What Is A “Stayover” Relationship?

Relationship trend alert! Nestled in the grey area between friends with benefits and living together is what experts are calling the “stayover” relationship. A new study done at the University of Missouri discovered a new kind of relationship common among college educated adults ages 18 to 29. It is what it sounds like, two people who are in a relationship stay over at each other’s places a few nights a week, take all their crap with them when they go, and rinse and repeat until the arrangement is no longer convenient. These couples keep each other’s beds warm for now with no intention of necessarily keeping them warm in the future. “Stayover couples tend to like the physical and emotional closeness of staying in with a partner rather than going out on a date … But after a night in together, they could then go their separate ways,” researchers explain. The main difference between “stayover” couples and those who cohabitate is that they emerge out of convenience rather than commitment. So basically, they’re embracing an “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” mentality.

I guess there are a couple of ways to look at the emergence of the “stayover.” Is it further proof that young people are confused about commitment to the point of absurdity? On the one hand, what’s the point of investing all that time into a glorified slumber party? Unless there was talk of a future together, I’m pretty sure I would rather be alone than spending time with someone I would eventually split with. Wouldn’t the twenties be more wisely spent building a career and looking for a partner who you do want a future with?

On the other hand, the “stayover” could be representative of a trend where young people are waiting longer to settle down, wising up about marriage, and realizing that they may be able to make a better choice for long-term partnership when they have more wisdom and experience under their belts. I think this is a good thing. Settling down before you know who you are can be stifling. But being human, we all need companionship. Where’s the harm in being in a committed-ish relationship until then? Isn’t that more enriching (not to mention safer) than engaging in 10 years of hookups, booty calls, and NSA sex? It’s hard to say. [New York Times]

I throw it out to you, Friskyverse. What do you think of the “stayover” relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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