There's lot of speculation as to whether moving in before getting hitched is better or worse for a relationship. So before we jump into the numbers behind cohabitation, let's first take a look at the love story of Iggy and Nick.
The Los Angeles Laker (29) and the pop diva (24), whose real name is Amethyst Kelly btw, started dating around a year ago. Nick told Dujour magazine that they recently bought a house after getting closer than ever:
“We’ve been getting really close lately. I’ve never been with somebody like this. So, I’m taking it as a challenge...We argue all the time, but we get it worked out. We understand each other.”
When asked about whether marriage was in the cards, Nick said it had indeed "come up a couple times." It's no secret that plenty of young couples move in together, even buying property together, before anybody exchanges any rings. So is this a good sign or bad sign for the long haul?
According to census data, cohabitation has increased 900% in the past 50 years, with about two thirds of couples who married in 2012 having lived together for 2+ years before walking down the aisle. A new study by the Council of Contemporary Families also found that cohabitation alone did not directly lead to a higher rate of divorce.
Instead, what was found to directly lead to a higher rate of divorce was getting married young. Like really young: couples who agreed to cohabitation or marriage by the age of 18 have a divorce rate of 60%. This we are not as surprised by. When we were 18 we finally got to watch the second VHS tape of Titanic, we were in no way at a maturity level to be getting hitched. Luckily, Iggy and her man are in their 20's. So what are their odds?
Couples that committed to marriage or cohabitation at 23 only see a 30% rate of divorce. And in another study done in 2011, 60% of couples who lived with a partner before marriage viewed it as a step towards marriage, not a replacement for it.
We totally get the baby steps idea, but there are some warnings to couples who decided to live together before being legally committed to one another. Clinical psychologist Meg Jay's findings, which she published in a New York Times op-ed, warn that couples who live together and share bills, furniture, cuticle ointment etc. are often less willing to break up because it's an administrative hassle, even if the relationship isn't working. She found that:
“Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages—and more likely to divorce—than couples who do not."
That doesn't mean the couple is more likely to divorce, nor does it mean that cohabitation alone led to unhappiness later in their partnership. Statistics do prove, however, that cohabitation does lead to an increased chance of pregnancy before marriage, and that number is increasing year by year. The CDC found that 20% of women living with a partner for the first time were pregnant within the first year.
So maybe Iggy and Nick should save that one guest bedroom for a nursery, just in case? Kidding, although we know Iggy's maternity style would absolutely slay. Congrats to the happy couple on the new home, just a friendly reminder from your favorite statisticians to take it slow!
Do you think Iggy and Nick moving in together was a good idea? Tweet at us! @wewomenUSA
This article was written by Dagney Pruner. Follow her on Twitter @dagneyp
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