This is a post that a lot of you are not going to agree with. I can tell already because out of every single person that I know, I am the only person that feels this way.
I, for me, personally, do not believe in living together with a man before marriage. Let me rephrase that. I do not believe, for myself, that I would live with a man if I a) wasn't engaged b) didn't have an idea of where the relationship is going or even c) wasn't moving to a foreign land. If either A, B or C is met, then maybe I would reconsider my whole choice. But until then, I'm standing firm.
So, why make this choice?
Again, this is for me...not what I believe others should do. A lot of people I know cohabitate with their partners and they are happy. Sure, none of them are married or even engaged (well except one...but they already have a kid..yay AJ!) but I suppose they are all in our mid-twenties so it's kinda early.
So why then? Well, to put it simply, I love living alone. I hated having roomates and even then, atleast with a roomate you can shut your door and retreat to your room. With your partner, where the hell are you going to go when you want privacy? I love having my own schedule. I love having my own routine, where I can do my own little things, without having to bend to someone else. I love that I can sit around in my underwear, peel off my nail polish, eat a block of cheese and listen to bad music and no one can say boo. I like getting up in the morning and not have to schedule bathroom time. I like that I can throw my clothes on a pile on the floor. I like that my bathroom products have taken over my bathroom, to the extent that I can't close my cupboards.
I like the fact that not seeing my bf everyday makes it all the more sweeter when I do see him. I like having the chance to miss him (and I especially like that he can miss me).
And I like the fact, that one day when I do get married, I will have enjoyed my single life fully, having experienced what its like to live alone and that I got the most out of it. After all, once you are married, you can't turn back (unless you divorce, but who wants that). Once married you have YOUR WHOLE FREAKIN LIFE to live with the other person. Why rush into that before marriage? And doesn't moving in together for marriage, make marriage that much more new and exciting?
Here are some other downsides that I think about cohabition: a) A lot of couples become bored and complacent. They think, "What's the point of getting married? We're practically married already." b) As if a breakup isn't hard enough, now you have to find a new place to live! c) A lot of people do it for the wrong reasons... such as saving on rent ("Well, we are each other's places most of the time anyway and it would be cheaper")
Now I think I've screwed myself over for taking such an unpopular stance and for being, what I've been told, a bit naive. My own boyfriend does not agree with me. Having lived with a girl for four years before, he knows what its like to really get to know someone. I have not lived with someone, therefore I do not know the dynamics of what happens when you live together. Apparently, the relationship changes A LOT. This is probably why most people who live together DON'T make it to marriage. They get to really know the other person. And they don't like it. However, I also believe that you can learn just as much about someone without having to invade their single lives.
So there you go. I believe what I believe, and my bf believes that he wouldn't even consider marriage unless he lived with a girl beforehand.
Sometimes, I wish I did share the popular view. On the otherhand, if both people are happy having their own lives and having their own opinions on it, then what's the rush? Maybe that's a problem too. A lot of people rush into cohabitation thinking that it's the "next" step for them.
I do have to point something out though. There were a few studies conducted about couples who live together before marriage:
In theory, living together should help the odds, right? It should help prevent some bad marriages from ever occuring - shouldn't it?
Here's the surprising catch: for more than a decade, sociologists have measured that people who have cohabitated before marriage divorce more, not less.
According to this blog, which examines the most famous of the studies, there are several interesting factors about this study that was done.
1. It turns out that couples who moved in together with the full-intent of marrying - maybe they were even engaged - do not divorce more than those who never cohabitated.
2.But couples who moved in together because it was convenient, or because they felt they needed a trial period - those are the ones who tend to get divorced more often. Why didn't this filter work? Well, many couples who "try it out" do break up before marrying, but many of them also just follow the path of inevitability. They had reservations, but they get acclimated to those, and they believe they can live with it. They pretend, "It won't be a problem." Many couples who get divorced will tell you, "The warning signs were there, I just didn't think it would be a problem." So many of these couples "try it out" and ignore the evidence, if you will. They marry anyway, and somewhere down the road they realize "yup, it's a problem." This could be as mild-mannered as a personality conflict, or as major as alcoholism, or somewhere in between - like sexual compatibility.
Similarly, there are other websites(this one being straightforward and simple)who evaluate and answer this suprising fact. One site**** even has a panel of experts dissecting the question why the risk? More sources, such as CNN, Psychology Today and various universities also examine this hot and surprising topic. If you feel the need to butt heads with me, I suggest you visit these sights and read up on it a bit first.
So, while there is a ton you people out there who live with their significant others, or did live, I ask you...how many of you are married now? And if you did get married, did you find that living together before worked...or are you divorced? Do you think it doesn't matter? And if you don't live together, why?
****Sorry, link was wrong. This is the right one.