Examining the patterns and implications of cohabitation: a guidebook for young adult cohabiting couples

Between 1960 and 2012, the number of unmarried couples who lived together in the United States had grown from 450,000 to 7.5 million-more than a 1,500% increase. Young adults (approximated ages 20-35 years) are currently the majority of cohabiting couples in the U.S. In spite of the increase in the number of couples who cohabit, much research indicates that partners who live together prior to marriage-especially before an engagement or clear commitment-have a greater likelihood of relationship dissatisfaction and dissolution. The purpose of this project was to develop a guidebook for young adult couples in the United States to assist with the process of cohabitation. Specifically, the guidebook will provide relevant research concerning the topic of cohabitation, distinguish between different types of cohabiting couples, propose topics for discussion prior to moving in together, and offer suggestions for making a cohabiting relationship successful.