Dating Magazine

The Stayover Relationship

By Datecoachtoni @CoachToni

There’s hooking up, friends with benefits, co-habitation- and now, another non-married partnership, the stayover relationship. This one seems to be gaining ground in the “I don’t want to commit to marriage or living together” set. These couples have sleepovers from 3-7 nights a week on average. They like having their own space and they either have no interest in moving towards commitment or are in a phase of their relationship where they are assessing their rightness and/or comfort with this other person for something more permanent.

Two things strike me about this. One is how creatively folks are applying the term “relationship,” and two, that this could be a popular option during the great recession we are in. Whatever happened to practicality, convenience and cost saving? Maybe the high rate of traumatic break-ups between non-married partners has led to an increase in caution and restraint. Of course, if we continue with this pattern, there will be couples who parent together, share some expenses, call themselves a couple- but live in separate homes and have part time separate lives. There are couples out there like this now- but there may be more of them.

What all this might come down to is a response to the negative feelings regarding divorce that many young people who grew up in divorced homes have. If someone suffered a more difficult childhood due to divorce, they may grow up to believe that a non-committed marriage can keep them safe from that pain- and from bringing children into the same situation. The only problem with this thinking is that it is simplistic and flawed. You can’t remain only a little committed as partners and parents. At some point, these people will find that they want more; something different and/or that life will get too complicated to keep a no-commitment relationship working and meeting their needs.

Want to read more about this? Check out this newly released study

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