The latest trend in romantic commitment evidently involves even less commitment than it used to.
Today’s generation are opting for “stayover relationships” that let them enjoy relationships without living together, a trend that appears to be slowing down the road to marriage.
Research from the University of Missouri-Columbia found that instead of cohabitating, young people in relationships are spending three or more nights together per week.
They maintain their own homes in the process, which may explain recent data that shows U.S. youth are pushing marriage out further and further.
“This seems to be a pretty stable and convenient middle ground between casual dating and more formal commitments like living together and getting married,” says Tyler Jamison, a University of Missouri doctoral candidate and in the department of human development and family studies.
The “convenient” relationship allows for an arrangement that facilitates couples who are not sure they want to end up in a permanent relationship and do not want to end up living together if things go awry.
Jamison believes stayover relationships represent a general trend in which young people want to delay permanent relationships because they ostensibly want to finish their education or pursue other goals.
“Instead of following a clear path from courtship to marriage, individuals are choosing to engage in romantic ties on their own terms — without the guidance of social norms,” said Jamison to Reuters.
“There is a gap between the teen years and adulthood during which we don’t know much about the dating behaviors of young adults. Stayovers are the unique answer to what emerging adults are doing in their relationships.”