Dating vs living together

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Some couples may want to avoid the formalities involved with legal marriage.

Others may want to keep their financial affairs and debt burdens separate.

First, living apart may be one way to enhance the amount of novelty or excitement in a relationship.

Splitting things and sharing responsibility is less like a business deal than it is with a roommate (“No, time you get to have a date.

You both come home from work late and are exhausted and just want to eat takeout and watch a movie? You don’t feel like getting out of bed until 4 PM on Saturday? You need to spend a Sunday morning tuning up your bicycles? Living together actually frees up my social calendar, too.

At the beginning of the relationship, couples tend to engage in lots of novel and exciting activities together – what researchers refer to as self-expanding activities.

They get dressed up for dates, they explore new parts of the city, they try out each other’s hobbies, and they have engaging discussions with each other.

“The employer normally follows whoever is the beneficiary designated on the form,” Harris says, “or, if the pension was divided in a divorce, the employer follows the court order.” On the other hand, she says, naming a significant other as a beneficiary on an individual retirement account can backfire, since “if a nonspouse is named, they have to withdraw — and pay income tax — within five years of the death of the original owner.” Nonspouse beneficiaries can circumvent this fate by taking the “stretch” option, which enables them to make withdrawals over their life expectancy.

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