To live together or not live together? That is the question that a lot of couples ask themselves if they are thinking about getting married. But is living together before marriage a recipe for disaster? Or is it okay to have a trial marriage before actually getting hitched? Personally, I am living with my partner right now and every day I actually feel like I’m married. I don’t need to have a big wedding to confirm that I am making a commitment because I already feel like I’m committed! Either way, we’re happy with our decision to live together before marriage. However, there are pros and cons to every situation. Before you decide to move in with your partner you should consider the following.
Pro #1 – You get to know your partner’s real self
Think about it, when you go on dates with someone, you only get to see the ‘nice’ side of the person. You see them at their best – all dressed up, looking good, and smiling. But imagine waking up every morning next to them and seeing what they look like their in natural state – that’s what living together is all about. If you decide to live together before marriage, you get to see the true colors of your partner. You see them when they aren’t all dolled up and you also get to know their real personalities. Day in and day out, you will develop a routine and see if your lifestyles and personalities are truly compatible.
Pro #2 – It proves that marriage is just a piece of paper
I knew some friends who got married in their early 20’s, they didn’t live together before getting married, but they thought that since they loved each other, they would be able to make their marriage work. None of these marriages worked, except for one couple, as all the other couples got divorced.
I am a strong believer that marriage is just a piece of paper, the real test of marriage is to see if you can actually live together and deal with day-to-day life while having a smooth approach to decisions that both of you have to make.
Living together before marriage allows you to be “married” without actually signing legal documents. If you can successfully live together for more than three years, then in my opinion, you have outlived many other couples who got married and divorced in that same period of time.
Pro #3 – You learn how to budget
Many of my students decided to live with their partner’s when they were attending university for the mere reason to split the costs of rent, food, and utility bills. Living together for many couples is an economic decision and can teach you how to budget together. If you’re in love and deciding whether or not to tie the knot, you might as well share the rent.
Con #1 – Giving up your single life
Before moving in with my partner, I moved to Europe five years ago and lived the single girl life in my own apartment while I worked, wrote, and traveled. This was the best time of my life. Although it was lonely and boring at times, I was independent and I did whatever I want whenever I pleased. (Like writing until 5 am in the mornings and getting up at 12 o’clock in the afternoon. I can’t really do that frequently, as my partner sleeps throughout the night)
But now that I live with my partner, I feel that I have given up a part of my single life to be in a committed relationship. It might be a con for those who have been living the single life for a long time and have gotten used to being on their own. If you decide to move in with your partner, be prepared to give up some single person habits.
Con #2 – You get used to the person very quickly
When you live together, you see each other every day and sooner or later you get used to that person. There isn’t much of a challenge to romance your partner anymore, because you know you have them all the time. This is where the romantic flame has to be sustained in order for the both of you not to get extremely bored of each other.
Con #3 – Arguments can increase
It’s normal to argue with someone that you always spend time with. So when you live together, there is a danger that arguments can increase, especially when you’re learning about each others personal and living habits. For example, I knew a couple who were living together and the woman was getting annoyed that her partner never did any housework. He never took out the garbage, he never made the bed, and he didn’t even know how to work the laundry machine! Soon after, she had enough of doing everything and they started to argue all the time. Finally, she threw him out of the apartment. If you live together and argue all the time (that is every day), then maybe it’s time to decide if living together is really what both of you want.