First, Live Together

According to a Pew Research Center 2010 study, 44 percent of adults have lived with a partner without being married.

Jodi Frey has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for 27 years and has her own practice, The Psychotherapy Office of Jodi Frey, since 2007.

“I personally think cohabitation before marriage is wise because I think it’s very important to see before you make that big commitment of marriage, whether you are compatible living together,” Frey said.

I have never lived with a significant other, but I can say that living with another person is hard no matter what the relationship is. I became roommates with a friend, and living together almost ended our friendship because I discovered new things about her and her habits that couldn’t live with.

According to a survey in an article published by Psychology Today, after three years had passed, 32 percent of the people that said they were cohabitating “were still cohabiting, 40 percent had transitioned to marriage, and 27 percent had dissolved.”

The article said, “Once a couple cohabitates, a momentum toward marriage begins, and it’s more difficult to break up because of the greater investment.”

According to a Pew Research Center study, 64 percent of Americans who had ever cohabitated with a partner outside of marriage said they thought that living together was a step toward marriage.

In an Psychology Today’s article, social psychologist and Loyola University Maryland associate professor Theresa E. DiDonato said, “The inertia effect may explain the heightened divorce rates associated with premarital cohabitation.”

A lot of the researchers and psychologists who publish articles against pre-marital cohabitation are working with the assumption that marriage is always the ultimate goal. Some articles say living together before being engaged or married is bad for relationships because some of those couples feel satisfied just living together and choose not to get married.

Frey said that whether the couple is married or just cohabitating, they come to her with the same issue, which is usually communication.

I think that living with a partner can teach you some things about yourself, specifically how much alone-time you need in order to be comfortable in the relationship without feeling smothered.


Rissa Gross