Why Many Couples Choose Live-in Relationships Over Marriage

By admin / December 10, 2007
By: James Walsh
Category: Divorce

In recent years, a majority of young people have come to favour cohabitation over marriage. Though cohabiting couples deny the need for legal and social contracts to support a relationship, statistical data has clearly established marriage as a superior arrangement over live-in relationships.

Different Perspective on Time

Cohabiting couples tend to have a different perspective of time as compared to married folks. While married people consider marriage to be a life long contract that demands adjustment and compromise, for cohabiting couples, their relationship often happens to be a matter of convenience, susceptible to their individual happiness and needs. Cohabitating people often hesitate in making emotional investments in their relationship. They desire to have emotional and physical intimacy without incurring the responsibilities and obligations of marriage.

Level of Commitment

Marriage is a highly responsible relationship that not only demands personal commitment of both the spouses, but, is bound by social and legal provisions that tend to enforce responsibility and accountability. It demands high levels of sincerity, cooperation and compromise. The live-in relationships on the contrary are leading to an increase in the number of people with an inability to sustain long term relationships. Married people are often more adjusting and have realistic expectations of each other.

Emotional Impact

Various research papers and studies over the years have conclusively established that married people are often more emotionally satisfied and stable as compared to cohabiting couples. Marriage though deprives an individual of unrestrained freedom, still it brings in the kind of security and acceptance to a relationship that promotes a sense of well being and joy. Cohabitation often has far reaching consequences. It has been found that couples who cohabit before marriage are more likely to opt for a divorce in the long run.

Health Implications

Body and mind do have a profound influence on each other and an individual's state of mind determines to a great extent, his physical well being and strength. Cohabiting couples do feel less healthy and are more prone to illnesses and ailments. It has been found that cohabitating people have a higher rate of mortality as compared to married folks. They are more vulnerable to alcohol and substance abuse. Cohabitating couples with liberal attitudes towards fidelity are more prone to acquire STis and AIDS.

Financial Impact

Evidence tends to suggest that married people are often better off financially as compared to cohabiting couples. Though cohabiting spouses insist on managing their individual finances, yet they tend to loose in the long run. Married men are often more serious about their careers and tend to earn more as compared to their cohabiting counterparts. Married women not only have access to their husbands' savings and assets, but also reap ample family support and help in pursuing their careers. Marriage certainly ensures better management of family assets.

Romantic Life

Though cohabiting couples tend to have as much physical intimacy as compared to the married ones, still their amorous experiences often turn out to be less satisfying owing to the underlying instability and unpredictability in their relationships. Marriage brings in the element of commitment and security into a person's intimate life that yields more satisfaction. Married people often have a wholesome attitude towards physical intimacy and they mostly consider intimacy and love to be intrinsically connected.

Effects on Children

Children from cohabiting families tend to have poor emotional development and often under perform in social, academic and personal aspects of their life. Being more exposed to feelings of insecurity and instability, they tend to have a lousy self concept. Marriage still happens to be the number one institution for bringing up children.

Physical Abuse

Live-in relationships often lead to more physical exploitation of women and children as compared to marriages. Cohabiting women are almost twice as prone to physical abuse as compared to married ones. Children are often susceptible to abuse at the hands of their mothers' live in boy friends who do not happen to be their biological fathers.


The fact is that live-in relationships are here to stay, no matter what sociologists say or hold about them. So it is vital that the society alters its framework to bring them within the ambit of legal provisions and social responsibility. Reality not always exists in black and white. Sometimes we need to look into the grey zones also.

James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you would like more information on how to get a quickie Divorcesee http://www.quickie-divorce.com

Publish this article: Why Many Couples Choose Live-in Relationships Over Marriage
About the author


Leave a comment: