Cohabiting Parents...the Latest Info.

The number of unmarried parents is on the rise.  A key factor behind this is the number of adults who are living together unmarried.

It is now more common to cohabitate than to get married.

In 2002, 60% of adults said they had been married compared to only 54%  who said they had or were cohabiting.

By 2017, that number had shifted.  Only 50% of adults say they been married compared to 59% who say they had or were cohabiting.

A recent Pew Research Center survey says most Americans find cohabitation acceptable. 

69% of adults say it is acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together.

16% say it is acceptable only if the couple plans to get married.

Only 14% say it is unacceptable.

46% say couples are just as well off if they decide to stay together long-term and not marry.

53% say couples are better off to get married if they want to stay together long-term.

Millennials are very accepting of cohabitation.  They are more likely to see cohabitation as a path to a successful marriage.  But 78% of 18 to 29-year-olds say it is acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together, even if they don't plan to get married.

All of that to say this - nothing is a good substitute for the institute of marriage that has been established by our Heavenly Father.  Here are some examples of this...
  • couples who are following God's plan for marriage have more stable relationships
  • married adults are more likely to trust their spouse
  • married adults are more likely to say they feel closer to their spouse - only 55% of cohabiters say this
Here are some of the reasons why people say they are cohabitating:

38% say moving in with their partner made sense financially.  But at the same time, many cohabiters say the reason they are not married to their partner is because their partner is not financially stable enough for marriage.

37% say it was convenient.

23% say they want to test their relationship before they commit to marriage.  They see living together as a step toward marriage.

Here are some other reasons why people are cohabiting:

-their partner is not ready financially

-partner is not ready to make that kind of commitment

-they are not far enough along in their job or career

-they are not totally sure their partner is the right person for them

-they are not ready to make that kind of commitment

When it comes to raising children, 59% of adults say couples who are living together unmarried can raise children just as well as married couples.

What about love?  Women who are cohabiting are more likely than men to say love and wanting children someday were major reasons why they moved in with their partner.  80% of women cite love as a major factor compared to 63% of men.

Married adults are also more likely to say their spouse is the adult in their life they feel closest to than those who cohabit are to say the same about their partner  - 78% of those who are married say this, compared with 55% of cohabiting adults.

And 58% of married adults say their relationship is going very well, compared to 41% of those living with an unmarried partner.

What about infidelity?  Married adults generally trust their spouse more than cohabiters trust their partner.  84% of married adults trust their spouse to be faithful compared to only 71% of those cohabiting.

When asked about the adult in their life they feel closest to, about eight-in-ten married adults (78%) name their spouse. A smaller share of cohabiters, though still a majority, say (55%) their partner is the person they feel closest to.

But the truth is this...married couples report higher satisfaction in every part of their relationship than those who are cohabiting.

God's way is still the best way and we must help parents and the next generation understand this.