It seems, to many, like the sensible thing to do: Move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, spend more time together, save money by splitting the rent and see if you can share a bathroom every morning without wanting to kill each other.
But if you were Scott Stanley's kid, he'd beg you not to do it.
Stanley, a University of Denver psychologist, has spent the past 15 years trying to figure out why premarital cohabitation is associated with lower levels of satisfaction in marriage and a greater potential for divorce.
At a conference last month, Stanley and his colleagues presented the latest findings of a five-year study being sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of couples today will live together before marriage, and that for two-thirds of them, cohabitation is something that they slid into or "just sort of happened."