This means that if one of the parties of such relationship can decide to exit the relationship whenever he/ she desires without even offering relevant explanations. In marriage, such decisions are rather difficult (Ben-Ze’ev 2004). The procedure of a divorce can be quite long, especially in countries where law is opposed to divorce or where a long period of time is set as minimum before the completion of the divorce process. In other words, cohabitation is not more favorable to the development of human sexuality; it is rather more appropriate for relationships that do not have many perspectives (Ben-Ze’ev 2004).
Individuals who are opposed to the idea of long – term commitment are more likely to use cohabitation for covering their needs related to sexuality compared to individuals who are supporters of commitment (Ben-Ze’ev 2004). The latter can fully cover their needs for love and sexuality in the context of a marriage. At this point, it would be necessary to review the concepts of love and human sexuality, as of their characteristics and their implications. Also, the changes that these concepts have faced the last decades should be presented in order to explain the level of involvement of these concepts in cohabitation and marriage.
Kornblum & Smith (2007) highlight two important characteristics of love: ‘a) all of us could feel love for a person who loves us and b) relationships that suffer from love inequalities are easier to be destroyed’ (Kornblum & Smith 2007, p. 399). This means that love, as a feeling, has the power to influence the perceptions and the feelings of others depending on the conditions of the social environment and the personal beliefs/ own experiences in regard to the specific feeling (Kornblum & Smith 2007).
Another characteristic of love is its strong dependency on the mode of life of people. This phenomenon is analyzed in the study of Kornblum & Smith (2007). These researchers refer to the study of Cancian (1994) who noted that love can be severely harmed in relationships where emphasis is given on ‘the individuality of each party’ (Kornblum & Smith 2007, p. 399). Indeed, in such relationships the need of parties to secure their individuality can lead to ‘the weakening of the relationship’ (Kornblum & Smith 2007, p. 399).
The above fact should be taken into consideration when evaluating relationships developed in modern societies. Today, the protection of individuality is a priority for most individuals under the terms that such practice could secure the professional life of individuals, no matter if they cohabitate or if they are married.
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