Post your response to the following: Choose two of the following three questions about lifestyles to answer. Reference trends related to the lifestyles in your answers. What are healthy versus unhealthy reasons to marry? What are healthy versus unhealthy reasons to cohabitate? What are healthy versus unhealthy reasons to stay single?
The one statistic that popped out at me in this section was that in 1970 55% of men age 20-24 were single and in 2001 84% were single in this age group (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). That is a pretty dramatic increase in the number of single people in that age group over a relatively short period of time. The two reasons for singleness that I found most revealing were to pursue educational goals and to avoid STI’s. Both are very serious these days. As many of us know, without a college education it is very difficult to get off the bottom floor in any company these days. The reality of STI’s is also very eye-opening. It has gotten to the point that if an adolescent does not use proper protection they are asking for trouble.
Cohabitation has gone up dramatically, from 1.6 million couples in 1980 to 5.5 million couples today (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). I fear that I am part of that statistic though. My wife and I did practice cohabitation before our marriage. We have stayed together despite the odds, but I do not think that the premarital cohabitation was positive in our marriage. It would have shown a whole lot more commitment to the relationship if we had not lived together before marriage, in my opinion. I can also see why someone would choose cohabitation over marriage. It does offer financial and emotional support without the idea of being married. I think it is the idea that scares most of us. The reality is that the difference between cohabitation and marriage is often negligible. But it does alter the way that we think about the relationship. (i.e. ball and chain and all of that stuff).
Rathus, S.A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. (6th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.