Couples Living-In Before Marriage may Experience Low Level of Commitment

by Bidita Debnath on Feb 10 2015 11:15 PM

 Couples Living-In Before Marriage may Experience Low Level of Commitment
People who cohabited before they got married, wouldn't be in this relationship if they weren't living with their partners, reveals a new study.
Scott Stanley, the co-director of Center for Marital and Family Studies, found in a survey of couples married less than 10 years that men who lived with their wives before marriage "rated themselves considerably lower in dedication," what he refers to as their "intrinsic motivation to be with this person," the New York Post reported.

When the researchers at the center puzzled over this question, they realized that some of these guys, because they moved in before marriage, married someone they wouldn't have otherwise.

Respondents who had a firm commitment to marry (i.e., they were engaged or had set a wedding date) before moving in together didn't experience the same lower levels of commitment to the relationship.

A clever doodle video produced by Stanley and his colleagues, presents this "inertia theory of relationships" and is called "Relationship DUI" ("decisions under the influence" of first love) and it's worth passing on to any young adults in your life.

The video describes the joy-inducing chemicals released into the body at the start of a relationship, from dopamine to oxytocin, and how they can actually cloud our decisions.

Sexual activity increases the production of these chemicals, but even just going out to dinner with someone you're falling for can have this effect.

The video explains that under the "influence" of these drugs, people start doing things that "lock them in" to a relationship, but after a few months, things may look different. Suddenly you wake up and realize that you don't really want to be with this person.

Stanley worries about young people "foreclosing opportunities to find the best match in a partner by prematurely constraining themselves," that is, closing off other options too soon.

The more people can get to know their possible life-mate without locking themselves in, the better chance you have of breaking up with the wrong person and finding the right one. This used to be called "dating."


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