For decades, marriage was the ultimate end goal for anyone in a relationship. Life has often been defined by milestones and marriage was often one of the biggest that people strived for. As society evolves more and more people are realizing that you don't have to be married to live with someone in a committed relationship. In fact, a recent survey has found that more people than ever are choosing to live with a significant other rather than marry, but who is the happiest?
A recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that now more than ever people are choosing to live together at higher rates while more people are choosing to delay marriage or simply not get married at all. Just over half of US adults, 53%, are currently married, down from 58% in 1995, while those who are living with an unmarried partner has been steadily on the rise. Only 3% of adults lived with a partner in 1995 while that number has currently risen to 7%. What's even more surprising about these numbers is that despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to live together instead of marrying, married couples seem to be happier.
48% of U.S. adults say couples who live together before marriage have a better chance of having a successful marriage than those who don’t. https://t.co/ZGdF89YzgK— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) November 7, 2019
The data showed that married couples seem to be more satisfied in their relationship than those who live together, with 58% of married couples agreeing that they have a good relationship and 41% of those who live together saying the same. Married couples were more likely to be satisfied with the division of household chores, how they communicate and how they parent than couples who live together, but the survey found that both groups were equally happy with their sex lives. And while marriage rates may be on the decline, the survey did find that married couples felt closer to their partner than those who cohabitate.
"Even after controlling for demographic differences between married and cohabiting adults (such as gender, age, race, religion, and educational attainment), married adults express higher levels of satisfaction, trust, and closeness than those who are living with a partner," the study found.
The survey looked at data from a nationally representative survey of nearly 10,000 Americans over the age of 18 as well as from the National Survey of Family Growth and found that finances often play a big role in a couple deciding whether they should live together or not. While 38% of those who chose to live with a romantic partner say moving in made sense financially, only 13% of married adults indicated that finances were a main reason they got married. The study also found that 63% of adults chose to get married because they wanted to make a formal commitment to their partner while 23% of those that chose to live together stated they wanted to test their relationship.
The views on raising children are split as well, with 59% of Americans of the opinion that couples who live together can raise their children just as well as couples who are married, but 40% feel that married couples are better suited to raising kids. “Even among young people, a substantial share still say it’s desirable for society if people get married,” Juliana Horowitz, associate director of research at Pew and one of the authors of the report stated.