There are a number of reasons why people get married or move in with their partner. While many couples may cite love and companionship as their main motivation, more practical factors can also come into play.

For example, marriage often means sharing expenses and even medical coverage. And, in some countries, it is a requirement for citizenship.

1. Love

In many ways, this is the most important reason people get married. Some couples find that they want to spend their lives together in a deeply romantic way and believe that the best way to show this is to marry them.

This may be because the physical act of marriage brings out more intense feelings of love. Researchers have found that when a person is in love, certain parts of the brain are activated and the body experiences a number of physical symptoms, including a dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach, and weak knees.

Additionally, cohabiters who say they want to get married someday are twice as likely to cite the desire for romance as the major factor that led them to move in with their partners. The desire for romance can also make people feel like they are more committed to each other and their futures.

2. Commitment

Most cohabiting adults and married adults agree that it is important for a couple to be fully committed to each other before they move in together. This commitment is often reflected in the fact that couples do not spend much time looking at other people.

If you and your partner are in a committed relationship, you will probably be very focused on meeting each other’s needs, including sex, intimacy, and companionship. People in a committed relationship will also tend to portray their partners positively – to minimize their flaws and emphasize their positive attributes.

People who are in a committed relationship may not be able to have children, or they may decide not to have them. This is why it is important to discuss these issues in advance.

3. Children

For some, the sanctity of marriage is a religious practice that they want to honor. And, for others, it’s a way to build a family. This can include the responsibilities that come with being a parent, and also the benefits of being married such as spousal support, insurance, and tax breaks.

Many people may be happy being in long-term relationships without ever getting married, but for some the desire to make a formal commitment trumps other motivators, like love, convenience, or finances. The important thing is that couples who decide to move in together or get married should communicate about their reasons before they do so. This can help to ensure that their decisions are based on a foundation of love and mutual commitment.

4. Convenience

Depending on where one lives, getting married can come with legal perks such as tax breaks, health care and social security benefits, the ability to adopt or get a spouse visa. Some cohabiting couples cite these advantages as reasons for wanting to marry.

Similarly, some people see marriage as a status symbol or way to show off. Trying to prove something to someone else is never a good reason to do anything, much less tie the knot.

It’s also important to remember that convenience isn’t a substitute for love. It’s better to make the choice when you’re truly ready for that commitment, rather than sliding into it because of some practical consideration. That way, you’ll avoid the heartache of discovering that your partner isn’t compatible with your life goals.

5. Financial

Although it may sound unromantic to discuss, money is an important consideration in relationships. Being married means sharing income, assets and property; it can also mean better medical coverage or tax benefits.

A spouse can introduce you to new financial opportunities that are not available as a single person, like networking events and company-sponsored benefit programs. In addition, a partner can make it easier to afford an apartment and split the cost of living expenses, such as rent, utilities, food and entertainment.

Overall, majorities of young adults – 78% of those ages 18 to 29 – say it is acceptable for couples who don’t want to get married to live together. However, about half of cohabiters who are not engaged and not sure they want to marry cite not being personally ready for that commitment as the reason why they don’t plan to marry their current partners.

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