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New Advice on Premarital Relationships

A new study finds couples who live together before they are engaged have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together, or at least wait until they are engaged.

In addition, couples who lived together before engagement and then married, reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages.

The research, which appears in the Journal of Family Psychology, was conducted by Galena Rhoades, senior researcher, Scott Stanley, research professor, and Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver.

“We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting,” Rhoades says.

“It seems wise to talk about commitment and what living together might mean for the future of the relationship before moving in together, especially because cohabiting likely makes it harder to break up compared to dating,” Stanley says.

The three researchers also studied the reasons why couples decide to live together. That study, which appeared in the Journal of Family Issues, shows that most couples chose to live together in order to spend more time together.

The second most popular reason is convenience, followed by testing the relationship. This is different than previous research that found most people cohabit to test the relationship.

“Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships,” Rhoades says.

“Perhaps if a person is feeling a need to test the relationship, he or she already knows some important information about how a relationship may go over time.”

Source: University of Denver

New Advice on Premarital Relationships

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). New Advice on Premarital Relationships. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 18, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/07/14/new-advice-on-premarital-relationships/7100.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.