Here’s a fun exercise for readers under 35: Take a moment and bring to mind friends ofyours who’ve gotten marriedrecently — say, within the last five years. Then, out of these couples, count those whodidn’t live with each other beforehand.You can’t. Or no less than Ican’t. For individuals of my generation, the theory of following a conventional relationshippath to marriage seems to became more the exception than the rule of thumb. But why? What arethe ramifications? Inquiring minds need to know!Thankfully, my social circlerecently provided a really perfect soup-to-nuts example. It’s probably not somethingI’d thought of that much within the past, because usually when it’s a closefriend’s relationship you’re either (somewhat) unconditionally supportive orin some cases they were already in it while you met them. But, on this case, I had thepleasure of observing the rapid, nonsensical escalation of a relationship between twotertiary friends/acquaintances. It went something (read: exactly) like this:1.Boy and lady meet. 2. Boy and lady start having sex. 3. Boy and lady become implicitlyexclusive. 4. Boy tells girl that he desires to spend the remainder of his life together with her. 5. Boyasks girl to transport in together.And that’s where they stand, so far as Iknow. Does that sequence of events not seem strange to anyone else? Apparently not, but itblows my mind.
Bang first, date later, then comes marriage and divorce
I AM GETTING the entire idea of the university hookup culture, where a “bang first, datelater (or not at all)” culture is the norm. But why are people carrying this conceptinto adulthood, where we’re supposedly using dating as a method to find a partnerto create and lift children with? Ladies, here’s a professional tip: If you happen to and that i getintimate within the first couple of times we hang out, at no point afterward am I ever goingto see you because the more or less girl I’d go ring searching for. I can’t speak forevery man at the planet, but when you desire to land a man like me (and close up — yes, youtotally do), heading to the bone zone early on in our interactions isn’t the way to earn myrespect 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 Ididn’t say he proposed. No, he actually bothered to make an overture to inform herthat he desired to be together with her forever without making any connection with marriage. This tome is essentially the most half-assed, insecure, situationally unromantic thing you have to say to awoman.I wasn’t aware there have been steps between “I love you”and “Will you marry me?” (save for the normal “It’s overbecause 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 isreally what gets me: Cohabitation. The trial marriage. When exactly did this become astep?I have one simple rule regarding that, and I’ve explained it toevery 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’sscience. From a study by William G. Axinn and Arland Thornton:“Wedevelop hypotheses predicting that premarital cohabitation is selective of these who areprone to divorce in addition to hypotheses predicting that the experience of premaritalcohabitation produces attitudes and values which increase the probability of divorce…The [study] results are in keeping with hypotheses suggesting that cohabitation isselective of guys and ladies who’re less committed to marriage and more approving ofdivorce. The consequences are also in line with the belief that cohabiting experiencessignificantly increase young people’s acceptance of divorce.”
Cohabitation and divorce are linked
“The results are in line with the belief that cohabiting experiencessignificantly increase young people’s acceptance of divorce.” That’scalled a correlation, and while it’s not similar to causation, it’s theclosest 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 thisprobably don’t control for differing ideologies, that’s a perfect argument to poseif you don’t know how controlled sociological studies work. For me, theconclusion of that study (and the myriad others adore it) is nice enough reason to avoidit.I think there’s…