Some couples want to “test drive” their relationship before committing to marriage. Does this help or hurt?
Scientists find that cohabitation cuts down on commitment. The message of living together is, “I’d really only like to take part of you. And maybe some time later I’d like to take all of you.” No wonder so many cohabitating couples break up or fall into unhealthy patterns. The relationship defines itself by a holding back of commitment.
People, especially men, who cohabit are less committed to that relationship but also less committed to future relationships. Again, that’s not a preacher’s line or a moralizer’s line. That’s a scientific line. Cohabitating men who go on to marry are significantly less committed to the marriage itself than men who don’t cohabit.