The family has always been the basic social unit in society and has therefore been upheld by religions and the government. The family is considered to be a source of great joy and happiness but forming one is a tough decision because two strangers promise to spend the rest of their lives together and raise children. The amount of responsibility and the risks involved lead people to consider a period of familiarization during which the couple gets to know each other termed cohabitation. Advocates of marriage in the traditional sense are strongly against this new trend yet it cannot be denied that any move that prevents future misery and divorce for the spouses and the children is a step in the right direction.
First of all, cohabitation is an individual choice and as such nobody has the right to interfere. In a democratic society, everyone should be free to live as they like. Bob Dylan was right when he said the times were changing and when he told parents and teachers not to stand in the doorways and block up the halls. In the past, parents decided who the young person was to marry; the couple then married and never considered divorce whether they were happy or not. In the modern world, people choose their own partners and if they wish to make sure they have got the right person, it is not anybody else’s concern. In short, everybody should mind their own business.
Second of all, cohabitation involves complete freedom and a mutual promise to be true to each other. This is after all what marriage is: a promise stated publically in front of witnesses. Yet is a public promise more binding than a private one? A promise is a promise however you make it. True, marriage involves legal protection which means inheritance, child support and support are all guaranteed in the case of divorce. Yet, if people love each other and if they are moral upright citizens, they shouldn’t need laws for this. Plus of course, cohabitation is only meant to be the step before marriage; it isn’t meant to go on forever in which case any discussion of legal guarantee becomes meaningless.
In conclusion, it is nobody’s business whether two people choose to live together before getting married or not. Times are changing and so are life styles; people need to adapt and keep up. Insisting on the values of the previous generation is futile in the long run. In short, people need to keep up or get left behind.