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Being 20 and Relationships

Being a “Relationship / Marriage” counselor I focused more on the parts of the book (“The Defining Decade”) that dealt with relationship aspects of being in your twenties.  Below are some of the things that Dr. Jay discusses in her book.


One of Dr. Jay’s points when she talks about finding a strong long term relationship is that even though there are certain, social pressures, as well as biological realities, in terms of baring children, the twenty year old should not be driven to be married by the age of thirty.  Her point being, deciding in haste is what makes the divorce statistics as high as they are.


Some people say that living together is a great way to decide whether or not a couple should be married and yet the statistics do not indicate that this is true.  I know that I’ve always doubted these statistics as they didn’t make sense to me; and then I heard more explanation:


The book talks about couples who live together and the impact of that on marriages.  Couples who live together often drift into marriage because living together is easier. It is just simpler to keep clothes in one place rather than two; or it saves going back and forth between houses to be with each other, so folks decide to live together.  The decision is not made from commitment but based on convenience.   Folks often get married when one member of the couple decides to they want to be married (usually, but not always the woman).  When living together becomes driven by the “drifting” into the move often time’s couples don’t ask the hard questions necessary to clear up before a couple gets married.  If sharing a place does not happen because of convenience but because it is specifically seen as a trial period, a chance to get a closer look and feel about the relationship then co cohabiting can be an effective strategy


Dr. Jay also goes into what she calls “The Big Five” personality characteristics.  The author identifies: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism on a “high” “Low Scale”.

These are characteristics on which couples can assess their emotional compatibility.

Question for the day: ” What’s been your experience / thoughts about living together?”

My last blog about “The Defining Decade” will be about some things that Dr. Jay does that makes her book especially interesting.

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