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Singlehood & Cohabitation: Definition, Challenges & Advantages Video

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  • 0:01 Divisions of Life
  • 0:49 Singlehood
  • 3:12 Cohabitation
  • 5:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

In this lesson, we discuss what single life and cohabitation bring to the individual(s) involved. There is good and bad with both, and there is a great deal of opinion when it comes to both.

Divisions of Life

Various psychologists have divided up the lifespan into various stages or developmental pathways. For the most part, they are accurate and reflect what the child is capable of at that age of life. What they don't reflect are the changes that can occur externally.

What I mean is that most of these developmental pathways stop around the age of 14, or they get a little vague and stretched out when the person passes 20. I am here to add two more stages to the jumble of them, stages that reflect one's outer world. After leaving home, an individual will most likely enter singlehood. After locating a potential mate, an individual will likely cohabitate. Let's look at what these actually mean and what they entail.

Singlehood

Singlehood is a state of being unmarried. I was going to describe how singlehood means being free of social and other expectations, but that is not necessarily true. Singlehood does not necessarily mean one is free from all social and experiential expectations. I mean, one could be single and still be running a Fortune 500 company. However, being single means one is unmarried and 'free to play the field.'

When researching the advantages and disadvantages of being single, there is a lot of opinion out there. Dozens of low-grade articles will tell you how to live your life to the fullest being single. Let's ignore those articles and look at what the research is actually telling us.

Single people tend to stay fitter by working out more at the gym and exercising more overall. To catch a mate, people need to look healthier and fitter. This means more time needs to be spent looking attractive by working out and keeping the body in shape. Plus, without a spouse, you are only cooking for one, which means you only have to worry about yourself. That being said, there is a decrease in healthy behaviors because if you only need to feed yourself, why not go out for fast food or something like that?

Single life also gives more time for personal tasks, such as working, volunteering or spending time doing whatever you want. Single people aren't beholden to anyone, so if they need to spend more time at the office, they can. This means single people can achieve more successful and productive careers because they are far more flexible than those who have to think of a family.

Single individuals are able to manage their money more closely. When you are single, you have only your own expenses, and it is easy to watch the money come in and go out. When you are in a serious relationship, the money can move without you even seeing it. That being said, single people often have higher unemployment and more stress due to lowered finances. While you can watch where the money goes, there just isn't as much moving in and out.

Single people often have increased rest and decreased depression. When you sleep in your own bed, it has been found that you get better rest. More rest decreases depression and makes a person more resistant to other types of mental and physical strain.

Cohabitation

Cohabitation could be defined as two intimate individuals living together. Older definitions describe it as 'married' or 'like married,' but the ideas of this tradition have been sliding for a long time. Basically, to cohabitate, you have two people who are a couple, are often sexually involved, who share resources and stressors. Much like singlehood, there is a large community putting out questionable information about the advantages and disadvantages.

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