“Stayover Relationships” Delay Marriage
Marriage and living together are taking a backseat to a new type of romance, the "stayover relationship." A new study shows that young people are putting off marriage and cohabitation in favor of spending the night together three or four nights per week.
The study appeared in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. People prefer the flexibility of the stayover relationship, which allows them to remain unmarried and does not involve the same level of commitment as living together. This makes it easier to break up if things don't work out as planned. Whereas couples who live together often have shared finances and property, those in stayover relationships have firm walls between the lives of the individual partners.
Some, such as Aaron Turpeau, an Atlanta-based relationship expert are skeptical of the benefits, however. The International Business Times reported that Turpeau believes this leaves scads of young people sitting on the fence. They don't want to commit to anything long term and instead stay in an in-between type of relationship that is more serious than simple dating but does not have the same level of commitment as dating. The couples surveyed did not consider themselves to be living together, no matter how many nights per week one stayed at the other's place.
Tyler Jamison, the University of Missouri doctoral candidate behind the study plans to conduct further research into the topic. The next study will focus on people of all ages, as well as unmarried parents. Jamison believes that the appeal of stayover relationships is not limited to young people.