If you think moving in with your sweetie means moving closer to marriage, you may need to think twice. Marriage could be years or decades in your future at best! Hannah Seligson is the author of A Little Bit Married. In her book, she explores the trend of couples in their 20s and 30s living together – without realizing that they never made a decision about whether to get married or not. Experts say that less than half of couples who move in together get married. So why do they invest in a long-term relationship if it just ends in a broken lease agreement and not a marriage proposal? Here are the facts, courtesy of CNN:

  • The number one reason: Money. Our marriage experts say couples are motivated to move in together because they’ll save on rent, not because they can’t bear to live without each other emotionally.
  • Also, research shows that most men wait to get married until they want kids and are financially able to provide for them, but that’s taking longer than ever – especially now. Studies show that men who graduate from college during a recession, get paid less, and will continue to earn less 15 years later. This means reaching financial stability, and a marriage proposal, is taking longer than ever.
  • The main reason couples who live together don’t get married? Because they don’t talk about it. Seligson, the author, interviewed nearly 200 cohabitating couples and said she was shocked at how few had discussed marriage. For example, a woman might think her boyfriend will propose if they live together, but for a man, it may just be a relationship of convenience. The fix: Communicate your relationship goals before you move in. Ask yourself: Am I expecting to save money or get a husband?

If you do end up married, know this: Studies show that couples who live together before marriage have a much higher chance of divorcing. Why? Because they don’t get married because they’re madly in love. They do it because they think “eh, we might as well.” Want to check out Seligson’s book? It’s called A Little Bit Married.