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“We have fun and we enjoy each other’s company, so why shouldn’t we just move in together?” — Lauren, from Cohabitation Nation?
Living together is a typical romantic rite-of-passage in the United States today. In fact, Census data shows a 37% increase of couples that choose to commit to and live with one another, foregoing marriage. And yet we know very little about this new 'normal' in romantic life— when do people decide to move in together, why do they do so, and what happens to them over time?
Drawing upon in-depth interviews, Sassler and Miller provide us with an inside view of how cohabiting relationships play out before and after they move in together, using couples' stories to explore the “he said” and “she said” of romantic dynamics. Delving into hot button issues— such as housework, birth control, finances, and expectations for the future— Sassler and Miller deliver surprising insights about the impact of class and education on how relationships unfold. Showcasing the words, thoughts, and conflicts of couples themselves, Cohabitation Nation offers a riveting, and sometimes counterintuitive look, and at the way we live now.
Sharon Sassler is Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Amanda Miller is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Indianapolis.