In the last several decades, the frequency of couples living together before marriage has grown at such a great rate that to suggest a couple avoid doing so is regarded as prudish.

Yet according to a new Pew Research report, cohabiting couples are setting themselves up for future divorce.

“Among women who did not live with their spouse before getting married for the first time, 57% can expect to still be married after 20 years. For women who lived with their spouse before marriage, the probability of being married for at least 20 years is somewhat lower – 46%. Whether the couple was engaged when they lived together didn’t make a difference in women’s chances of long-lasting marriages.

For men, the patterns are slightly different. In this case, it matters whether men are engaged to a partner they lived with before getting married. Men who lived with their future spouse without being engaged had a slightly lower chance of having a long-term marriage (49%) than those who were engaged first (57%). Men who didn’t live with their partner before getting married had a 60% chance of celebrating their 20th anniversary.”

Chart via Quartz

Such findings underscore past research showing that cohabitation increases depression, diminishes relationships with extended family, and decreases sexual satisfaction. Given these facts, does avoiding cohabitation seem to be a matter of common sense rather than a prudish whim?

Image Credit: Flickr, Lost in Conversation