. "I told myself: 'Keep trying, and maybe it will work. Eventually his girlfriend insisted they either marry or break up, and he couldn't find the strength to leave. The two got engaged. Weeks before the date, Charles realized he couldn't go through with it and broke off the engagement. "Her father told me, 'I'm sorry horsewhips are a thing of the past.”

Fortunately for this couple Charles called off the wedding rather than going through a divorce years later. A lot of couples would have written off his hesitancy as having a case of “cold feet”. They would have gone through with the marriage.

Happily Unmarried

There are those who never want to get divorced and have decided the best way to avoid it is by never getting married. They have the perks of marriage without the risks. Several companies now offer their employees “Domestic Partner Insurance” which can be utilized by both gay and straight couples.

Some couples live together longer than many marriages last. Examples: Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell (29 years) or Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.(23 years recently broke up) Whether you get married or live together there are no guarantees in life. Nothing is written in stone. Just ask Al and Tipper Gore. (40 years marriage and now divorced). The following link contains ten famous couples who have decided to live together rather than get married.

Conflicting Divorce Studies

There have been numerous studies conducted to determine if living together prior to marriage increases the odds of a couple getting divorced. Historically these studies have leaned towards the affirmative. However as is with most studies recent reports indicate that any percentage difference is negligible. In fact is suspected the earlier studies did not take into account the religion factor. Naturally couples grounded in religion are less likely to live together and possibly less likely to have premarital sex. They are also less likely file for divorce. Therefore the difference in divorce rates of couples living together versus those who did not live together had less to do with cohabitation status and more to do with religious beliefs. The following is an article from USA Today with the latest study.


Have you ever lived with a significant other?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)