Men and Women Have Different Expectations when Cohabiting, experts say

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While searching for my NYC apartment several months ago, one thing became clear - the parking spots were small and apartments were even smaller. Still, this is the city famous for "Sex and the City" and despite limited space, many couples are cohabiting.

The option of cohabitation is something that many women will face at some point in their lives - if not directly, then vicariously through their friends. Yet, in this recent article in the New York Times, researchers state that "women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage." Dr. Scott Stanley, noted scholar from the University of Denver, says that cohabiting is often a process of "sliding, not deciding"; that is, couples make relationship decisions without intentional forethought into their possible consequences.

If cohabitation might yield less than satisfying results, I'm interested in learning more about how to pursue the best possible choices in my relationships in order to truly thrive. How have you or your friends considered the topic of cohabitation in your relationships? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

(image via apartmenttherapy.com)

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