The relationships were once called “shack-ups” and the situation was described as “Living in Sin”. The last 40-years has seen the stigma attached to unmarried couples cohabitation disappear, alongside the taboo against premarital sex.
Here is a brilliant video satire that masterfully captures the emptyness, shallowness, and ultimately the selfishness of unmarried cohabitational relationships. I always flinch at the mention of the word “partner” since it connotates an opportunistic and often temporary business relationship. On the other hand, the terms husband and wife perfectly capture the commitment and bonding attached to a marriage which is lacking in a shack-up. It is not uncommon to find unmarried couples who live together for years with all the trappings of a marriage including joint property ownership, joint financial responsibility, and often raising natural children together, but for some reason the couples refrain from and do nothing to sanctify and legitimize their union. All-in-all it reveals a startling and depressing lack of commitment, as well as a lack of willingness to commit which is grounded in selfishness.
YouTube Video link: