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A study has found that live-in girlfriends are unhappier in their relationships than married women. Researchers suggest the unhappiness is caused by feelings of pity, low self-esteem and that they’ve violated the “norm.”

Here’s what The Telegraph had to say:

“The study of 22,000 people from around the world found that British women who cohabited with men before they were married were slightly unhappier than married women, and that the most likely reason was because they had “violated” normal behavior and had to endure disapproving glances.

The researchers also claimed that one of the possible reasons they were unhappy was because they were “pitied” for failing to persuade their man down the aisle, and they had low self-esteem.

Countries with a strong, traditional view of marriages, such as America, Bulgaria, Brazil and Mexico were places where the correlation between cohabiting and unhappiness was strongest. Women in places with a relaxed outlook, such as Netherlands and Scandinavian countries were equally happy if they were married or cohabiting.”

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