Cohabitating is becoming more popular with every generation. For some people, the idea of living together is a natural step on the journey to marriage. But for others, cohabitation just “makes sense,” and has little to do with the future of the relationship.
Lizzie Crocker, a reporter and journalist, shared her fears and fantasies about her impending leap into the cohabitation nation with her significant other in a recent article. Crocker says that even though nearly half of women report living together with a significant other, only half of those who do so go on to marry their roommates.
The convenience of sharing the same space rather than bouncing between apartments makes sense for a lot of couples. And, financially, it is often a no-brainer. However, when couples do forgo the second apartment and consolidate all of their belongings, habits, and pet peeves, it can take a while to adjust.
Crocker says that she will be losing her “cohabitation virginity.” No longer will she be able to keep her bodily noises silent from her boyfriend in their very small apartment. No longer will she be able to hide her bad habits and have the house the way she wants it. Cohabitation requires compromise. But it does not always require commitment.
In her research, Crocker discovered that many people never discuss their future plans when they decide to shack up. Marriage and children may never be on the table. Others enter the arrangement with the understanding that they are test-driving their future spouses. If it doesn’t work out, the separation can be less messy than a divorce, but depending on the length of the relationship and how many pets are involved, it can still be emotionally painful.
So is cohabitation the way to go? Just like every other relationship decision, it is a personal one and one that should not be considered lightly. “Still,” adds Crocker, “A lot of good things can come from this commitment, like teamwork and deep emotional intimacy, or an even crazier commitment to spending the rest of your lives together.”
Crocker, Lizzie. (2013). Losing My Cohabitation Virginity. (n.d.): n. pag. Web. http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/05/22/every-couple-you-know-is-cohabitating.html
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