In the past, the steps to marriage were for the most part set in stone. A couple would meet, start dating and fall in love. The two would meet the parents, get engaged, get married, and then move in together. But times have changed. More and more couples are engaging in the formerly-taboo practice of sharing a home with their significant other before matrimony.
Pre-marital cohabitation has gone from being a relatively rare situation to nearly the norm in just a couple of decades. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Social Research, the percentage of marriages preceded by “shacking up” rose from about 10 percent in 1965 to more than 50 percent in the late 1990s. Between 1970 and 1999, the number of unmarried couples living together nationwide rose from about 500,000 to over 4 million and is rising rapidly. According to the study, if this rate continues, there will be 5.2 million couples cohabiting by 2002.
This trend is definitely evident in Hoboken and Jersey City, where there is new breed of young professionals with a different social consciousness than past generations.
“Things are so much different than they used to be,” said Hoboken resident Albert Chin, who moved in with his fianc