In today’s society, cohabitation has become a open lifestyle which is not so new and strange towards the youth around the world. “Cohabitation” is the word that usually refers to the couples who live together and share a common domestic life in a close-knit relationship like the spouses without registering. It is increasing and more popular as the rate of couples who accept living together tends to rise, including people having steady job and even students. People in the East and the West have very different thoughts about this issue. Living together has been a common pattern among people in the Western world, especially in European countries because “in sexual revolution occurring in Western countries at the early 60s of last century, premarital cohabitation was very normal” (Nhu Trang, 2005), but Eastern countries also have had the changes in social norms and rules related to cohabitation which lead to the rise in this area. Naturally, from cultural perspective of the East, it is still difficult to accept living together without marriage. However, this current societal trend is gradually reducing the rigorous prejudices about living together as a necessity of modern society although it still exist the debates surrounding this issue. This paper discusses the positive and negative aspects to know whether young people should try cohabiting.
Due to the effects of the 70s’ sexual revolution in the West, the status of sex and premarital cohabitation has risen in recent years. Instead of living officially together under one roof after registration of marriage and wedding, they decide to cohabitate and share household duties like other husbands and wives. This mainly happens in large urban centers where industrial zones, factories, offices, schools, etc. heavily concentrate. They are mainly workers, employees having a steady or temporary job and students attending university. There has been a similar point between them that is living away from home and having to take care of their own life. Besides loving someone, they also need a partner to help them share the burdens of personal daily life. So the lover is one of the best choices to solve this problem because there are sufficient affection, sympathy and empathy, which help they willing to support each other. Talking about status of living together in current generation, it seems absolutely exact for the assessment: “Cohabitation has become so common that it’s almost odd not to test drive a partner before marriage”, and “couples are testing the waters before diving into marriage” ( Lauren Fox, 2014)
Cohabiting after the time, it will be a happy ending if they feel pleased to two people - life and decide to be together in an official marriage. But if it does not appropriate with them, they will break up and do not need the laws. According to a report by the Ministry of Vietnam Health, there was about 44% of adolescents accepting to live together before marrige and they considered that it is normal (cited in L.Anh, 2013). Moreover, the number of young men is outnumbered than women. It seems that the young feels excited about and “not all of the young like living together; but in general, their psychology is likely to try” ( Dr. Nguyen, cited in Nhu Trang, 2005).
The cohabitant can bring more happiness to the couples when they have more time living together. There are so many young people who suggest that cohabitation is a reasonable choice before marrying and does not mean that morality and lifestyle, which is distored and damaged. As the way to justify their opinion, a list of advantages is given. First of all, this is a change to spend more time for their lover. Nowadays, studying, working, taking care of themselves occupy nearly all of timetable of each person. It is very difficult that people in a relationship can arrange an appropriate time with special man or woman in their life. However, the couples will no longer have to worry about it if they move in together. They can see, share happy moments and take care of each other everyday in private space that only has two people. This also mean that spending time together contributes to loving relationship becoming more increasingly intimate. Furthermore, cohabitation is an opportunity for anyone who wants to know specially what they care about they partner. In fact, a humorous truth often happens to married couples when the ladies or the man complain that their spouse of before and after marying are two entirely different people. They feel extremely disappointed, even regret because of marrying decision. Obviously, dating time can help you understand a little bit about the “enemy”; but, living together will open the door to go to the individual life of other one and provide more information about the interests, lifestyle and many other things of they. So they will determine whether that person is right for them or not. Also, understanding spouse clearly befora decide to mariage can help to reduce the divorce rate.
Therefore, cohanitation is a great opportunity to get to know the other one better and building a stronger relationship. Finance sometimes is also a quite headache problem towards the young people living away home, especially at the end of each month. They have to work hard to earn money and pay bills for electricity, water, housing rent, … However, all worries about this will bi solved if they decide to move in a house. Financial pressure of two individuals will reduce up to a half when thay live in one house, especially bebeficial for low income individuals who is facing financial unncertainty. They can support each other to overcome the difficulties and certainly all work will be solved easily if they do not want to do it themselves. However, in the relationship, when two people make a decision “own something together”, they should reach an agreement about their financial fund because money is a sensitive issue and they can avoid troubles if they break down after that. What problems are caused by cohabitation before mariage? Before discussing about the issue that whether the couples should or should not cohabitate, one thing is very clear that living together is not entirely bad because of some optimistics sites. Moreover, no one force them to cohabitate, they have the right to choose and lives their own life. However, people should not ignore many outstanding issues causing negative significant impacts from the perspectives of society and culture that cohabitation may lead to. First of all, cohabitation is not as unstable as marriage.
After experiencing a time of living together, many couples emerge the contradictions that have no way to deal with. When they fall in love with someone, they just look at the best aspects of their lover. It will be easy to make mistake if they decide to live together quickly without mariage, whereas two sides have not yet know much about each other. A common thing is that during the early they feel that two-people life is happy and romantic; but “many couples live together happily for a while and then break up, or marriage but happiness is not perpect. Contradiction lifestyle leads to the divorce rate that is 27,7% …” (Prof. nguyen, cited in Hoa Le, 2014). Beside, different from marriage witnessed and tied by law, cohabitation is the life that they accept voluntarily without any attachment. While “the wives and husbands would be inhibited and upset with a few bad habits but they accustomed gradually to accept and know how to live happier”, living-together couples sometimes lack a little sympathy and tolerance, finanly “ to an unbearable level, it will be ready to explode like a ticking time bomb” ( Tri thuc tre, 2015). Secondly, the girls have to sufferthe discrimination from others if they cohabite. Different from the West’s intellection, for Easterners in general and Vietnamese people in particular, their socialty still attaches the great importance to the women’s innocence. The traditional culture and customs in there have prescribed women that they have to serve their virginity before become a wife, a daughter-in-law of another family. A virginal woman is considered to express the virtue and direct to sustainable spiritual values of love and marriage with her spouse. The girls living with their boyfriend before marriage are often evaluated as indecent and facile in romance. This affects significantly to their honor; for example, when a girl and her ex-boyfriend have ever cohabitated, it is difficult to love and get married another man because his family do not want to have a bad virtue daughter-in-law, and worry that their son can be cheated.
Even, a group of students at Tay Nguyen University carried out a survey and statistics that the majority of people (85,7%) identified cohabitation affect cultural norms and ethics of the Vietnamese; 96% said that it would adversely affect to health, psychology, academic results, sometimes quite heavy, especially for women (cited in Trung Chuyen, 2012). Addictionally, living together leads to more and more cases of unintended pregnancy. Although the society is familiar with pregnant girls without the husband, they still cannot avoid prying and unfriendly gazes. This put those girls under enormous pressure and affects badly to the health of mothers and her fetuses. So, the couples should “try to say no to cohabitation without actually willing to be the best”, and “equipping knowledge, living responsibly and bravely as well as respect towards their love to wait a perfect happiness” ( Dr. Hoang, cited in Minh Tam (VNN), 2013). 3. Conclusion From all the finding above, we can see that cohabitation is similar many other problems because its has always two opposite sides. Everyone can not say that it is good or bad, and people should deny or support it completely. The nature of living together depends on the appreciation and thinking about lifestyle of each person. Take youself a clear thought and give a right decision if anyone really want to start a new life with the partner without marrying. A meaningful slogan of Vietnamese young generation nowadays that is “you only live once” remind the youth that they should not waste the most beautiful time of real life for the belated remorse as cohabitation.
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