The Stay-over Relationship
One of America’s latest dating trends is what appears to be a hybrid of cohabitation and dating. It’s called the stay-over relationship, and lots of couples these days are doing it. Ultimately, it’s when couples keep the essentials like toothbrushes at each other’s places but still maintain separate households. They’ll spend the night at the partner’s place a few nights a week but can still retreat to their own home for a night or two when they need their space. The new trend is especially popular among college students and parents of kids who have left the nest.
Since stay-over relationships have recently become an emerging trend there’s not a ton of research about their longevity yet. Social scientists have just started to explore what they’re all about. It’s been suggested that they appeal to those who are interested in an intimate relationship but still want to maintain a high degree of personal freedom. Researcher Tyler Jamison at the University of Missouri suggests that stay-over relationship may make for a cleaner break-up than for couples that have signed a lease, bought furniture, and even adopted a pet together. Jamison says, “Staying over doesn’t present those entanglements.” In their groundbreaking study, University of Missouri researchers found that couples in stay-over relationships are relatively happy, but don’t necessarily plan on moving in together or getting married.
While stay-over relationships may be the best of both worlds for some couples, it’s likely that they won’t have the best relationship outcomes. Why? There is a lack of commitment in stay-over relationships compared to cohabitation and marriage.
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