Average length of time dating before moving in together
There was less activity in the hypothalamus, which suggests they were better able to deal with the stress.
Among couples who were just cohabiting, the brain scans didn’t show much difference.
“Given that premarital sex has been nearly universal in the U. for more than 40 years,” she wrote in a response to Kuperberg’s study, “it is vital to provide teens and young adults with access to effective contraceptives and family planning services” to avert more divorces.
Read: How Being Good Parents Can Make You a Lousy Couple What other factors predict a successful cohabitation-to-marriage journey?
A paper in the April issue of the but presented early to the Council on Contemporary Families says that past studies have overstated the risk of divorce for cohabiting couples.
Arielle Kuperberg, assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, says that the important characteristic is not whether people lived together first, but how old they were when they decided to share a front door.
Some experts believe that’s because more unmarried cohabiting couples used to be among the less well off.
But a spate of new studies looking at cohabitation, as it’s called, are starting to refine those results.
The biggest predictor of splits in couples of all types, though, is whether they have a child without meaning to.
Sociologist Kristi Williams of Ohio State University says that sometimes a unintended pregnancy is what pushes a couple to move in together or to marry.
“The take-home implication is that our brains are sensitive to signs that the people we depend on in our lives are predictable and reliable.
And our brains will depend upon — will, in effect, outsource to — those we feel are most predictable and reliable for our emotion-regulation needs.” So far, cohabitation doesn’t seem to be able to produce that feeling of security.
“I think it has to do with the conceptualization of one’s relationship,” says the paper’s author Jim Koan, who presented his findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual conference in Austin in February.