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“Some people have views about marriage that would lead them to stay in one even if it’s not satisfying,” he said.

And, this isn’t the first time researchers have come to differing conclusions about the implications of premarital cohabitation.

The practice has been studied for more than 25 years, and there’s been significant disagreement from the start as to whether premarital cohabitation increases couples’ risk of divorce.

For one, she says, it’s hard to study divorce in ways that are useful into their marriage, and the social norms around cohabitation in the U. have evolved quickly, so “if we study a cohort of people who got married 20 years ago, by the time we have the data on whether they got a divorce or not, their experience in living together and their experience of the social norms around living together are from 20 years ago,” Rhoades told me.

In other words, by the time researchers have enough longitudinal data to know whether one is meaningfully linked to the other, the social norms that shaped the findings will hardly be of use to couples today trying to figure out how cohabitation could affect their relationship.

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It supported earlier research linking premarital cohabitation to increased risk of divorce.likely to divorce.