You knew you were a couple before your significant other moved in, but now it is solidified. Closet space has been made, drawers have been emptied to accommodate space for their things. That dual sink covered with hygiene and hair styling tools has been cleaned and organized so they can put their things in the cabinets and on the bathroom sink. They now have a key to the front door, a side of the bed and an opinion about what is now our house.
Defining shacking up
This is what my grandma calls shacking up. You and your partner are now living together under the same roof as an active, intimate, romantically engaged couple. Around my grandmas 20s, shacking up was frowned upon. It was considered the opposite of legitimate marriage. A legitimate marriage is not shacking up. Charismamag.com gives five reasons why you shouldn't co-habitate before getting married. Marriage is a whole other ballpark of commitment and relationship responsibility. Shacking up would be more of a roommate situation, with an intimate couple hopefully leading to the institution of marriage.
What the stats tell us
Studies from divorcesource.com have statistics and articles that say people who live together before marriage are at a 50 percent more chance of getting a divorce or ending the relationship before marriage, than couples who do not co-habitate before marriage. In 2014, Arielle Kuperberg, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has researched that living together before marriage does not predict future divorce. The news release can be found at contemporaryfamilies.org. Kuperberg expresses that it is about the age and maturity level a person is at when choosing a compatible partner. The age and maturity level of a person gives us a look at if the person can do the things that need to be done in order so sustain a marriage.
But ladies and gentlemen, we are not talking about marriage here: We are discussing the initial fear we have when the shacking up begins. Will schedules conflict? Will he be in the shower at your shower time? Will you have to change your eating habits because he loves meat and you prefer vegetables? But do not be scared. Remember: You love this person, and eventually you may be married and living with one another anyway. Use this situation as practice for your future, unless you do not see yourself marrying this person.
To those future apprehensive couples, do not shack up: It would most likely be a waste of time. Couples need time to mature fully before making such a huge life commitment, like shacking up with a person you are not sure about marrying one day. Leave the moving in together for couples that know they will be married one day. Studies have also shown that couples over the age of 23 have the best success rate for cohabiting before marriage. That is not to say couples ages 23 and under do not have a good success rate. Being older gives a person a maturity and experience advantage, which some suggest are the key to a successful pre-marital co-habitation.
5 Reasons You Shouldn't Cohabitate Before Marriage
Cohabitation No Longer Predicts Divorce – And Possibly Never Did: New Research by Senior CCF Scholar Arielle Kuperberg
U.S. Divorce Rates and Statistics
How Shacking Up Before Marriage Affects a Relationship's Success