A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships covers the more recent idea of “stayover” relationships (I know that they’ve existed before now, but they have become much more of the norm in 20-somethings). The article, title ”‘We’re not living together:’ Stayover relationships among college-educated emerging adults”, brings to attention the increasing popularity of this type of relationship – and the fact that relationships aren’t just dating-but-not-living-together or living together.
“Stayover” relationships are described as when a couple spends half of the nights in a week at each other’s place, and the other half at their own place without the partner (the study defined this as 3-7 nights, and I want to point out that 7 nights doesn’t mean that they still live together). The appeal, according to the study, is that you don’t have to give up your independence and your space while still being able to share space in some manner. Think of either the person you’re with now or the most recent one – regardless of your living arrangement, did you ever really relish your own space and time? My best friend has a 4 year old, and she absolutely does! While she loves her kid, there’s some days that she counts down the minutes til her husband gets home and can give her the gift of some time to herself. Blame it on me being an only child, but sometimes I really need some alone time. “Stayover” relationships are supposed to give individuals experience with spending more time with someone, and sharing space with a romantic partner (from my experience, this can be incredibly different than from with a roommate – not necessarily better, just different). Obviously, this isn’t going to work for everyone, but can be more socially and culturally acceptable than moving in with someone.
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