Post # 1
I still live at home while finishing my degree and have never lived with anyone else. I’m also an only child. My SO has lived on his own and with others before, he currently owns his own home.
Last night my SO told me his brother is soon to be engaged(!). This is so exciting and I love both his brother and his soon to be fiance but I was a bit confused because I thought they would have lived together first. Apparently my SO thinks that was a ridiculous assumption for me to make. I have no issues with people who choose not to live together before getting engaged/married but for ME, I could never marry someone without living with them first.
Now, my SO tells me he agrees with his brother and thinks living together beforehand takes away all the romance. He thinks that moving in when engaged/married makes it more permanent and harder to get out of. This all just seems so bizarre to me. Moving in with someone and moving your entire life for them is a huge commitment in itself. I know that I am hard to live with, and there are so many factors which make living together as a couple even harder (money, bills, chores, etc.). I feel like he still sees me as this perfect being with no flaws and no bad habits, as if I’m not human and I don’t make mistakes. That is such an unrealistic view to have of someone if you’re considering marriage and something I am incapable of living up to.
We have spoken about my moving in with him in the past, with an approximate time being the end of this year/start of next and then talks of kids in the next couple of years. The thing is, we both had different ideas of the order in which my moving in would happen and now I’m just kind of stunned. This is all coming from a man who takes months to make a decision and collect information on minor things but wants to rush into a marriage without knowing all the details! What?!
I always thought I was going to marry this man and I know he would be an amazing father, but I also know that I could never enter into a marriage without knowing every single detail about him and I do not believe you can know someone 100% without having lived with them. I don’t think I’ll find anything incriminating about him that will stop me wanting to marry him, but I need to have all available information before locking myself in til death do we part.
I guess I’m just looking for different perspectives from people who have lived with their SOs, either before or after marriage. Who is the one that should be conceding in this situation? Is this something that we can reach a compromise on?
Post # 3
@Dogsbody92: You really need to talk to him about why he is so adamant against moving in before a ring is exchanged. It seems like you’ve already agreed to marry, so by some accounts you’re already engaged, just without a visible token. Perhaps that will appease him?
Me? I moved in with FI 3ish years before he proposed (and 3 years after we started dating). My mother’s reaction, when I told her of our plans, was to exclaim, “But you’ll learn all his bad habits!” Er… yeah. That’s the point… We are both definitely glad we chose this path. We settled in fairly quickly and have had little to no drama. It’s been wonderful acting as a team and really learning about one another in a way that we didn’t when we lived separately. In the end, we’re looking forward to the wedding less as a seismic shift and more as a celebration of our continued commitment.
Post # 4
FI and I didn’t move in together before getting engaged, we don’t live together, but we will move in together before we get married, we currently live with our respective parents. I think it is important for US to live together before we get married, but for other couples that may not be the right step for them.
Post # 5
We moved in together after we got engaged. I don’t regret it at all. We found that we are really compatible. If we weren’t, I would’ve liked to have known before I signed up for forever.
I know a bunch of my friends who moved in after they got married and they’re always surprised that their significant other isn’t the same as when they’re living apart. “Oh, I never knew he was THIS messy or had that annoying morning bathroom habit!!”
Post # 6
We lived together as a dating couple, and are now engaged, this week will be two years of cohabitation, and five months of engagement! I am so glad we have had this time to really get to know one another inside and out, in a way you only ever do once you live together. It teaches you to fight better (you can’t leave or take a few days to not see each other), to know what you both think about household mgmt (who takes out the trash? Who pays the bills?), and prepares you for the rest of your life with that person. In two years we have spent three nights apart, (2 for a work trip and 1 for a mother-daughter trip).
That being said, I know some people who were uncomfortable moving in before engage/marriage, namely my sister. I asked her after they were married a few months, what it was like to now live with her husband for the first time, and she said what I said above, that they learned to fight better, divide chores, and such, but it all felt extra special due to them being married.
So, as in all things, it turns out there is no wrong way, only your way. As for who concedes, I think that’s clear- neither. If he doesn’t want to move in, you can’t force him. And if you want to live together first, you would say No if he were to propose (if it’s that important to you). So, neither will get their way, if that’s the case.
Instead, once he proposes, and you say Yes, you should both be comfortable moving in after that (he said engage/marriage right? Not just marriage?). An engagement isn’t legally binding, and you get your time to then know him “100%” Win, win?
Post # 7
@Dogsbody92: We started living together before we got engaged. However, we had been dating five years before hand so it just felt like the right step. We have been living together over two years now and I dont’ regret it one bit.
I feel like you really get to know a person by living with them. I always say it’s like having a slumber party each night with your best friend 🙂
Post # 8
@Dogsbody92: I wasn’t willing to move in with FI until he proposed. I felt that I needed more of a commitment and was afraid of all the horror stories of girls moving in with a SO and SO never proposing because he had everything he wanted without having to formally commit. I’m not washing your undies/dishes without a ring.
Post # 9
I think it can lead to (guys especially) people getting too comfortable in a relationship and just slogging along for years without knowing where it’s going…if someone knows they don’t WANT to get married anytime soon that can be fine, but if not it can cause problems.
That doesn’t sound like it would be a problem for you guys though!
Post # 10
@stephee: “Instead, once he proposes, and you say Yes, you should both be comfortable moving in after that (he said engage/marriage right? Not just marriage?). An engagement isn’t legally binding, and you get your time to then know him “100%” Win, win?”
I agree here. If he is OK with moving in after engagement, then that could be the compromise. I really don’t think this is something to break up over if everything else is kosher.
I know people who lived together before who have lovely marriages and people who did not live together before who have lovely marriages. I don’t think it makes a difference.
Post # 11
@Dogsbody92: I’m with you on this! I couldn’t imagine marrying someone I’d never lived with – and properly lived with as in just the two of you.
I’ve lived with my partner for 5 years already, and we’re pre-engaged in that we’ve discussed it to the nth degree and know that’s where we’re heading. We’re currently saving up for a deposit to buy a house, so it also makes financial sense. Personally I also think it’s something special that we’re preparing for our whole married life together – not hanging everything on one day.
So I don’t think you’re alone in your opinion, but I guess you need to speak to your partner about this. Work out where you both stand and if there’s compromise there. Good luck x
Post # 12
I do not live with my fiancé at present because of personal beliefs on the subject. However, the house I currently live in (I moved since we got engaged) is the house that we own together and he will move himself in after the wedding, although various bits of property are already appearing!!
I have absolutely no qualms about not living together, we’ve been together for over 3 years so we are starting to learn each other’s bad habits already (he knows more of mine than I do of his I think). I think it’s just part of growing together as a couple – you learn each other’s habits and you learn to deal with them.
You say that you would always want to live with someone before you marry them, ok fair enough. But is this because you want to see what you’re letting yourself in for…give you a chance to back out before it becomes legal… Or because you want to get past the “negative” aspect of living together (learning faults, dealing with them etc,) before you begin your married life.
They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest, they probably mean the first year of living together!
Post # 13
FI and I did not live together before we got engaged (and we currently do not live together, in fact we both still live at home while we finish up our final year of school). I prefered not to live with him until we were engaged, he would have prefered to but it makes no sense to rent/buy a place now together when our parents are very old fashioned in that sense, and let us save up now while we’re in school, rent free. We will move in together about 5-8 months before the wedding.
I think in the end, there is no right or wrong on how you do it. I will say though that if a couple doesn’t move in together before engagement/marriage, they should at least spend a great deal of time together to get the feel of what it’s like and communicate on how bills will be shared, etc.
Post # 14
thank you all for your responses! We will definitely need to go through this again. I was trying to listen and take it all in at the time that I don’t think I got my concerns across as clearly as I need to. It just shocked me a little because I had always assumed (naively) that we were on the same page with this.
@stephee: that’s a really interesting way of looking at it, yeah and seems like the best way to reach a compromise.
@Treeline: haha! I like that argument. If that had been one he had mentioned then maybe I would be able to see his side a bit more, unfortunately his points were a bit more abstract.
@MissLemon: Thank you! We will definitely be discussing this more.
@FromA2B2013: yes, that statement would be more accurate! I just know that we (me especially) will have a big adjustment period. I am a packaged deal with my cat and my SO has never had pets so there will be issues there, also having never lived on my own before getting used to that will be hard enough itself.
Post # 15
@Dogsbody92: i would never spend $20 000 on a car and not take it for a test drive first. Marriage is the same way. i think living together BEFORE marriage is a great, wonderful idea!! See if you can effectively live together, ne with each other 24/7, paying bills, doling chores, and all other things without the fur flying!! it’s very smart in my mind.
I’ve lived with guys before and have learned from each one. now, with Matt, i know we can live together and marriage will be fine.
Post # 16
I voted other. We basically lived together before getting engaged, but we both still had our own rooms we paid rent for at separate houses. We didn’t move into the same house until just after getting engaged. I would say Yes, we lived together before getting married, but it wasn’t a requirement. I would have been equally okay with only moving in together after we were married.