Here’s a fun exercise for readers under 35: Take a moment and recall 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 speculation of following a standard relationshippath to marriage seems to became more the exception than the guideline. But why? What arethe ramifications? Inquiring minds wish to know!Thankfully, my social circlerecently provided an ideal soup-to-nuts example. It’s not likely somethingI’d considered 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 whilst 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 woman start having sex. 3. Boy and woman 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 way to search out a partnerto create and lift children with? Ladies, here’s a professional tip: Should you 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 roughly girl I’d go ring searching for. I can’t speak forevery man at the planet, but when you must land a man like me (and close up — yes, youtotally do), heading to the bone zone early on in our interactions isn’t how 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 along with her forever without making any connection with marriage. This tome is probably the most half-assed, insecure, situationally unromantic thing you need 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 together 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 CAN never, under any circumstances,cohabitate with a woman I’m not married to. My rationale is discreet: 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 step with hypotheses suggesting that cohabitation isselective of fellows and girls who’re less committed to marriage and more approving ofdivorce. The effects are also in step 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 realization that cohabiting experiencessignificantly increase young people’s acceptance of divorce.” That’scalled a correlation, and while it’s not kind of like 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 is a really perfect argument to poseif you don’t know how controlled sociological studies work. For me, theconclusion of that study (and the myriad others find it irresistible) is sweet enough reason to avoidit.I think there’s a beautiful sim…