For today's young adults, the first generation to come of age during the divorce revolution, living together seems like a good way to achieve some of the benefits of marriage and avoid the risk of divorce.
Cohabiting couples do not have to seek legal or religious permission to dissolve their union. According to surveys, most young people say it is a good idea to live with a person before marrying.
But a careful review of the available social science evidence suggests that living together is not a good way to prepare for marriage or to avoid divorce.
However, such measures should be taken loosely, as researchers report that cohabitation often does not have clear start and end dates, as people move in and out of each other's homes and sometimes do not agree on the definition of their living arrangement at a particular moment.
In 2005, the Census Bureau reported 4.85 million cohabiting couples, up more than ten times from 1960, when there were 439,000 such couples.
What's more, it shows that the rise in cohabitation is not a positive family trend.