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Couples living in 'sin' more likely to split later

india Updated: Jul 14, 2009 17:35 IST

Couples living together before their engagement are more likely to split than those who wait until their wedding, or at least wait until they are engaged, according to a recent study.

Besides, couples who cohabit before their engagement and then get married reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages.

The research was conducted by University of Denver (DU) researchers Galena Rhoades, Scott Stanley and Howard Markman.

"We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting," Rhoades said.

"It seems wise to talk about commitment and what living together might mean for the future of the relationship before moving in together, especially because cohabiting makes it harder to break up compared to dating," Stanley added.

The three researchers also found why couples decide to live together. They want to spend more time together. The second most popular reason is convenience, followed by testing the relationship.

"Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships," Rhoades said. "Perhaps if a person is feeling a need to test the relationship, he or she already knows some important information about how a relationship may go over time."

These findings appeared in the Journal of Family Psychology.