“So many couples, particularly of my generation, treat living together as a natural, necessary step of their relationship. “
Here’s a fun exercise for readers under 35: Take a moment and call to mind friends of yours who’ve gotten married recently — say, within the last five years. Then, out of these couples, count those who didn’t live with each other beforehand.You can’t. Or a minimum of I can’t. For individuals of my generation, the speculation of following a standard relationship route to marriage seems to became more the exception than the guideline. But why? What are the ramifications? Inquiring minds wish to know!
Thankfully, my social circle recently provided a great soup-to-nuts example. It’s probably not something I’d thought of that much within the past, because usually when it’s an in depth friend’s relationship you’re either (somewhat) unconditionally supportive or sometimes they were already in it whilst you met them. But, on this case, I had the pleasure of observing the rapid, nonsensical escalation of a relationship between two tertiary friends/acquaintances. It went something (read: exactly) like this:
1. Boy and woman meet. 2. Boy and woman start having sex. 3. Boy and lady become implicitly exclusive. 4. Boy tells girl that he desires to spend the remainder of his life together with her. 5. Boy asks girl to transport in together.
And that’s where they stand, so far as I DO KNOW. Does that sequence of events not seem strange to anyone else? Apparently not, however it blows my mind.
Bang first, date later, then comes marriage and divorce
I get the entire idea of the university hookup culture, where a “bang first, date later (or not at all)” culture is the norm. But why are people carrying this idea into adulthood, where we’re supposedly using dating as a method to find a partner to create and lift children with? Ladies, here’s a professional tip: When you and that i get intimate within the first couple of times we hang out, at no point afterward am I ever going to look you because the roughly girl I’d go ring searching for. I can’t speak for each man at the planet, but when you ought to land a man like me (and close up — yes, you totally do), heading to the bone zone early on in our interactions isn’t the way to earn my respect and admiration. Not the type of admiration you’re looking for, anyway.That said, I don’t really care how people find themselves coming together. What I fail to wrap my head around are steps 4 and 5. In step 4, notice that I didn’t say he proposed. No, he actually bothered to make an overture to inform her that he desired to be along with her forever without making any connection with marriage. This to me is essentially the most half-assed, insecure, situationally unromantic thing it’s essential to say to a woman.
I wasn’t aware there have been steps between “I love you” and “Will you marry me?” (save for the normal “It’s over because I slept along with your best friend/sister/mum”), but apparently those steps are “Let me mechanically and equivocally explain my intentions” and “Let’s live together simply to see how this goes first.” The last part is actually what gets me: Cohabitation. The trial marriage. When exactly did this become a step?
I have one simple rule regarding that, and I’ve explained it to each girl I’ve been in a relationship with: I WILL BE ABLE TO never, under any circumstances, cohabitate with a lady I’m not married to. My rationale is modest: There’s science. From a study by William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton:
“We develop hypotheses predicting that premarital cohabitation is selective of these who’re liable to divorce in addition to hypotheses predicting that the experience of premarital cohabitation produces attitudes and values which increase the probability of divorce… The [study] results are in keeping with hypotheses suggesting that cohabitation is selective of fellows and ladies who’re less committed to marriage and more approving of divorce. The effects are also in line with the realization that cohabiting experiences significantly increase young people’s acceptance of divorce.”
Cohabitation and divorce are linked
“The results are in line with the realization that cohabiting experiences significantly increase young people’s acceptance of divorce.” That’s called a correlation, and while it’s not kind of like causation, it’s the nearest you’re going to get in a study coping with such a lot of human variables. Now, there are proponents of cohabitation who’re quick to indicate that studies like this probably don’t control for differing ideologies, that is a perfect argument to pose should you don’t know how controlled sociological studies work. For me, the realization of that study (and the myriad others love it) is nice enough reason to bypass it.I think there’s a gorgeous simple cause of the effects: Cohabitation artificially downplays the monumental change that includes being married. Such a lo…