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Why you should go slowly into a new relationship
Heres a new piece of advice for young couples dont commit a relationship DUI (decision under the influence) and rush into making a long-term decision for your relationship before marriage. - photo by Herb Scribner
Heres a new piece of advice for young couples dont commit a relationship DUI (decision under the influence) and rush into making a long-term decision for your relationship before marriage.

This advice comes from a new video by PREP Media that uses doodle drawings to explain how rushing into cohabitation or other long-term aspects of a relationship, like buying a car or pet together before marriage could destroy your relationship and possibly your potential marriage, especially when you and your partner don't have shared values.

If we slide into a relationship with someone who doesnt have the same values as us that can be trouble, University of Virginia associate professor W. Bradford Wilcox said in a phone interview. People should go slowly into a relationship and be deliberate about them.

Wilcox agreed with the videos point that couples shouldnt lock into leases, loans or liabilities before they marry since it may impair their ability to end a relationship that isnt working.

Whether its a common pet or a common couch or a common condo, it prohibits your ability to be sober and decisive about breaking off a relationship that you realize may not be the right thing for you and your partner at that time, Wilcox said.

Wilcox said couples should wait until after marriage to make other long-term commitments with their partner.

After youve gotten marriage, its good to co-mingle your assets. Its good to establish a joint-checking account, its good to have a pet together, its good to have a home together," Wilcox said. "In the wake of a marriage, shared assets are a great thing. But prior to a marriage, they can damage a relationship.

The video has been used at conferences, in school classrooms and with small group meetings to teach people about the negatives of moving in together before marriage. Wilcox said his students at the University of Virginia were moved by the video, and that real-world couples who are contemplating making long-term decisions, like cohabitating, can learn a lot from watching it, especially during this day and age.

The video comes at a time when American couples are cohabitating more than ever. Lois Collins of the Deseret News reported earlier this year that cohabitating has nearly doubled in the last 25 years. In fact, two out of every three couples have cohabitated before marriage at some point in their lives, Collins reported.

"We thought maybe the number had plateaued," Wendy D. Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage, told Collins, "but it continues to rise. Now about two-thirds have ever cohabited. That's really striking."

Young couples who cohabitate are especially vulnerable to divorce, according to research from the Council on Contemporary Families, which I wrote about in January. The research said that couples younger than 23 years old, who sometimes rush into cohabitation, often cant handle the responsibility of living together and being fully independent.

Experts told The Christian Science Monitor that todays society can be more complicated, which requires more emotional and intellectual intelligence to make things work. Couples who have already had real-world experience will have better success living together, which is why its important to wait until after marriage, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Part of it is maturity, Arielle Kuperburg, professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, told the Christian Science Monitor. Part of it is picking the right partner, part of it is that youre really not set up in the world yet.
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