Young people who have reached marriage age today are involved in cohabitation relationships, especially people who want steady partners. Cohabitation offers various advantages to the couple as they get real-life learning experience on how to love, and they also adjust to each other on equal terms. The partners get the opportunity to become psychologically aware of their partners’ weaknesses and strengths; and, as such, assess their compatibility.
The partners can judge whether the bond between them is influenced by infatuation or love. The partner gets the opportunity to continue winning over the other partner. The partners had the opportunity to honestly evaluate the quality of their would-be long term relationship and consider the adjustments they both need to make to enable the relationship work. The partners learn to appreciate each other’s unique characteristics and cope with each other’s individual behavior and characteristics.
Thus the couples learn to understand one another and become tolerant of each other. The couple also can learn to commit themselves to one another and develop a common purpose for their future lives. They can discuss and preset the objectives of their future marriage and to plan their lives as if they were one (Johnson & Wadsworth, 1994).
They get to understand one another better, and they, therefore, develop a common purpose that suits both of them. Such couples can integrate their beliefs and develop shared values essential for the success of their future married life. They develop positive communication between themselves, and as such, they can share virtually everything that affects their lives. By helping solve the other partners’ problems, the couples close the gap between them and become more open to each other.
They learn to stick with each other in times of joy and even during hardships. The partners are therefore able to gauge the level of concern that the other partner has towards him or her and the level of sacrifice that the other partner is willing to make him or her comfortable. This would also enable the partner to assess the other partner’s level of responsibility and commitment to meet marriage requirements.
The partners have the opportunity to learn the level of receptiveness of the other partner. The couples come to understand whether their partner has wholeheartedly accepted their relatives and friends. This enables the couple to choose friends who meet both their expectations and to be able to influence the other partner’s attitude towards his or her relatives and friends. Therefore, they can appreciate each other’s background and the factors that have shaped his or her life. By understanding and enjoying one another’s experience, respect between the couples is enhanced. This also improves the quality of communication between couples.
The relationship developed between couples during cohabitation leads to a subsequent stable relationship. The physical relationship during cohabitation forms the basis for a lifelong relationship. Cohabitation enables the couple to develop a security level that creates happiness in later marriages as they develop self-respect and personal pride in the relationship.
Johnson, A, & Wadsworth, J. (1994). Sexual attitudes and lifestyles. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.