New LoveTrend: “Stayover” Relationships?

July 30, 2011  |  


Call it a hybrid of living together and serious dating, a new trend is coming into play: “Stayover Relationships,” defined and identified in a study by the University of Missouri as “Spending three or more nights together each week while maintaining the option of going to their own homes.”

Guess that means double toothbrushes, double deodorants, pitching in a little on the groceries since you eat at your boo’s place two, maybe three times a week?

These “stayover relationships” aren’t necessarily blooming into full-fledged marriages, though.  Tyler Jamison, the researcher for the Department of Human Development at the university, says that while amongst college-educated people the whole “shacking up” thing has become less taboo, “many young adults want to avoid the potential negative social consequences of cohabitation.”

Is it just me, but does “avoiding negative social consequences” the same as…I don’t know… “taboo?”

I have to sort of laugh to myself, because about 10 months before we got married, my husband (then boyfriend) moved in, but maintained a P.O. Box so his parents and mine didn’t know we shared a pre-marital bed.  We did get married, and will celebrate our tenth anniversary next April.

No one knows yet what impact, if any, this new trend will have on the already abysmal U.S. marriage rates.  Perhaps it’s more of the same.  However, other studies have tracked that college-aged adults are marrying–and staying married–in higher numbers.

So how to interpret the data?  Marriage up, non-married monogamous relationships go…sideways?

Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released April 2012), and runs a blog,, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.

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  • girliegirl

    Ok whats with the "Black Women" tag on this artical… doesnt make much since at all.

  • calidreamn

    My husband and I had a “stayover” relationship. It was convenient for us because he lived closer to where he went to school & I lived closer to where I worked. We took turns staying at eachothers places. He eventually moved in and like I mentioned before we married. HOWEVER my first serious relationship didn’t work out as well. My place was more “our place” and his place was definitely “his place”. Guess he needed a place to take his other lady froends…jerk.

  • Coriander

    When are we going to get the scientist that discovers that the cure for AIDS is in Special K Almond and Vanilla or something.

  • Cici & Coco -The Besties

    I wanna know how the hell they are just now figuring this out. -.- it depends if u guys are BOTH on the same page. Compromise compromise.

  • NEWHAIR5000

    wow.why is this news again?? and why did it take scientist to figure this out,when people already know about??.it might not have had a name but still…scientist??

  • Bizmark

    I think this is just called a relationship.

    • JustAshley

      Thats exactly what I thought too! LOL I think these "scientist" need to actually discover something and stop wasting government funding by renaming social behavior. Just lazy.

  • toddrick

    this ain’t nothing new..smh

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    • DJ1969

      Right! I thought this was the norm!!

  • becky

    um….t.v. can't compare to reality.

    • NEWHAIR5000

      lol but isn't that the truth??

  • In terms of college relationships, this is status-quo. Whether it's ideal for maintaining a strong, lasting relationship, I can't say. It hasn't worked well in my experience (or anyone else I know for that matter). But I can say it's especially difficult if there are other roommates in the picture.

  • In my opinion As long as the woman or man KNOWS that the relationship is going somewhere then maybe leaving a razor here or toothbrush there is convenient. My bf and I have been together for almost 6yrs we’re young and are already looking for a place to live TOGETHER. So for him to leave things at my place and vice versa doesn’t seem like an issue. Marriage is in the future because we both want it and discuss it openly. Keeping the communication line open is so very important in this situation because it let’s you know if this occasional spend the night will go anywhere or be just that. Great article!

    • kat

      opps i accidentally put a thumbs down, i agree with this comment. as long as people know what they want and they are open, i dont think marriage stats should matter. Relationships vary based on the societal needs and values