Average length of time dating before moving in together

Couples were hooked up to a f MRI and warned that they were about to be given a small electric shock.The brain scans of those who were holding their spouses’ hands were quite different from those who were holding a stranger’s hand or looking at a picture.

But in a recent study of married and just-living-together couples, a researcher at the University of Virginia found that the brains of spouses responded differently to stress than the brains of living-together couples.“It turns out that cohabitation doesn’t cause divorce and probably never did,” says Kuperberg.“What leads to divorce is when people move in with someone – with or without a marriage license – before they have the maturity and experience to choose compatible partners and to conduct themselves in ways that can sustain a long-term relationship.” So what’s the magic age?This has been true for a while, even though studies done right up until the 2000s showed that couples who lived together first actually got divorced more often than those who didn’t.But a spate of new studies looking at cohabitation, as it’s called, are starting to refine those results.“The take-home implication is that our brains are sensitive to signs that the people we depend on in our lives are predictable and reliable.And our brains will depend upon — will, in effect, outsource to — those we feel are most predictable and reliable for our emotion-regulation needs.” So far, cohabitation doesn’t seem to be able to produce that feeling of security.For non-college educated women, the waiting time is more like six months, because the lure of a single rent check is just too irresistible.Obviously, that situation is more prone to problems.The biggest predictor of splits in couples of all types, though, is whether they have a child without meaning to.Sociologist Kristi Williams of Ohio State University says that sometimes a unintended pregnancy is what pushes a couple to move in together or to marry.

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