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3. Cohabitation leading to marriage later. Even though a couple may not be thinking about marriage as a possibility at the outset, it can come up in the future. Communication can really help you to develop your ideas on the short- and long-term commitment issue. People considering cohabitation and couples negotiating new relationships may want to discuss the following questions (Bisson & Levine, 2009). Communicating as a couple about these questions can help people achieve sexual well-being because they can better understand their own and their partner's needs, emotions, and sexual behaviors. Also, a couple's responses to these questions may provide important clues about the stability of the relationship and the potential for a shared future. 1 . Is your relationship primarily for sex? If so, is it necessary to live together? 2. Is your relationship primarily motivated by love and wanting to be with the other person exclusively? 3. What will change in your relationship dynamics if you and your partner live together? 4. Is the decision to live together primarily about economics? If so, is living together really going to make a financial difference? 5. Will each individual take responsibility for his or her own share of the household expenses and chores, and the emotional work of living together? 6. Are you and your partner as individuals committed to being with the person only under certain conditions, such as each one pays a share of the rent, or each one can have a personal space within the relationship? The key to making an informed decision about cohabitation is to understand how your own sexual individuality fits the whole situation with a prospective life partner, including your own values, options about cohabitation, and what the research reveals about trends before making a decision to cohabit. • and futures (Smock, 2000). For example, it appears that couples may measure their degree of commitment by whether they use condoms or switch to a more long-term contracep-tion method, such as birth control pills or an IUD. This phase in the relationship, when couples develop reproductive plans, is now known as the contraceptive switch (Civic, 2000). College students are increasingly using the contraceptive switch when they think about live-in relationships. To help you determine if cohabitation is right for you and your partner, consider some key factors and the questions in "Know Yourself: Is Cohabitation Right for Me?" Research suggests that allowance for more mutual expectations regarding gender roles and heterosexual expectations of living together are making cohabitation more successful and acceptable, at least for some couples in some communities (Laumann et al., 2004). Know Yourself registered partnership Legal status granted in some states allowing same-sex or opposite-sex couples to receive tax benefits and other benefits granted to married couples.