Post # 47
@Dogsbody92: Well its a good thing he’s not dating me because we’d be at an impasse, I wouldn’t ever marry without cohabiting first. It just seems foolish to have more possible information and experience available to you and go “no thanks” before making one of the biggest decisions of your life. People can hide things when you don’t live together or at least sleep over more nights a week than you don’t (at which point you may as well move in anyway.)
Post # 48
Wow, thank you all for the insights! I’m beginning to understand his side of view a bit more. I still maintain though that living together beforehand would be better for me and for us as a couple.
I think it’s partly his flawed reasoning that has me so concerned about all this. If it was for religious reasons or because we couldn’t afford a different place or something like that I would probably be more understanding. It just feels more like an excuse than anything else.
That is a possible concern for my SO too. Having separate spaces seems like a really great idea! Both SO and I are pretty introverted people and that sounds like a good way to keep your personal bubble and a clear head.
I definitely agree with this too. I don’t want him thinking that because I’ve accepted a proposal that he can get away with anything (not that I expect that!) or it guarantees I will never leave should I feel like I need to.
Post # 49
“Now, my SO tells me he agrees with his brother and thinks living together beforehand takes away all the romance.”
Romance is great and fun but when you’re planning for the next 30-60 years together, that shouldn’t be the top priority. Compatibility should be. When you’re dating, even if you’re crashing at each others’ places, you’re not seeing the full picture. You are always putting your best foot forward. You dress up nicely, you wear the “sexy” PJs or borrow a shirt of his, you get to share the fun times.
Living together means day in, day out, 24/7. Does he leave the cap off the toothpaste? Can you live with that? Are you a slob? How do you handle a space together if you are angry?
I am DEFINITELY a proponent of living together before marriage. Marriage is supposed to be forever, so you shouldn’t be going in with ANY questions. I have been with my fiance for 8 1/2 years and we’ve known each other for nearly a decade. It isn’t quite as romantic, but I wouldn’t marry him with unanswered questions. I want to know exactly who he is and everything about him BEFORE I commit the rest of my life to him. I want to know we’ll make it for the long haul. Some people work amazingly together but you stick them in close quarters and it all falls apart.
Post # 50
+1 compatability trumps romance…it tends to last longer 😉
Post # 51
would you mind explaining this to my SO? Haha, but really that’s a great way of putting it thank you. The more I think about this discussion the more I feel confident in my view.
Post # 52
I think it’s ideal to move in together around the same time as getting engaged, so that learning how to live together is part of the preparation for marriage. I moved in with DH before he proposed, but we knew we were going to get married within a year, and we had a definite timeline for engagement and marriage. He proposed 4 months after we moved in and we got married 5 months after that. I learned a LOT about my husband’s habits that I never knew before, even though he was basically living at my place. You just behave differently when you’re in the other person’s home instead of one that belongs to both of you.
I would not have moved in with him without knowing for sure that engagement was in the near future, and having a timeline set. But I also never wanted to wait until after getting married to live together. I like knowing what I’m getting into– not that anything would have made me change my mind, but I think getting married is more meaningful when we already shared a life together and knew what we were committing to.
Edited to add: I wouldn’t move in together as a “trial run” before marriage, as in “if this goes well then we’ll get engaged/married”. I believe the lifetime commitment should already be there if you’re living together, and I wouldn’t move in with someone who didn’t see it that way.
Post # 53
If someone’s living habits make you want to divorce them (i.e., them being messy, not cleaning up, not a morning person, etc.), then maybe you weren’t as in love with them as you think you are.
A lot of people go, “oh, great, it’s easy to live with you, we’ll get married!” only to have it fall apart when life gets tougher – they have kids, they become more incompatible just due to personal growth, etc.
Excellent points. Very well said!
Post # 54
@Dogsbody92: I have to admit, I didn’t read all the responses, and I chose other in the poll because I have a unique situation. I apologize for the lengthy post, I’ve just thought about this a lot.
I’m also an only child, and not the easiest person to live with. However, I have had roommates both in the same room (in college) and then different rooms after. Living with a romantic partner is still different because you actually have to work through problems and be committed to fixing them. If you do end up living together, you can’t have this is a trial period mindset, because then as soon as it gets hard, its still easy to leave. It will get hard no matter what and who you are with.
I’m actually on the fence about living with someone before engagement (would 100% do it before marriage though). I lived with my ex (moved in together about 9 months in) and then got engaged just about a year after that. Then, we broke up 6 months later. His behavior changed drastically after engagement. There were some warning signs from living together, but nothing crazy until all the life planning switched from theory to practice. If we hadn’t lived together, I don’t know how things would have turned out, but it was really the engagement that brought out the worst parts.
With my current Fiance, it’s also a different situation. We were very good friends for 6 years before we started dating. He proposed before I officially moved in, but I was spending about 4-5 nights a week at his place. I was practically moved in, but I can assure you, it’s still different from when you have to find space for all your things and completely reorganize the place. You’ll find some comedic things – like my FH had a massive stash of plastic grocery bags.
Post # 55
Studies show that uncommitted couples who live together before marriage tend to break up more often, while with committed couples, it seems to make no difference either way.
Post # 56
That study has some serious validitity issues though, so I wouldn’t rely on it. For example, maybe people who are more open to the idea of ending a bad marriage are also the same people who are open to living together before marriage. Correlation does not equal causation.
My SO and I moved in together after 4 months, and then 4 years later got engaged. Honestly, the process of adjusting to each other was so hard and long that I’m very glad it’s over and now we get to celebrate with each other. It would have killed the post-marital glow pretty quickly. However, if your boyfriend is really opposed to living together before marriage, ask him if you two can travel together. Traveling with someone else is the ultimate trial-by-fire.