US youths prefer staying over to cohabiting

US youths prefer staying over to cohabiting

“Stayover relationships are a growing trend among college-aged couples who are committed, but not interested in cohabiting,” said Tyler Jamison, doctoral candidate in family studies at the University of Missouri who conducted the study. “Most students do not have a definite plan for where they will live or work after graduation, and stayovers are a way for couples to have comfort and convenience without the commitment of living together or having long-term plans,” said Jamison.

“Instead of following a clear path from courtship to marriage, individuals are choosing to engage in romantic ties on their own terms, without the guidance of social norms,” added Jamison, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reports.

Jamison conducted interviews among college-educated adults who were in committed, exclusive relationships, according to a university statement.

No entanglements
“As soon as couples live together, it becomes more difficult to break up,” Jamison said.
“At that point, they have probably signed a lease, bought a couch and acquired a dog, making it harder to disentangle their lives, should they break up. Staying over doesn’t present those entanglements,” Jamison added.

However, little is known about the effects of stayovers on future commitment decisions or marriage. “A key motivation is to enjoy the comforts of an intimate relationship while maintaining a high degree of personal control over one’s involvement and commitment,” said Larry Ganong, professor in HDFS.

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