Been dating for 5 years

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And how do the chances of breaking up change over time?

These are some of the many questions Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford, has been asking as part of a longitudinal study he started in 2009.

“We know a lot more about the relationships that worked out than the ones that didn’t,” said Rosenfeld.

“The way the census and other surveys tend to collect data just doesn’t produce a very good picture.

Couples who cohabit prior to marriage because they want to ‘try things out’ often adopt this approach because they already see some potential problems with long-term compatibility.

It should come as no surprise then that these types of relationships are less than stable if they transition into a marital relationship (in fact, it’s very likely that this ‘group’ of cohabiters contributes a large degree to the finding that premarital cohabitation is bad for marriage).

Relationships that don't work out are bizarre things, miniature lives that burn out like stars.

He also has this professional project that’s a big priority.

I love your column and think you do a great job of answering questions and concerns with sympathy, empathy and insight. I asked if that’s why he doesn’t want to move in—because he’s afraid we’ll break up and it’ll be a pain to move out.

We knew a couple who broke up after living together.

If, in a few years from now, I'm 100 percent sure she's the girl forever, I'll make it official.

It's weird with us because I'm all about getting married but my girlfriend is not about that at all. Maybe if she tries to break up with me or give me a marriage ultimatum, I'll propose.

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