How Do the Japanese Feel About Living Together Before Marriage?

  • It is quite common for Japanese people nowadays to move in even before committing marital vows. This is how conventional thinking goes on in the country. But the question is, who is more willing to move in? Is it the male or the female? A recent survey revealed that Japanese men are more willing to increase commitment or involvement in a relationship by considering moving in with their partners more than women do.

    Cohabitation in Japan

    The standard of living in Japan is generally high. Most of the time, places are busy and there are so many exciting activities to try. Some places are traditional while others are superbly modern. This goes the same way for customs. Some people agree with unmarried couples who are living together, while others still do not. Sometimes, it depends on the place you are living in. This is very typical in the city which is also a form of cutting the cost of living as couples have to share the expenses. A lot of times, parents would be the last to know about these kinds of things. The reason for this is that cohabitation of unmarried couples who are in love are frowned upon by some of the older generation. They think there’s no valid reason to do this. If couples want to live together forever, then they should marry.

    Reasons for Cohabitation

    Cohabitation is a very flexible arrangement which allows couples to fully understand each other without having to marry just yet. One reason why Japanese youth often resort to cohabitation is the ceiling-high cost of weddings brought about by the country’s long-term stagnation. Many of them are not so enthusiastic about it because they themselves cannot bear it. Thus, if they do, they will have to ask help from their parents who also don’t have a sufficient economic condition.

    Another factor is that as the Japanese live with high levels of stress and under such tremendous pressure, men and women devise schemes to easily meet and get together. This is an option which most young Japanese choose as it costs nothing at all and at the same time, it is relaxing to the mind and body.

    Marriage in Japan

    Marriage is an expensive ceremony in Japan. Most of the time, it is also based upon family expectations. It is said that almost 90 percent of unmarried men and women in the country intend to marry, but the percentage of those who don’t pursue relationships has also continuously increased. The majority of the people are still holding on to the traditional belief that males provide for the females. Men are then tasked to aim for security by having a stable job before considering marriage. Sometimes, it is quite hard for couples to secure financial conditions because of the country’s economic stagnation. This leads to the decline in population which in turn also leads to the decline in the number of marriages. These problems led to the rise of some trends such as women marrying at a very late age, an increased interest in marrying foreign people, and unmarried cohabitation. Living together before marriage is often seen as a solution for those people who are looking for someone to trust and share their lives with without the hassle of marriage costs. For some women, it is quite hard to find a suitable partner especially if they are highly educated and would only love men who have yet to change their views on traditional women.

    Match Alarm’s (マッチアラーム) Results

    Match Alarm (Japanese only) is a dating app which acts as a love consultation square allowing people to find their true match. This app can be accessed through users’ Facebook accounts. In one survey using the app, 506 men and 257 women were asked whether or not they want to live together with their partners before getting married. The result showed that 89.7 percent of men and 66.5 percent of women were in favor. There are several reasons given by those people who agreed on living together. Some think it helps you see each other’s good and bad points and also helps you get a clear picture of each other’s values. If you wait until marriage to live together, the differences might be really surprising as some people only change once you start living with them. On the other hand, the anti-cohabitation group also spoke up the reasons on their behalf. If you’re both serious about the relationship, then you should get married as it is something that makes the relationship special. If you’ve just started dating, then it might be best to just stay over at each other’s house. Marriage helps you put up with many things unlike just living together where it is easy to break up. And also, when you’ve been living together for a long time, the excitement of marrying each other is lost in the long run.

    Some of the Japanese women dislike unmarried cohabitation because they long to have deeper relationship commitments. Women who are in the age range of 20 to 24 are more likely to live in with their partners and men in the age range of 25 to 29 feel the same way. Men from 35 to 39 and women from 25 to 29 are more likely to opt for marriage before moving in. These results clearly show that Japanese women are more willing to ideally get married first before cohabitation as compared to men who are willing to use cohabitation as sidestepping marriage.

    There’s still a big gap between men’s and women’s feelings when it comes to living together before marriage. Japanese men are more enthusiastic to do this compared to their counterparts who often want a meaningful commitment. What do you think? Is cohabitation the key to establishing strong relationships?