Study shows that when it comes to cohabitation and lasting love, age matters

Many Peoria area residents have likely heard the famous quote related to the notion that “with age comes wisdom.” While this point can likely be debated on many fronts, there’s no doubt that with age comes more life experiences that, at least in theory, should provide an individual with the insight necessary to make more informed and wise decisions.

When it comes to romance and relationships, experience can be both a positive and negative. In one sense, individuals who have been in many relationships and may even be divorced are likely more inclined to know what they both want and don’t want in a relationship. These same individuals, however, may also carry baggage from past failed relationships that can inhibit their ability to trust and form a close and healthy relationship.

When considering marriage or having children, it’s important to gauge whether a significant other truly is Mr. or Mrs. Right or simply Mr. or Mrs. Alright For Now. For many, making the decision to move in together is a major step towards figuring out whether or not a relationship can weather the ups and downs that accompany any intimate partnership.

While some dispute that cohabitation kills romance and may even be the kiss of death for a long-lasting relationship, information gleaned from a 2014 study suggests otherwise. In the study, a university sociologist examined data provided over the span of 11 years from more than 7,000 married individuals. Based on this research, it appears that a marriage’s or relationship’s ability to endure is not impacted by whether or not a couple chooses to cohabitate, but rather at which age they chose to do so.

Not surprisingly, the younger an individual was when he or she decided to live with a significant other, the more likely the couple would subsequently split or divorce. In fact, individuals who “cohabitated or married at age 18 have a 60 percent divorce rate” whereas those who waited to do so until age 23 experienced a “30 percent divorce rate.”

Source: Business Insider, “Couples who live together before a certain age are twice as likely to get divorced,” Drake Baer, Feb. 6, 2015

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