(Mirror Daily, United States) – Particularly for women, living together is just as good as marriage, as researchers showed that they both provide with the same drop in emotional distress. So, apparently, whether they are moving in with their partner or going directly into marriage, women’s happiness levels boost to the same height. The story is a bit different for men though.
Researchers from the Ohio State University gathered their data from around 8,700 participants born between 1980 and 1984. Every other year between 2000 and 2010, they were given questions to answer regarding their relationship status and emotional distress. Female participants recorded the same drop in emotional distress when moving in with their partner as when they were getting married.
Males, on the other hand, only felt the boost in happiness when heading straight into marriage. When living together with their partner for the first time, they recorded no difference in their levels of distress. Cohabitation didn’t provide the same benefits for men.
However, both men and women recorded the same emotional boost when entering their second union of sorts, be it marriage or living together. According to Claire Kamp Dush, who authored the study, it appears that living together does provide some benefits for the relationship without the actual marriage. Even more, it may indicate that both males and females are better at picking people for long-term relationships.
This was understandably not a noticed result a few decades ago. Marriage tended to offer a much better decline in emotional distress due to both the companionship and the security. It may have been the only way for them to gain social support. Today, however, the situation has changed. Around 66% of young couples opt for moving in together before marriage.
The study claims that marriage is no longer the necessary factor in order to reap the benefits of cohabitation. At least, that seems to be the case where emotional health is concerned. There does seem to be a difference among genders though. There was no explanation given between them, but it was noted that the difference happens only for the first time.
Meaning that while women experience the same happiness as living together for the first time as their marriage, the same drop in emotional distress will not happen the second time. Men, on the other hand, felt no significant difference in their emotional health or happiness the first time.
Other studies have shown that perhaps other behavioral indicators in men, such as drinking or violence, might be a more accurate way to determine emotional distress.
Image source: oprah.com
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