Cohabitation Relationships

In today’s world, one of the greatest challenges most of us face Cohabitation Relationships at various stages of our lives is creating fulfilled, happy love relationships that last. Divorce rates oscillate around 30-35%, additionally the marriage rate is falling and more and more couples live in the so-called cohabitation. The breakdown of informal relationships is less analyzed, not often included in the statistics, so if we combined the total number of divorces and breakups of cohabiting couples, it would turn out that the “divorce rate” would be much higher.

Cohabitation Relationships Union – Definition

The term “cohabitation” comes from the French word cohabitation, which means both living together and living together like a marriage.

Cohabitation relationships are intimate, long-term relationships between two adults, including living together, and at the same time not reflecting the change in the legal status of their constituent persons. These relationships, together with LAT relationships (living apart together – living together, but not living together) form the category of permanent informal relationships, which is more and more widespread in the modern world (def. After Piotr Szukalski, Characteristics of cohabitation relationships in contemporary Poland , “Statistical News” 2014, no 8).

What is the cohabitation relationship

A cohabitation union is currently most often treated in two ways:

  • as an introduction to marriage, a kind of “trial marriage” to facilitate the decision on a formal relationship and reduce the likelihood of a later breakdown of the relationship due to divorce;
  • as an alternative to marriage.

I could cite a number of different classifications of cohabitation unions, but if you want to live happily, encyclopaedias will not change much here! However, I will discuss the types of relationships first, as understanding your and your partner’s intention and willingness to make commitments are key to the survival of a relationship.

Types of relationships / stages of a relationship and cohabitation 

Type 1 – an exclusive relationship in which both partners have not yet made a decision about long-term commitments / common future.

This is the stage when each partner asks himself: Is this the right relationship for me? Do I want to make commitments here? If this phase is consciously experienced, it allows you to make a good, long-term choice, whether it means staying together and taking the next step towards commitment or withdrawing. It’s worth rethinking your decision to move in together at this stage! Often, such relationships turn into cohabitation relationships. In many cases, the decision to live together at this stage can go into years of testing, a habit that, despite the lack of a coherent vision or values, may make it difficult to make a decision to leave!

Type 2 – one of the partners has already made a decision about a common future, and the other has not yet .

It is a state that brings a lot of suffering and confusion, often full of pressure and avoidance. However it is not painful – forcing someone to make a decision, e.g. by living together, is not the best foundation for a good, fulfilled relationship. Often when working with couples who come to therapy or coaching, one of the main reasons for failure, suffering, and distance in a relationship is the lack of common intention, from the beginning of the relationship! If you have already made a decision about the future SharekAlomre together, and your partner has not yet, take the time, find out what is missing to be fully clear. Also, leave some space for yourself!

Cohabitation Relationships - What is it?

Type 3 – decision made about common future. 

The couple has already made up their minds about a shared future – formalization or no formalization, living together, decisions about children, shared financial commitments. This type of relationship has the best long-term outlook of all types, whether it is in the form of cohabitation or formal relationship. In this option, the partners have the same intention.

Type 4 – no internal decision about a common future in one or both partners, with simultaneous actions indicating that the decision has been made :

getting married, having children together, joint financial obligations, living together. At the same time, there are frequent analyzes of whether this relationship is for me, whether to stay or leave . If this relationship applies to you, it’s worth focusing on working on your own decision. Living with the dilemma of “stay or leave” is devastating and takes away the feeling of security.

Reasons for cohabitation relationships

Using data from focus groups and interviews, Huang, Smock, Manning. And Bergstrom-Lynch (2011) found that among the current cohabitation reasons. The most frequently reported reasons for cohabitation are:

  • not ready to marry (39% of women, 37% of men),
  • sharing the cost of living (39% women, 37% men),
  • making sure the relationship is compatible (39% women, 42% men)
  • greater sexual satisfaction than dating without a residence (13% women, 13% men),
  • greater independence than in marriage (19% women, 16% men),
  • easier childcare (23% women, 22% men),
  • less need for fidelity than in marriage (2% women, 3% men),
  • a partner wants to live together (4% women, 3% men).

It is worth remembering that choosing to live together. While fearing deeper involvement or not being ready to commit is not a good choice. Living together actually increases the risk of more frustration. That you’re in a relationship that doesn’t suit you. But your built up attachment can make it difficult to make the right decision. Your decision is yours, but it is worth taking. It consciously, bearing in mind not only the current benefits, but also long-term risks.

Formal and cohabitation relationship – differences

Are you wondering if there are differences? Well, there is really no data that can distinguish partners who are united by the same intention (and the only thing that is not there in their relationship is a formal ceremony) from those who choose to cohab for other reasons.

The research on the differences between formal relationships and cohabitation was undertaken. Among others, by National Marriage Project. At the University of Virginia and The Wheatley Institution. At Brigham Young University. Researchers noted 3 basic differences:

  1. Married adults declared satisfaction with the relationship over 12% more often than adults living in cohabitation.
  2. Adults declared a higher level of commitment to a relationship 16% more often. Than adults living in cohabitation.
  3. Married adults reported a higher level of relationship stability 25% more often than cohabiting adults.

As you read these figures, remember that they relate to cohabitation on a variety of grounds.

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Is your union a cohabitation one? Sometimes it is difficult to give an unambiguous answer, as it is in the case of relationships! We are so diverse that each situation is unique!

I am in a group that focuses on self-awareness, knowledge of own motives in making decisions. Including fears that sometimes stand behind a given decision!

The decision should be made on your own, but it is worth doing. It consciously, bearing in mind not only the current benefits, but also long-term risks.

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