There comes a point in most relationships when it’s time to consider taking the next step with your partner. We’re not talking about marriage; we mean moving in together. With the rising cost of living and changing views on marriage and the family dynamic, cohabitation is quickly becoming the new normal for many couples. Think you’re ready to call the moving trucks? Take a look at a few things before you start packing boxes.
Simply copy and paste the code below and you can share this infographic on your site:
How Long Should a Couple Wait Before Moving In Together?
According to a survey completed by ForRent, here’s the ideal time given by respondents for a couple to move in together:
Less than 6 months: 12%
6 months to 1 year: 23.8%
1 to 2 years: 25%
2 to 3 years: 10.6%
More than 3 years: 4.6%
After marriage: 33%
Depends on the situation: 2.8%
Cohabitation Is on the Rise
Between the years 2000 and 2010, husband-and-wife households only grew by 3.7% while the unmarried couple households grew by 41.4%.
In 2011, there were 7.6 million opposite-sex cohabiting couples in the United States. And in 2010, there were 514,735 same-sex unmarried partner households in the U.S. Furthermore, 70% of women age 30 to 34 have lived with a man. Prior to their first marriage, 63% of women and men had cohabited.
What Cohabitation Could Lead To
In a survey of 12,279 women ages 15 to 44, we found the following:
Within one year of cohabiting:
67% stayed living together.
19% transitioned to marriage.
19% became pregnant.
14% ended their relationship.
Within three years of cohabitation:
40% transitioned to marriage.
32% stayed living together.
27% ended their relationship.
Advantages of Moving In Together
One considerable advantage of moving in with your significant other is the economic benefit. We found that cohabiting with your partner means higher incomes and lower per-person expenses.
The average annual income of a person who is cohabiting is higher than their married or partnerless counterparts. For those who have college degrees, the income of a cohabitor is $106,400, whereas a married person makes $101,160 and those without a partner make $90,067. For those without a college degree, the income of a cohabitor is $46,540, whereas a married person makes $56,800 and those without a partner make $45,033.
Additionally, a cohabiting couple has lower per-person expenses for housing. After splitting the rent, the cost of $1,381 — the median rent in the U.S. — becomes $690.50 per person.
10 Most Expensive Markets
San Francisco, CA $3,326 ($1,663 per person)
New York, NY $3,195 ($1,597.50 per person)
Boston, MA $2,350 ($1,175 per person)
Seattle, WA $2,300 ($1,150 per person)
Oakland, CA $2,195 ($1,097.50 per person)
Los Angeles, CA $2,100 ($1,050 per person)
Miami, FL $2,100 ($1,050 per person)
Washington, DC $1,840 ($920 per person)
Chicago, IL $1,645 ($822.50 per person)
San Jose, CA $1,495 ($747.50 per person)
Test the Waters Before Marrying
Most Americans view cohabitation as a step towards marriage. In fact, 64% of people who have cohabited think so.
Studies have shown that age and delayed cohabiting affect the rate of divorce. There is a 60% divorce rate for individuals who cohabited at age 18, and there is a 30% divorce rate of individuals who cohabited after age 23.
Will It Work Out?
The leading causes of divorce are communication problems (65%) and the inability to resolve conflict (43%).
For men, the leading causes of divorce are nagging/complaining (70%) and their spouse not expressing sufficient appreciation (60%). For women, the leading causes of divorce are lack of validation for their feelings and opinions (83%), and her spouse not listening or talking about himself too much (56%).
What About the Pets?
Whether you’re a canine or feline owner, pets are an important component of the cohabiting household. According to a poll, 38% love their dog more than their partner or spouse. And 91% of Americans say they would end a relationship if their new partner could not get along with their dog.