Cohabitation and marriage Cohabitation and marriage comprise the two most common long-term relationships of adulthood. Cohabitors are unmarried people who live together and have sex together. More than 3 million Americans (most between the ages of 25 and 45) cohabitate. Many individuals claim that they cohabitate as a test for marital compatibility, even though no solid evidence supports the idea that cohabitation increases later marital satisfaction. In contrast, some research suggests a relationship between premarital cohabitation and increased divorce rates. Other individuals claim that they cohabitate as an alternative to marriage, not as a trial marriage. The long-term relationship most preferred by Americans is marriage. More than 90 percent of Americans will marry at least once, the average age for first-time marriage being 24 for females and 26 for males.
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