According to a new study revealed in this article by the NY Times, couples who live together before they get engaged are more likely to part ways in the near future:
An estimated 62% of women ages 25 to 44 were married and 8 percent were cohabiting. Among men, the comparable figures were 59% and 10%.
The likelihood that a marriage would last for a decade or more decreased by six percentage points if the couple had cohabited first, the study found.
As "shocking" as this may seem, it is this quote by Prof. Pamela J. Smock, a research professor at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan that really gets us rattled:
"From the perspective of many young adults, marrying without living together first seems quite foolish,"
"Just because some academic studies have shown that living together may increase the chance of divorce somewhat, young adults themselves don't believe that."
What we'd like to know is just how accurate are these so-called "figures"? Are humans so predictable that the information gathered from a handful of test subjects are supposed to make us reflect on our own lifestyle and partner choices? And when did dating become a science anyway?
Without sounding too skeptical, we feel that the ladies over at Jezebel have the most rational explanation when it comes to women and relationships in general:
...the key isn't measuring your relationship against some (historically and culturally specific, probably half-imagined) gold standard and its various (spurious, wholly constructed, kind of silly) "signposts" and "indicators" — it's whether or not you like each other.
If you don't, then I think you know what to do. (Turn the experience into a laceratingly self-deprecating exaggerated tale of woe for your friends and mine it for laughs, duh.) If you did, great! Then do whatever it was that you enjoyed with that person again, maybe a bunch of times; stop and move on when it's not so good anymore.