Cohabitation Before Marriage: the issues surrounding this movement.

Society is an ever changing and sophisticated entity that most of us find hard to navigate. It is something that easy to follow in some areas because it has its own set of legal rules. However, most find it tricky to navigate when it comes to all the unspoken rules that seem to exist in social norms of today. Some of the biggest reasons one might struggle with this is because the expectations set out by individuals are all different. Many people view all topics in different ways. No matter how drastically different their viewpoints are though, each person can always say that there are personal factors involved for why they think that way. Some things like religious beliefs, perceived social norms, and generational gaps in beliefs seem to be commonly referenced reasons for people as to why they think the way they do. At the end of the day though we are allowed to think and feel the way we want, so lets get a better understanding as to why people commonly feel the way they do on the topic of cohabitation before marriage. To better understand this issue, lets first take a look at the idea of how religious views take a look at this issue. For the select few people that this pertains to, many religious groups do not condone living together before marriage. Many groups seem to site this as a sin in their culture and beliefs and therefore will be punished in the afterlife for it. The South Carolina Catholic church is even quoted saying “Living together before marriage is a sin because it violates God’s commandments and the law of the Church”. Some organizations do feel stronger about this topic then others. However, these groups do help bring on according to the PEW Research Center the rise that 17% of women and 16% of men believe they need to be married in order to live a successful life. In the end, all religious groups do seem to come to the consensus that living together before marriage is a sin and isn’t acceptable. Another area that should be considered is how age takes a play into this issue. For most people, the older they are, the more likely they are to have a personal issue with the thought of living together before marriage. Most older people are like this however because in their time of the same age it was very incorrect to do this. To the point that the general thoughts of people interviewed on this jumped from only 45% of adults under the age of 30 thinking people needed to get married to be happily living together. To the jump of 64% of people feeling that way over the age of 65. A great example of this comes from what Betty Vognez was quoted saying. Betty is a 95-year-old resident of Watsontown Pennsylvania who got married at the age of 18, when asked about why she did she said “due the time and era it was the only option for two people to really live together. Me and Allen (her now deceased husband) always knew we loved each other deeply and wanted to spend forever together but could never live together if we weren’t married. So, we chose to get married when I was 18 and he was 20 because it made us happy, both our parents happy, and it allowed us to get married just before he shipped out to serve in World War 2. At first the change in our lives were hard, but after we moved out from living in my parents house for a couple months and got our own place, things seem to be nice and transition smoothly till he deployed a year later. But the thing that seemed to help us through the hard times more then anything was the fact that we were married and committed fully to each other. And that is why I think its important for the generation today to get married before they move in, because it gives them the best chance of success when it comes to the hard times.” In the end, as a society we do have to take into the thoughts and considerations of the generations that have come before us. Although not all their information is good, a lot of times it is based off of experience and their own hardships they have faced. And while we do not have to agree with it, the least we can do is to listen to them and try to think about why they feel the way they do on a certain topic. The last are to focus on his how perceived social norms affect the idea of living together before marriage. Thankfully, out of all the areas this seems to be the one that has the least amount of people that differ in it. It seems that in today’s world, most are more okay with it then are not based solely on the thought of social norms. Most people might not agree with it, but it is not because of what others think. While we all care to an extent about the thoughts of those around us. Typically outside of a few choice individuals, we don’t make other peoples thoughts a huge decider in making the decisions that we do. For some, this may not be true, a lot of media influencers or public figure heads do allow the thoughts and feelings of people around them to affect their decision process almost to complete level. But most common and everyday citizens do not. When asked on this topic of how he felt, 32 year old Keith Weiser said “who really cares today? In the world we live in, there are a lot of other problems to worry about then who lives with who. Plus, wouldn’t it be better to live with someone first before committing to forever with them?” And thankfully most adults in today’s world think the same as Keith, and say living together first is better for a relationship. To the point where 48% say it’s a better chance, 38% say it doesn’t matter, and only 13% say it makes the chances worse. So regardless of how others feel on this topic, the more important part is if the couple is happy and not breaking any laws. How much do we as a society have the right to judge them?

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