Post # 1
Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing against people who cohabitate before marriage & have no moral problem with it. This post is about us and what we believe for us.
My SO and I decided many years ago at 20-21 that we did not want to live together before marriage. We did lots of research and had an influential uncle-like Human Intimacy professor teach not living together for various, compelling reasons. We also knew of many marriages that failed where the couple cohabitated before marriage. Regardless of your beliefs, these were ours and we’ve made it 6 years not living together and we’re both 25 now.
Well now… we are so freaking sick of not living together!! We sooo badly want to live together but it’s against what we want for us and it would take away the excitement of the change after marriage. I really think we would live together if we were engaged but what’s really bugging me is how long we’ve made it, and then not having anything be different after marriage.
I would like some advice and input from you all on how you made your decisions to cohabitate or not before engagement/marriage. What should we do? Thanks! 🙂
Post # 3
@LaurenK0105: DH and I moved in together quite quickly after we started dating. It was normal for me, I had lived with ex’s in the past, and so it was quite easy to move in together right away. Looking back I wish I would have waited with him. I feel like nothing is really different but my last name. Not that it’s bad, obviously it was good otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten engaged, but I just wish that it could have all been new when we got married.
Post # 4
We were 24/28 and together for a year and a hafl when we moved in together. He’d kind of just moved into my place anyway, and one day it was literally like… do you remember the last time you went to your own house, besides to hand over a rent check? We were planning to get married, but not officially engaged, but figured we would be within the year. It was actually about a year a half later that we got engaged, but it seems to have worked for us so far.
Post # 5
I had a similar situation with my FI. Both of our parents are pretty strongly against cohabitation and I was too for a long time, but then after 3 houses of craigslist roommates (after moving up to be near him) we decided it was better to live together. What we did, though, to ease me into it (and to make “married life” a bit different) is I moved into house with him and his roommates. Its certainly not for everyone, but i like it. I still have my own space and we are doing the whole roommate thing which helps us save money for the wedding… and both our parents gave their blessing (which was HUGE).
Post # 6
FI and I moved in together after 3 1/2 years of dating.
We did 1 1/2 years in college (I had an apt, he had a dorm and we alternated where we stayed but didn’t “live” together), we did 1 year of a long distance relationship, then we did 1 year in the same city but our own apartments.
After that, we decided to move in together however our first apartment together was one that I could afford comfortably on my own (and he could move back in with his mom) if god forbid something didn’t work out.
After that terrible apartment, we upgraded to a nicer apartment and have now been here 2 years (we recently got engaged after 6 1/2 years of dating).
For us, living together was a very important thing and I am glad we’ve done it. There were definitely some issues at first, it’s very hard to learn to live with someone. Those “habits” you thought were cute become annoying, then unbearable, then totally part of your life and what you are used to.
We have started our lives together and have adopted a cat (2 years ago), however I’m still excited to move into the next stage of our lives with marriage.
We are only renting right now, and once we are married buying becomes an option. Our finances are currently separate, and after marriage they will be combined.
I am also really glad I don’t have the added stress of “can we live together” looming over my head with the stress of the wedding.
Post # 7
My husband and I lived together for several years before we got married. It was important to both of us to do so, since we felt that there is a lot that you learn about a person through living together that you just don’t know otherwise. We are both very planning-oriented, like-to-be-prepared type people 🙂 When making a commitment to spend the rest of our lives together, we wanted to know what that would be like ahead of time.
It’s true that at after our wedding, I felt like little had changed except for the formality. But honestly that is just how we wanted it to be! 🙂 I think there is something beautiful in stepping into marriage knowing that everything is just as you want it between the two of you (or that you’ve fully accepted the reality of what it is, imperfections and all).
That was what was right for us. It’s not right for everyone of course and I don’t mean to imply that it is! But since you asked for perspectives, that is mine.
Post # 8
We moved in at 21, but we’re also still in college. It’s been great for us! People imagine “wedded bliss” after marriage and moving in, but it reality, it’s really hard to get used to little quirks, cooking, cleaning, and general lifestyle habits. We’re SO glad we did it because now we’re past the learning phase (aka arguement phase over silly things like dishes) and have the ability to really enjoy our time together. Another couple we know felt strongly about not living together before marriage and they had a rocky start after moving in. I guess eveyone’s different, but it’s totally worked for us 🙂
Post # 9
We chose to live together because we had an 8 year age difference and thought it would be best.
Post # 10
We’re not co-habitating yet, either. Part of it is that I do want something to be different after we get married, and the other part of it is that I want to make my parents happy. It’s really important to them, and I don’t really see any reason to not honor that (except that I do wish we were able to spend more time together and sleep in the same bed and such. That would be so nice). But yeah, that’s just what’s right for us. I graduated college in May, and we’re getting married in September, so it will only be a little over a year.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t marry someone without living with them first, frankly. My husband and I were on the path to engagement with a timeline in mind when we moved in together – I also think that is key. If you’ve already decided that you have a permanent future together, and that has been thoroughly discussed, I think it’s a great step. I think what gets people into trouble is moving in before the future/health/wants/needs of the relationship and the people in it are 100% communicated and established.
Post # 12
Wow, you all are so so helpful! Keep the comments coming!
@mwitter80: That’s my biggest fear about it now, the wishing it was new. How often do you feel that way and is it enough to advise someone else to wait?
@SapphireSun: I hope we get married next May so another factor is, we just have a bit over a year! None of this is set in stone, but it seems that may happen.
@Cc7492: I looove that idea! I’ve been trying to come up with ways to find a difference in marriage and having separate bedrooms until marriage is one of them. What are the pros & cons of your situation?
@KatNYC2011: That’s also something that I think will make marriage different, is buying a house. In my fantasy we’d buy a house at the same time as the wedding but I know that would be absolutely awful! I don’t have any stress about “can we live together?” as we really do have the exact same habits and we’ve already discussed how to handle the ones that are different, which are very few.
@rolling berry: I love your middle paragraph!!! So beautiful!
@MsYellowJacket: Do you know any about the couple that was rocky? We really have 90% of the same habits and have discussed how to handle the 10% that’s crazy for us.
Post # 13
We didn’t “officially” move in together until we were almost ready to get engaged. We each had our own place before then, but often stayed overnight at each other’s apartments. For us, we felt comfortable moving in together when we decided that we were for sure planning to get married. My parents were not happy with that decision (and didn’t pay for my last year of college as a result), but we felt like we made the decision that was best for us.
There are many factors that affect divorce rates. Someone posted an article a long time ago that talked about the reasons why people moved in together. If I remember correctly, the rates of divorce were not higher if you had the intent to marry the person. If you were moving in for other reasons (convenience, it would be cheaper to share an apartment, you’re worried that your relationship will fall apart etc), that’s when there was higher divorce rates.
Edit: I just wanted to add that for me, I did feel a chance after the wedding, but it was rather subtle. Basically, I felt much more emotionally connected to my husband than I did when we were dating/engaged. Looking back, there wasn’t as many environmental changes (learning to live together); instead, we were able to focus more on continuing to nurture our relationship in other ways.
Post # 14
I agree with everything that @KatNYC2011 said. Before we moved in together, my boyfriend and I spent every night together at either his place or mine. Despite that, living together was still an adjustment. I truly believe that no matter how much time you spend together that living together is just different, and much much harder. I always knew I wanted to live with the person that I would marry because I personally want to be able to work the kinks out before I get married. That being said, I admire what you and your FI are doing and I do think it will be so exciting for you guys! For my own personal beliefs, and convenience sake (we moved to nyc together, no way in heck could we afford rent on 2 different apts here…though we were already living together before that anyways) it worked for us. But I think what you are doing is very cool, and you’ve stuck it out this long, I’d stick it out until the end!
Post # 15
@LaurenK0105: We really feel like we have the best of both worlds. Like… we life in Arlington (near you) and housing is so expensive. By having 4 of us in the house, costs are way down and we have a fantastic place. We have friends as roommates which is great, because something is always going on. But like with cohabitating, we get to see each other every day. We are learning to cook together and doing a good amount of the domestic stuff (his laundry skills are horrible). The two separate rooms are great too. I have all my wedding stuff and super girly stuff in my room but i still spend a good amount of time in his room. Another perk (which has turned out to be huge) is we have an instant guestroom if someone stays over.
There aren’t that many cons. The main one is we don’t have full run of the house. We are careful when we have miscommunications and arguments because you have to keep the roommates out of it. It also leads to some funny situations when the roommates walk into the room while we are flirty (nothing bad!).
We like it so much that we’ve decided we won’t move out until a month or so after the wedding so i don’t have to stress about both wedding and housing at the same time.
Post # 16
FI and I have been together for 4 years, and will be moving in together next June (after 5 1/2 years of being together). When we discussed getting married, we always knew cohabitating would be a step for us. We want to get an idea of what to expect; I can’t imagine myself marrying someone that I had never lived with. Living with someone is HARD, even when it’s just a roommate to whom you have no emotional attatchment. I know it’s going to be hard adjusting to his habits, and him to mine, and we’d rather not go through all that as newlyweds. We like to have things streamlined and drama-free.
That being said, we do anticipate some major changes shortly after the wedding. We will most likely be moving to a new city (and probably state) a few weeks after we say our vows, because the area we live in now cannot do much for the degrees I’ll b earning. So there will be some major differences there.