Why Are Couples Who Live Together Before Marriage More Likely to Divorce?

Correlation does not equal causation — but it’s more complicated than that.

Ariana E.
Hello, Love

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

In a recent article of mine, 10 Surprising Divorce Statistics in 2023, there was much speculation around one of the findings.

1. Couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but time and time again, the statistics show that couples who cohabitate before marriage have a higher divorce rate than those who do not.

In fact, 57% of couples who did not live together prior to marriage had a marriage that lasted 20 or more years — while the same can be said for only 46% of couples who did cohabitate beforehand.

“Correlation does not equal causation.”

Just because two numbers seem to move up and down in the same direction does not mean that they cause each other.

For example, let’s say consumer research findings state that every time shoppers buy balloons, they also buy milk. Does this mean that buying balloons causes people to buy milk?

Arguably, no.

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Ariana E.
Hello, Love

I said what I said. Counter-cultural opinions on sex, love, and dating.