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The lower risk of marriage over remaining intact occurred only for the last two cohabitation cohorts (2000–20 and later), which were about 18% and 31% less likely to marry than remain intact, respectively."Moving in together is becoming less and less likely to lead to having a future together.

That’s not to say that all cohabiters are in the same boat: Those who are engaged (or have clear plans to marry) before moving in together are far more likely to eventually marry—but as Guzzo shows, even they are becoming less likely to do so.

In a new paper, Bowling Green State University sociologist Karen Guzzo analyzes how the odds of cohabitation leading to either getting married or breaking up have changed over the years.

Before getting to her findings, let’s review some of the cohabitation trends she highlights in her report (based on prior studies): Guzzo notes, as have others, that cohabiting has become a normative experience in the romantic and sexual lives of young adults.

Even apart from marriage, I believe that a couple that says they have a lifetime commitment together is telling you something important about a strong level of intention and commitment. First, taken with the growing body of research in this area, I think we are seeing cohabitation headed toward becoming more ambiguous than ever regarding commitment.

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