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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