Unmarried Cohabitating Couples are Less Committed Than Married Couples

C. Price
C. Price Updated:
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Do you live with your partner, or are you planning on moving in together soon? You may want to take a new study into account first.

Research conducted by the Rand Corporation suggests couples who move in together may have less long-term confidence in their relationship and their overall commitment to it.

Typically, cohabitating has been seen as that next step, the natural progression of a healthy bond between two partners.

However, the study finds living together is not the marital predictor it once was.

The study relied on survey data gathered from 15,197 men and women between the ages of 18 and 26.

Participants were asked to gauge the permanency of their own relationship and their own commitment to it.

Fifty-two percent of men cohabitating with their partner said they weren’t certain their relationship was permanent. For women cohabitating with a partner, it was 39 percent.


“Fifty-two percent of cohabitating men said they

weren’t certain their relationship was permanent.”

That represents a significant drop compared with married couples, one that surprised the study’s authors, sociologists Michael Pollard and Kathleen M. Harris.

Among their findings were men are now more likely to cohabitat in relationships without necessarily having long-term commitment.

They also found 41 percent of men and 26 percent of women said they were not “completely committed.”

The results challenge the long-held perception that moving in together is a typical process of a permanently-committed couple, at least from the couple’s perspective.

However, the number of couples choosing to move in together does not appear to be declining and a significant number of those continue to result in marriage.

Data released earlier this year from the Centers for Disease Control found about 40 percent of first premarital cohabitations result in marriage within three years.

Source: The Rand Corporation. Photo source: madamenoire.com.