Moving in together makes you just as happy as getting married
New research has shown that young couples moving in together get just as much of an emotional boost as those getting married.
As recently as the 1990s, figures showed that young people felt more emotionally secure after getting married than they did after simply moving in together. For young people in the last decade, it seems that living together may be enough.
The study, carried out by researchers at Ohio State University, looked at data from 8,700 people, all born between 1980 and 1984, interviewing them every other year throughout the 2000s. Participants were asked about their emotional states - how often they felt “downhearted and blue”, and other emotional questions.
Researchers found that young women in particular experienced fewer bouts of anxiety after moving in with their partners while, for young men, this was most pronounced when getting married. Previous research has suggested that men who move in with their partners might still be testing the waters, which could explain why there’s less of a marked difference at this stage than for women.
Sara Mernitz, one of the authors of the study, said that the results suggest young people’s relationship to marriage might be evolving.
Claire Kamp Dush, another of the authors, suggested that the shift could be due to the lack of stigma we now have around cohabitation, now that around two thirds of couples live together before marriage.
The results also held true for those moving in with new partners after previous relationships had ended. This may suggest that young people are choosing more suitable partners for themselves, and learning about what they want from a relationship.
Perhaps surprisingly, the results also showed a reduction in emotional stress levels when couples had children. Although there are many other stresses associated with adding a child to your relationship, it seems that, emotionally, things can also really improve.
The study seems to show that, in a committed relationship, moving in together can have similar positive effects to getting married. If you’re considering moving in with a partner, you may want to read our piece about how soon to move in.