Many couples who move in together don’t do it with marriage in mind, a small study of New York City residents suggests.
Nearly all of the people interviewed who lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend said the major impetus was finances, convenience or housing needs. “The common wisdom seems to be that people live together because they’re testing the water before marriage. But we didn’t have a single person in this study who said that was the reason they moved in together,” said Sharon Sassler, author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University. “Couples may have discussed marriage, or thought about it, but that wasn’t the major reason for living together.” Sassler’s study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
For the study, Sassler conducted open-ended interviews with 25 New York City residents between the ages of 20 and 33 who lived with a boyfriend or girlfriend for at least three months. The sample included 19 women and six men, all of whom had at least some college experience. As an exploratory study, the sample size is small, but it offers an initial glimpse into the factors that lead people to move in together. While there have been many large-scale, quantitative studies of couples who lived together, none of them focused on the reasons that prompted the decision to cohabit, Sassler said.
Sharon Sassler | EurekAlert!
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