Cohabitation and Date Nights Could Actually Be Lowering Divorce Rates

There have been more than several reports recently claiming that cohabitation leads to higher rates of divorce down the road. However, new research has found the exact opposite: that couples living together before deciding to marry has likely lowered the overall divorce rates.

While studies have found that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce, this new research focuses on a different aspect of the issue: couples who live together before they marry and then make the decision to break up before they ever tie the knot. These couples – couples who test their relationship by residing together – would have likely been married in the past, but in present day never take that next step. It’s a difference that some believe has led to the overall drop in divorce rates over the past two decades.

The study found that while only one percent of people under the age of 60 were cohabitating in the 1960s, now one in six couples are living under the same roof without marrying. Also, couples are generally waiting longer and later before making the decision to officially settle down. The result? Some believe that some unstable relationships now end before couples marry.

Norway Actually Fights Divorce Rates with Date Night Advice

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Inspiration from a Hollywood movie has led to a new recommendation from Norway’s minister for children, equality and social inclusion: strengthen your marriage by establishing a regular date night with your spouse.

The new minister, Solveig Horne, offered the recommendation after seeing the recent American movie Date Night, in which comedians Tina Fey and Steve Carell find themselves on an adventure after spending a night on the town and away from their children. Horne, who is herself divorced, stated that although the movie was a comedy, the central idea made sense. Getting away for a night gives couples the chance to reconnect and rekindle romance.

Currently, Norway has a relatively high divorce rate of 40 percent, a trend that officials are attempting to combat on a national level.

The concept of date nights preventing divorce has been studied and found valid. Last year, the National Marriage Project found that couples who still went out on dates reported being 3.5 times happier than couples that didn’t carve out alone time. Another study, conducted by social psychologist Arthur Aron, found that weekly date nights actually change the chemistry of the brain–flooding participants with dopamine and norepinephrine. Going on a date with your spouse may actually make you feel like you are falling in love all over again.

Of course, date nights can’t save all relationships and marriages can’t weather all issues with a simple dinner and a movie. If you need the assistance of a knowledgeable Bellevue divorce attorney, we can help. Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to learn more about our legal services at 425-460-0550.


Not ready to speak with an attorney? We invite you to download our free, informative guides to divorce in Washington State.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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