(DAILYSIGNAL) — What men and women do in their single lives makes a difference in their marriages down the road, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Marriage Project. Those with more sexual experience, who have cohabited with others prior to marriage, and who are raising children from previous relationships all tend to have lower quality marriages.

Researchers Galena K. Rhoads and Scott M. Stanley found that both men and women who only had sex with the person they married reported higher marital quality. However, on average, people had five sexual partners before tying the knot.

When a couple first has sex in their relationship also affects marital satisfaction. Married couples who began their relationship as a “hook up” reported lower marital quality. Other studies show similar findings: couples who become sexually involved early on in their relationships tend to have lower relationship quality later when it comes to communication, stability, satisfaction, and sexual intimacy.

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