Does Living Together Help or Hurt?

In 2021, it’s more common for young adults to live with a boyfriend or a girlfriend than to be married.

One of the main reasons for this (for non-believers and believers alike) is the desire to be certain that the relationship is rooted in love. After all, you don’t buy a car without first test driving it. Why wouldn’t you take a relationship for a spin before making a lifetime commitment?

Perhaps the best reason to avoid cohabitation is that the data suggests that doing so significantly increases the possibility that a relationship will end badly. Of eight couples who live together, four will split up before marriage. Of the four couples who marry, three will divorce. Only one will enjoy a thriving, fulfilling marriage.

Cohabitation is risky because there’s no commitment holding the relationship together. The couple essentially says to one another, “I’ll hang out with you as long as you make me happy.”  That’s a shaky foundation upon which to build a life. It infuses doubt and mistrust into the very DNA of your relationship from the get-go. You’re sabotaging your marriage before you even walk down the aisle.

Most couples don’t know how to build a successful relationship or to prepare for marriage properly. Consider that 80% of couples who get quality pre-marital training stay married. That success rate shows that there is a way for couples to make a lasting commitment to one another.

On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Does Living Together Help or Hurt?our guest Dr. Dave Gudgel discusses God’s design for marriage and addresses how parents can address the risks of cohabitation with tact, persuasiveness, and most importantly, love.

Listen to our full conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.

Dr. Dave Gudgel has over three decades of pastoral counseling experience and is lead pastor at Bridges Community Church in the Bay Area of California.

If you feel powerless in this area as a parent and are even worried you could lose your relationship with your child over the issue of cohabitation, get a copy of Dave’s book Before You Live Together: Will Living Together Bring You Closer or Drive You Apart?, which is available for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website.

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