As we will show, the success and progression of cohabiting relationships are highly dependent on communication processes.
Finally, we highlight key issues to be addressed in future research on cohabitation while dating. Cohabiting couples vary in the timing of the transition to cohabitation, their reasons for deciding to live together, and how co-residence relates to conceptions of marriage and the future of the relationship.
One of the first questions to ask is: When does cohabitation occur in relationships?
The goals of this chapter are to highlight the importance of a communication perspective on cohabitation and suggest future avenues for research.
To address our goals, we use findings from cohabitation research to draw conclusions about how cohabitation fits into relationship development.
Rates of cohabitation prior to marriage have increased from about 10 percent in the 1970s to almost 60 percent of unions formed in the mid 1990s (Bumpass & Lu, 2000).
Moreover, only 12 percent of women marry in their early 20s without a prior cohabitation or nonmarital birth (Schoen, Landale, & Daniels, 2007).
Taken together, current behavioral trends and perceptions in the U. Given the prevalence and increased acceptance of cohabitation while dating, incorporating cohabitation into research on romantic and family relationships is crucial to understanding relationship development.
The experience of cohabiting may influence the extent to which couples are able to build satisfying relationships, the trajectory of the relationship, and the outcomes associated with the relationship.
These partners experienced a strong initial romantic attraction and moved in together within six months of dating.
A second group was called tentative cohabitors, who dated seven to 12 months before moving in, had not previously lived with anyone, and were unsure whether cohabitation was right for them.
My research focuses on cognitive processing and interpersonal dynamics in the contexts of health communication, persuasion and new media.