Tying the knot doesn’t prime among the partnership choices of young couples anymore. A new study conducted at the Ohio State University suggests that living together is just as fulfilling as tying the knot nowadays, with almost two thirds of couples choosing this type of arrangement.
The data used in the study has been drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. The study included 8,700 volunteer participants and had been conducted by the Ohio State Center for Human Resources Research. The participants were aged 17 to 21 at the time of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The new study looked at emotional distress levels, assessing each participant via interviews conducted yearly between 2000 and 2010.
Previously, living together was frowned upon and wore the sign of social stigma. Young couples would jump into marriage if they wanted to live together and perhaps for a while or for the lucky ones, distress levels decreased.
Nowadays, living together has become increasingly more common. For whatever reason, including testing the ground for a potential marriage, young couples enjoy this type of arrangement without the urgent need of hurrying down the aisle. Togetherness and a sense of well-being without legal strings attached bear a kind of freedom that allows partners to feel less stressed together.
Overall, the researchers found that living together is just as fulfilling as tying the knot. The emotional benefits typically associated with marriage are no longer exclusively tied to it. According to Claire Kamp Dush, researcher with the Ohio State University, the study showed that women especially reap the same emotional benefits from living together with their partner as they would if they got married.
In the case of moving in with a partner for the first time, the results of the study indicated that men felt less emotional distress only if they got married. Surprisingly women felt less distress both when they moved in for the first time with their partner for living together and if they moved in as a result of marriage.
For the young couples that experienced their second relationship, the findings suggest women and men alike found the same emotional benefits whether they got married or simply moved in together without the legal implications of marriage.
The study can be accessed online in the Journal of Family Psychology.
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