Not everyone will agree on what the advantages of cohabitation are or, indeed, if there are advantages to cohabitation. Here are some advantages that are commonly cited.
It gives people a way to test out whether they are suited for one another. When people get married without having lived together, they are thrown together for the first time. Since they are married, it is very hard for them to get out of the situation if it simply does not work. If they cohabit, the theory goes, they can try out life together and then split up without the huge hassles of a divorce if things do not work out.
It allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance. Up to a certain age, young people may be covered under their parents insurance if they are single and if they are students. If two people in college or early in graduate school want to marry, but lack the means to get their own insurance, they are better off cohabiting so that they can stay on their parents’ insurance.
Finally, from a more philosophical point of view, there are those who feel that cohabitation is a more equal arrangement. Marriage can be seen as a traditionally male-dominated institution. Cohabitation allows couples to live together without the “baggage” that comes along with the traditions of marriage. It can make them feel more equal to one another instead of feeling that the woman is being subordinated.
These are some of the most commonly cited advantages to cohabitation.