Blog Posts by Hannah Seligson

  • The cohabitation commandments

    Whether you've moved in together to cut costs, test-drive what it will be like to be married, or because the commute back-and-forth to your significant other's place made you feel like you were in a long-distance relationship, chances are you fall into the category of what sociologists call "tumblers." This is a prevalent subculture among cohabiters. When I interviewed Cornell University social demographer and cohabitation researcher Sharon Sassler for my book, A Little Bit Married: How to know when it's time to walk down the aisle or out the door, she said: "Couples don't prepare for moving in together. Very few have talked about it. It's surprising how little discussion of 'we-ness' factors into the moving-in conversation." So, I came up with a list of Cohabitation Commandments. (They have been called a list that should be memorized by anyone even thinking of entering a cohabitation arrangement.) Here's a peak at a few of them.

    Thou shall expect the first six months to be

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  • Beat the mate gain

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesEarlier this week, the number five most e-mailed story on the New York Times was: Study Says Women With Mate Get Heavier. Yes, love handles have found their empirical source. The study, after adjusting for other variables, showed the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a partner, 15 if she had a partner but no baby, and only 11 pounds if she was childless with no partner.

    I first heard about the mate gain when I was doing research for my book about the long-term unmarried relationship, A Little Bit Married: How to know when it's time to walk down the aisle or out the door . In 2006, Clay Risen wrote a piece in the New York Times Magazine about a study out of Newcastle University Human Nutrition Research Center in Britain. Researchers found that living with a male seemed to put pressure on females to consume more of the "unhealthy" choices. The irony, of course, is that females have a positive influence on their mates' diets.

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