Thursday, February 21, 2013

moving in together leads to moving on

I came across an interesting article talking about how cohabitation can ultimately damage a relationship in the New York Times (here). Given that the 'Grey Lady' is not exactly a bastion of conservatism, it is hardly to be imagined that they are 'over egging the pudding' in what they have to say.

A couple of questions came to mind after reading the article. The first is, if it is known that cohabitation has a strong potential to damage the long-term future of a relationship, why do we hear so little on this topic? It seems as if every time I walk past a magazine rack in a supermarket, the covers of those aimed at women are plastered with blurbs high-lighting all the wonderful relationship advice that is to found within the covers. Yet I don't recall ever seeing one that said something like: if he's a keeper, don't move in!  Or are there a slew of articles on this that I simply missed? 

The second is that the author has in her final paragraph the phrase: I am not for or against living together. That sounds like code for: this is not a moral issue for me. The author, it seems, is worried that her message would be tainted or undermined in some way, if those reading it thought she had a moral view on cohabiting. Ironic, really. A few years back, it was for moral reasons that most didn't cohabit. Then folk began to think that these morals were just stuffy old nonsense; there was no 'real world' reasons not to do it. And now the evidence begins to emerge that actually there are 'real world' reasons not to do it ... at least if you're hoping to avoid emotional harm or achieve a lasting relationship. But the stuffy old morals that were right all along? Don't mention those: we wouldn't want to put people off stopping doing what was bad for them by thinking that it was a moral issue ... 

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