1. Introduction

   In today’s society, cohabitation has become
a open lifestyle which is not so new and strange towards the youth around the
world. “Cohabitation” is the word that usually refers to the couples who live
together and share a common domestic life in a close-knit relationship like the
spouses without registering. It is increasing and more popular as the rate of
couples who accept living together tends to rise, including people having
steady job and even students. People in the East and the West have very different
thoughts about this issue. Living together has been a common pattern among
people in the Western world, especially in European countries because “in
sexual revolution occurring in Western countries at the early 60s of last
century, premarital cohabitation was very normal” (Nhu Trang, 2005), but Eastern
countries also have had the changes in social norms and rules related to
cohabitation which lead to the rise in this area. Naturally, from cultural
perspective of the East, it is still difficult to accept living together
without marriage. However, this current societal trend is gradually reducing
the rigorous prejudices about living together as a necessity of modern society
although it still exist the debates surrounding this issue. This paper
discusses the positive and negative aspects to know whether young people should
try cohabiting.

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2. Discussion of findings

2.1. How young generation

   Due to the effects of the 70s’ sexual
revolution in the West, the status of sex and premarital cohabitation has risen
in recent years. Instead of living officially together under one roof after
registration of marriage and wedding, they decide to cohabitate and share
household duties like other husbands and wives. This mainly happens in large
urban centers where industrial zones, factories, offices, schools, etc. heavily
concentrate. They are mainly workers, employees having a steady or temporary
job and students attending university. There has been a similar point between
them that is living away from home and having to take care of their own life.
Besides loving someone, they also need a partner to help them share the burdens
of personal daily life. So the lover is one of the best choices to solve this problem
because there are sufficient affection, sympathy and empathy, which help they
willing to support each other. Talking about status of living together in current
generation, it seems absolutely exact for the assessment: “Cohabitation has become so common that
it’s almost odd not to test drive a partner before marriage”, and “couples are
testing the waters before diving into marriage” ( Lauren Fox, 2014)

   Cohabiting after the time, it will be a
happy ending if they feel pleased to two people – life and decide to be
together in an official marriage. But if it does not appropriate with them,
they will break up and do not need the laws. According to a report by the
Ministry of  Vietnam Health, there was
about 44% of adolescents accepting to live together before marrige and they
considered that it is normal (cited in L.Anh, 2013). Moreover, the number of
young men is outnumbered than women. It seems that the young feels excited
about and “not all of the young like living together; but in general, their
psychology is likely to try” ( Dr. Nguyen, cited in Nhu Trang, 2005).

2.2. What benefits will be brought
to the couples if they live together?

cohabitant can bring more happiness to the couples when they have more time
living together. There are so many young people who suggest that cohabitation
is a reasonable choice before marrying and does not mean that morality and
lifestyle, which is distored and damaged. As the way to justify their opinion,
a list of advantages is given.

of all, this is a change to spend more time for their lover. Nowadays,
studying, working, taking care of themselves occupy nearly all of timetable of
each person. It is very difficult that people in a relationship can arrange an
appropriate time with special man or woman in their life. However, the couples
will no longer have to worry about it if they move in together. They can see,
share happy moments and take care of each other everyday in private space that
only has two people. This also mean that spending time together contributes to
loving relationship becoming more increasingly intimate.

cohabitation is an opportunity for anyone who wants to know specially what they
care about they partner. In fact, a humorous truth often happens to married
couples when the ladies or the man complain that their spouse of before and
after marying are two entirely different people. They feel extremely
disappointed, even regret because of marrying decision. Obviously, dating time
can help you understand a little bit about the “enemy”; but, living together
will open the door to go to the individual life of other one and provide more
information about the interests, lifestyle and many other things of they. So
they will determine whether that person is right for them or not. Also,
understanding spouse clearly befora decide to mariage can help to reduce the
divorce rate. Therefore, cohanitation is a great opportunity to get to know the
other one better and building a stronger relationship.

sometimes is also a quite headache problem towards the young people living away
home, especially at the end of each month. They have to work hard to earn money
and pay bills for electricity, water, housing rent, … However, all worries
about this will bi solved if they decide to move in a house. Financial pressure
of two individuals will reduce up to a half when thay live in one house,
especially bebeficial for low income individuals who is facing financial
unncertainty. They can support each other to overcome the difficulties and
certainly all work will be solved easily if they do not want to do it
themselves. However, in the relationship, when two people make a decision “own
something together”, they should reach an agreement about their financial fund
because money is a sensitive issue and they can avoid troubles if they break
down after that.

 2.3. What problems are caused by cohabitation
before mariage?

discussing about the issue that whether the couples should or should not
cohabitate, one thing is very clear that living together is not entirely bad
because of some optimistics sites. Moreover, no one force them to cohabitate,
they have the right to choose and lives their own life. However, people should
not ignore many outstanding issues causing negative significant impacts from
the perspectives of society and culture that cohabitation may lead to.

of all, cohabitation is not as unstable as marriage. After experiencing a time
of living together, many couples emerge the contradictions that have no way to
deal with. When they fall in love with someone, they just look at the best
aspects of their lover. It will be easy to make mistake if they decide to live together
quickly without mariage, whereas two sides have not yet know much about each
other. A common thing is that during the early they feel that two-people life
is happy and romantic; but “many couples live together happily for a while and
then break up, or marriage but happiness is not perpect. Contradiction
lifestyle leads to the divorce rate that is 27,7% …” (Prof. nguyen, cited in
Hoa Le, 2014). Beside, different from marriage witnessed and tied by law,
cohabitation is the life that they accept voluntarily without any attachment.
While “the wives and husbands would be inhibited and upset with a few bad
habits but they accustomed gradually to accept and know how to live happier”, living-together
couples sometimes lack a little sympathy and tolerance, finanly ” to an
unbearable level, it will be ready to explode like a ticking time bomb” ( Tri
thuc tre, 2015).

the girls have to sufferthe discrimination from others if they cohabite.
Different from the West’s intellection, for Easterners in general and
Vietnamese people in particular, their socialty still attaches the great
importance to the women’s innocence. The traditional culture and customs in
there have prescribed women that they have to serve their virginity before
become a wife, a daughter-in-law of another family. A virginal woman is
considered to express the virtue and direct to sustainable spiritual values of
love and marriage with her spouse. The girls living with their boyfriend before
marriage are often evaluated as indecent and facile in romance. This affects
significantly to their honor; for example, when a girl and her ex-boyfriend
have ever cohabitated, it is difficult to love and get married another man
because his family do not want to have a bad virtue daughter-in-law, and worry
that their son can be cheated. Even, a group of students at Tay Nguyen
University carried out a survey and statistics that the majority of people
(85,7%) identified cohabitation affect cultural norms and ethics of  the Vietnamese; 96% said that it would
adversely affect to health, psychology, academic results, sometimes quite
heavy, especially for women (cited in Trung Chuyen, 2012). Addictionally,  living together leads to more and more cases
of  unintended pregnancy. Although the
society is familiar with pregnant girls without the husband, they still cannot
avoid prying and unfriendly gazes. This put those girls under enormous pressure
and affects badly to the health of mothers and her fetuses. So, the couples
should “try to say no to cohabitation without actually willing to be the best”,
and “equipping knowledge, living responsibly and bravely as well as respect towards
their love to wait a perfect happiness” ( Dr. Hoang, cited in Minh Tam (VNN),

3. Conclusion

all the finding above, we can see that cohabitation is similar many other
problems because its has always two opposite sides. Everyone can not say that
it is good or bad, and people should deny or support it completely. The nature
of living together depends on the appreciation and thinking about lifestyle of
each person. Take youself a clear thought and give a right decision if anyone
really want to start a new life with the partner without marrying. A meaningful
slogan of Vietnamese young generation nowadays that is “you only live once” remind
the youth that they should not waste the most beautiful time of real life for
the belated remorse as cohabitation.


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