What do you call it when you really like someone, spend the night together all the time, but don’t necessarily want to shack up? According to a team of University of Missouri researchers, that’s a “stayover relationship,” and it’s becoming a popular dating model for young adults …
So! This was the topic of my latest piece for SexReally.com, and I’m dying to know: has anyone heard of the term “stayover relationships” before or do you share the stance of my friend (below):
When I asked a female friend if I could talk to her about her thoughts on her own stayover relationship, she told me, “I’ve never heard of this term … i thought that’s just what couples did.”
Right?! That’s totally what I thought too, but I do think it makes some sense to distinguish the stayover model from cohabitation. As much as I cringe at trend stories, this is a social phenomenon that deserves more than a mention in The New York Times’ Style section. Why? Because it indicates that social mores and the experiences of young adults have changed dramatically in recent decades. From my article:
Plenty of people—not just young folks—do use the stayover model today with no fanfare. A couple generations ago, however, it never would have existed, at least not without some serious controversy. What changed in between? For one, women nowadays enjoy greater economic equality and no longer have to choose between living with their parents and moving in with their husband. It’s socially acceptable and economically feasible for them to live on their own, while simultaneously, the taboo against premarital sex have loosened. Young people today are also getting married later, in part because of higher education.
Call me a geek, but I’m pretty fascinated how courtship patterns evolve as a result of changes in gender equality and views toward queer sexuality. Definitely a topic worth further sociological examination.