Washington, Jul 26 (IANS): Young Americans in their 20s now prefer 'stayover relationships,' spending three or more nights together every week, which may be eroding marriage rates.
"Stayover relationships are a growing trend among college-aged couples who are committed, but not interested in cohabiting," said Tyler Jamison, doctoral candidate in family studies at the University of Missouri who conducted the study.
"Most students do not have a definite plan for where they will live or work after graduation, and stayovers are a way for couples to have comfort and convenience without the commitment of living together or having long-term plans," said Jamison.
"Instead of following a clear path from courtship to marriage, individuals are choosing to engage in romantic ties on their own terms, without the guidance of social norms," added Jamison, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reports.
Jamison conducted interviews among college-educated adults who were in committed, exclusive relationships, according to a University statement.
"As soon as couples live together, it becomes more difficult to break up," Jamison said.
"At that point, they have probably signed a lease, bought a couch and acquired a dog, making it harder to disentangle their lives, should they break up. Staying over doesn't present those entanglements," Jamison added.