“Shacking Up” Is No Longer Taboo


“Shacking up” used to be considered a social taboo, however it is quickly becoming an acceptable “norm” in today’s American society.  According to U.S. Census data..there has been a 25% increase over the past 10 years of couples living together before tying the knot.  Why the increase?  Is it a reflection of a loosening of religious ideals?  Are couples freeing themselves of the negative connotation associated with “shacking up” and deciding to define their own reality?

According to a recent article on BlackAmericaWeb, many couples are choosing to explore cohabitation prior to marriage because they view it as a “less risky” way to test the marriage waters.  Additionally, these couples acknowledge that there could be inherent economic benefits to financially pooling their resources together during these tough economic times.

What’s interesting is that while one of the objectives of “shacking up” is to increase the level of certainty regarding the longevity of the relationship there is a 49% chance that a cohabitation relationship will break up within 5 years vs a 20% chance when couples progress toward marriage the traditional route.

Regardless of which path you choose….you can’t escape the fact that RELATIONSHIPS ARE FOR GROWN FOLKS.  Considering that the rate of divorce for first marriages is at 51%, second marriage divorce rates are at 67% and third marriage divorce rates are increasing to 74%, you have to be willing to put in the work to ensure relationship success whether you “shack up” or not.

9 replies
  1. Aretha
    Aretha says:

    I’m not in agreement with shacking up at all! If I’m not good enough to marry, I’m not good enough to live in sin with you either and risk going to hell. Hey you know what the old saying is “why buy the cow when you can get the milk free”.

  2. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    In my opinion “shaking up” is not a problem. If people have issues with commitment whether the live together before marriage or not they’re going to have those same commitment issues. I have an Aunt and Uncle that have been “shacking up” for 25 years (not sure why they haven’t made it official as they fit ever criteria for common law marriage in Texas), my grandmother and grandfather lived together for 26 years before they married and they’re marriage lasted until my grandfather pasted away 5 years ago; they were togther for 46 years. Now I personally wouldn’t live with my man for that long before getting married as I would seriously question his commitment if it took him that long to “pop the question” but I don’t think living together before marriage can be blamed for a person’s lack of commitment in marriage. Nor do I think it can be blamed for the increase in children out of wedlock! All of my friends that have children out of wedlock actually did not move in with their boyfriends until AFTER the baby came.

    • Chocolate bride
      Chocolate bride says:

      I agree. My fiancee and I have been living together for 4 years and dated for almost 7. The first two years we lived separate. We moved together to be closer and save money the economy isn't nice to singles especially those in their 20's with no jobs or jobs with little pay, sometimes its about survival. Not everybody has the option of staying at home or getting their own place. Living together doesn't make babies out of wedlock people who don't try to keep themselves from having unprotected sex have babies regardless if they live together. You have to have a strong relationship and good communication before moving in. Start by going over expectations of living together as well as goals you wish to accomplish together as well as individually.

  3. Patricia Knight
    Patricia Knight says:

    Shacking up has produced more "baby mamas" & "baby daddys" than our communities can handle. As a race, we are doing too much "faking it" until we make it legal. Many of us never make it legal. The live-in relationship has become the final stage. On a small scale, this doesn't present much of a problem. On the large scale that we're doing it, it's ruining communities, cities, and the rate of progress of our people.

    A marriage partnership is designed to provide companionship and sexual fulfillment, weather storms, and raise children to adulthood (and these are just a few of the benefits!) The live-in partnership doesn't do these things nearly as well because of the lower level of commitment involved. This low level of commitment is what's led to little African American boys and girls being raised without a father in the home.

    Take a look, people. Our kids are not progressing at the rate that they could because the bridge that should carry them across was never formed. Open your eyes, take a good long look at what our communities have become due to our refusal to commit to one another!

    • Lakeesha
      Lakeesha says:

      the truth, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!!!!

    • sunganani
      sunganani says:


  4. mochazina
    mochazina says:

    If you’re not ready to commit, just say so. Shacking sets you up for failure because you go into marriage with that same *this relationship might be disposable* mindset that caused you to shack up.

  5. HonestEyes
    HonestEyes says:

    I am a 30 year old never been married living with a 29 year old divorcee and I can say at this moment that cohabitation has helped me see that he is not the man for me and I am personally glad I can find that out without having made the mistake of marrying him. C'est la vie!!!

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