Friday, May 25, 2007


A survey of teenagers by the University of Michigan found that 64% of boys and 57% of girls agreed that “it is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.

” Research suggests otherwise.

Two-thirds of American children born to cohabiting parents who later marry will see their parents split up by the time they are ten.

Those born within wedlock face only half that risk.

The likeliest explanation is inertia, says Scott Stanley of the Centre for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado.

Couples start living together because it is more fun (and cheaper) than living apart.

One partner may see this as a prelude to marriage.

The other—usually the man—may see it as something more temporary.

Since no explicit commitment is made, it is easier to drift into living together than it is to drift into a marriage.

But once a couple is living together, it is harder to split up than if they were merely dating.

So “many of these men end up married to women they would not have married if they hadn't been living together,” says Mr Stanley, co-author of a paper called “Sliding versus deciding”.


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