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Relationship: Here Are The Reasons Why Relationship Experts Frown Upon Co-Habitation

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A growing phenomenon now is the concept of cohabitation – where a couple decides to start living together like a traditionally married couple but with absence of true marital commitment. A key factor for this new trend is the change in social values. Whereas sex outside of marriage was once discouraged, it now appears the social norm and no longer has any stigma. Couples also cite the fear of getting divorced and the psychological, economic and emotional consequences. But does living together really have any advantage?1. Relationship experts agree that cohabiting unions break up at a much higher rate than marriages. A substantial proportion of cohabiting couples have definite plans to marry, and these couples tend to behave like already-married couples. Others have no plans to marry and these tentative and uncommitted relationships are bound together by the “cohabitation deal” rather than the “marriage bargain.” So the ease of exiting is always dangling like a carrot in front of one partner and when troubles arise in a relationship, the temptation to easily bail out is always too much too resist. Married couples put more efforts into resolving relationships than co-habitators.2. The temporary and informal nature of cohabitation also makes it more difficult and riskier for extended family to invest in and support the relationship. Parents, siblings, friends of the partners are less likely to get to know a cohabiting partner than a spouse and, more important, less likely to incorporate a person who remains outside “the family” into its activities, ceremonies, and financial dealings3. Another drawback of cohabitation is that it seems to distance people from some important social institutions, especially organized religion. Most formal religions disapprove of and discourage cohabitation, making membership in religious communities awkward for unmarried couples. The separateness of cohabitors’ lives also reduces their usefulness as a source of support during difficult times. The American Sociological Review, argue that cohabitors tend to expect each person to be responsible for supporting him or herself, and failure to do so threatens the relationship.Credit: The Institute for Communitarian Policy/Photo Credit: Getty

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