A growing number of young American adults are engaging in what's called "stayover relationships," in which they spend three or more nights together each week while still having the option of going to their own homes, a new study shows.
"Instead of following a clear path from courtship to marriage, individuals are choosing to engage in romantic ties on their own terms without the guidance of social norms," study author Tyler Jamison, a doctoral candidate in the human development and family studies department at the University of Missouri, said in a university news release.
"There is a gap between the teen years and adulthood during which we don't know much about the dating behaviors of young adults. Stayovers are the unique answer to what emerging adults are doing in their relationships," she added.
The couples in the study with stayover routines were content in their relationships, but didn't necessarily plan to move in together or get married.
The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.