Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” expressed a rather modernist take on holy matrimony during an interview on “The Howard Stern Show,” in which he admitted his distaste for couples living with each other both prior to marriage and during marriage.
Speaking about his current dating life, Noah said that he’s not opposed to marriage.
“I’m not opposed to [marriage],” Noah said, as reported by Fox News. “I don’t know. I can only know where I am now in life, and that’s what I’ve learned to enjoy.”
“When we meet people, we should tell them who we are, be honest,” Noah continued. “You know why? You should have the person love you — or hate you — for who you are, not for who you portray yourself to be.”
Without this honesty, Noah said that people in new relationships become “used car salesmen, bulls****ing about who they are” until it comes to a crashing end. When Howard Stern suggested that couples live together before marriage, Noah said he believes a couple should never live together … even in marriage.
“I’m a big advocate for not living together ever, even if you’re married,” admitted Noah. “I think one of the biggest reasons people get divorced and relationships break up is because of this cohabiting bulls*** that we’ve come to believe is the way relationships are supposed to be.”
As noted by Fox News, this position about married couples not sharing a space has been espoused by some other celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who does not live together with her husband (Brad Falchuk) full-time.
Though not much data exists on the subject of actual married couples living in separate spaces, the data on unmarried couples living with each other before marriage paints a bleak picture for this prevailing social practice. From The New York Times:
Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.
Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.
One obvious problem: The rubrics for selecting a partner in cohabitation differ dramatically from the rubrics in selecting a partner for marriage, but worst of all, it locks an individual into a long-term arrangement without a discernible long-term payoff.
“Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later,” the report continued. “It’s like signing up for a credit card with 0% interest. At the end of 12 months when the interest goes up to 23% you feel stuck because your balance is too high to pay off. In fact, cohabitation can be exactly like that. In behavioral economics, it’s called consumer lock-in.”