Throughout history; painters, writers and musicians have used their art as a means to express their thoughts and feelings about love and falling in and out of love. Scientists now understand that there is an actual chemical reaction that occurs within an individual’s brain when he or she is falling in love.
These feel-good chemicals have been credited with causing people to do all sorts of crazy things. However, when the newness of a relationship fades, some may have regrets about decisions they made when essentially drunk on first love.
When discussing the results of a survey, the co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies, refers to this phenomena as “Relationship DUI,” when, under the influence of the powerful love inducing brain chemicals, an individual ends up making decisions that ultimately serve to lock him or her into the relationship.
In the survey, couples who had been married for less than 10 years were asked questions about their marriage and whether or not they lived with a spouse prior to tying the knot. For men and women who lived with a spouse prior to marrying or being engaged, many admitted that living together influenced their decision to marry and not in a good way. Rather, these individuals “rated themselves considerably lower in dedication,” to a spouse and admitted they likely would not have married their spouse had they not been living together.
From sharing a cellphone plan, to adopting a pet or moving in together; individuals who make these types of commitments too soon in a relationship may later have regrets. Anyone who’s ever been in love can likely relate to the feelings of giddiness and joy one experiences early on in a relationship. However, most people can also likely relate to the feelings of regret and dread that follow upon realizing that a relationship is not going to work.
The results of this survey and other similar research doesn’t necessarily mean that couples who live together prior to marriage are destined to divorce. However, couples who plan to move in together would be wise to ensure they’re on the same page about the relationship and neither should ever feel pressured to make a commitment as significant as marriage.
Source: New York Post, “How shacking up leads to divorce,” Naomi Schaefer Riley, Feb. 9, 2015