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Nine out of 10 Germans living together with their first or second partner either get married or separate within five years after moving in, according to a new study from The University of Cologne.

It is now considered normal to live with multiple partners during a lifetime, however the researchers suggest that living with your first or second partner creates a make or break situation. While 90% get married or break up, you’re actually twice as likely to tie the knot than finish the relationship.

“Our study suggests that despite the increasing popularity of unmarried cohabitation and the rise in partnership instability, there is not a loss in the importance of marriage,” says Dr Nicole Hiekel from the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology (ISS).

The researchers also found that serial cohabitation is a relatively rare phenomenon, with only three out of 100 people reporting to have experienced more than two cohabitation episodes.

The study analysed the relationship biographies of around 2,500 German women and men aged 35-45 using data from the German Family Panel Pairfam. It is published in the journal Demographic Research.

For more information, to speak to Dr Nicole Hiekel, or for a copy of the study, contact Kate Mowbray at BlueSky PR on or call +44 (0)1582 7979 57

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