It’s funny how rather than creating greater freedom and options for women, we simply replace a “should” with another “should.”
At one time, it was considered wrong to live together without being married. You SHOULD only live with someone after marriage. You SHOULD only have sex in marriage. Those were the messages sent by society. The pressure to follow those norms was tremendous.
Now, look at how many people will tell you that you SHOULD live together before marriage and it is wrong NOT to do so. Not that is an option, but that you SHOULD. How is that greater freedom for women when we replace one should with another and tell others how to live?
Your SO is pressuring you heavily to do something you do not want to do. Society is pressuring you to live together. Yes, one of the reasons you believe the way you do is because of your parents. But even setting religion aside, there are still people who choose not to live together before marriage.
It is true that living together does tell you a lot about a person. On the other hand, a lawyer I know who handled divorce cases told me he had seen many couples who had lived together happily for years before marriage. But they did not last long together after being married. So living together is no guarantee of a successful marriage. Did the divorce rate in the country drop steeply after couples started living together before marriage?
I was turned off to living together when I was younger because I saw so many women spend years with men who then never made a move to marry them. The women were getting older, wanted kids, and tried to talk the man into marrying them. No romantic proposal for them, they had to try to nag or guilt the man into it, and many that I saw were not successful and had to move on after giving years to a relationship. Of course many couples who ive together do eventually marry.
I actually took the chance and married someone without living together first. I did not even more in after the engagement. I took a chance on not knowing what it was like to live with him. On the other hand, I wanted marriage to be something new and special. How special is the wedding day when you have lived together for years already? I guess for some people that works, and that’s fine.
In fact, there are pros and cons to the way people used to live and the way many people live now. When most women refused to have sex outside of marriage, dating was about courtship and meeting as many different people as possible to find the right one. Typically, people did not take years of each other’s lives trying to decide if the other person was the right one. Sex before marriage brought greater freedom, but also introduces exclusivity and “long-term relationships” where people are involved with each other and only each other for years before making a decision about marriage. As you have already considered, women have biological clocks with regard to having children.
Do not let him pressure you into doing something you do not want to do. At the same time, do not pressure him into something he does not want to do. If he truly does not want to marry without a test run by living together, he has a right to his beliefs.
You cannot talk him into marrying you. Instead set a time limit in your mind. If this relationship does not lead to marriage by…..then I will move on with my life and look for someone else. If you do give in to the pressure and move in, set a time limit on that as well. Or better yet, tell him HE can move in with YOU. Then after a year, he can pack his bags and move out.