Secular-individualist views and poor communication skills are commonly used to explain cohabitation instability. The present study sheds light on the process through which similarity of such views becomes salient to long-term ("committed") cohabiters' relationships. Based on a couple-level analysis of interview data collected from 20 Israeli committed cohabiters, we argue that value-based similarity (in the present case, a secular-individualist commonality), together with constant work on communication based on a sense of partner exceptionality, are central to couples' ability to experience their disagreements as marginal and to take pride in their intimate communication. We found a cohabiting identity to consolidate in the course of this process, contributing to the couples' conception of their cohabitation as better than marriage.
- confluent love
- couples' communication
- gender religion
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science