University of Missouri-Columbia Study Finds "Stayover" Relationships Trump Long-Term Commitments

A University of Missouri-Columbia study found that a "stayover" entanglement is sometimes seen as more appealing than a long-term commitment.

In a new dating trend for young American couples, a “stayover” relationship is preferable because it allows each person more freedom, and there is an easy out.

A stayover relationship is defined by the researchers as one in which dating couples spend about half of the nights in a week together, but spend the remaining nights at their own places.

Tyler Jamison, a doctoral candidate in the human development and family studies department at the University of Missouri, and co-author Lawrence Ganong analyzed data from interviews with adults who were college-aged and in committed, exclusive relationships.

“Instead of following a clear path from courtship to marriage, individuals are choosing to engage in romantic ties on their own terms without the guidance of social norms,” said Jamison, as quoted by Health News. “There is a gap between the teen years and adulthood during which we don’t know much about the dating behaviors of young adults. Stayovers are the unique answer to what emerging adults are doing in their relationships.”

People are getting married later, according to U.S. census data, and the current study could provide a partial explanation for why this is.

According to the researchers, the main reasons to have a stayover relationship include comfort and convenience, as well as freedom that allows both partners to have some control over their personal space. 

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