Twelve years ago, half of the twenty-somethings surveyed by the National Marriage Project agreed with the statement "You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along."
Their reasoning was simple: "Moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce."
Since then, the percentage agreeing with the statement has probably increased. But what has not increased is the correctness of that justification for cohabitation. Because it was wrong then, and it is just as wrong now, as a New York Times opinion piece points out.
You heard me correctly: the New York Times.
In a piece entitled "The Downside of Cohabitating Before Marriage," psychologist Meg Jay of the University of Virginia describes what is known as the "cohabitation effect": "Couples who cohabit before marriage . . . tend to be less satisfied with their marriages-and more likely to divorce-than couples who do not."