Living Together Before Marriage: Pros and Cons

    living together before marriageBack in the old days, if a couple wanted to live together, they had to get married first. That was the rule, and it was hard to break.

    In modern times, however, cohabitation is quickly becoming more normal, with many couples choosing to live together for a variety of reasons before tying the knot. Whether it’s due to financial reasons, having a child together, or something else, living together can be a great step in any relationship.

    However, as with all things, there can be some downsides as well, so it’s important to go into it with both eyes open. So, with that in mind, let’s break down the pros and cons of living together before marriage.

    Before You Move In

    If you are considering moving in with your SO, one thing to keep in mind is that neither of you should feel pressured to live together. Also, it’s crucial that you talk about it beforehand and set a few ground rules, especially if one of you is moving into the other’s space. In some cases, a lot of the downsides can be reduced or mitigated by being open and honest with each other, so the more you can talk about it, the better it is for both of you.

    MORE: NYTimes article on the Downsides

    Share the Financial Burden

    These days, it seems like it’s harder and harder to survive on your own without a second revenue stream coming in. Thus, sharing an apartment or home with your SO can be an excellent way to minimize your individual costs. Things like rent, food, and other household items are much more affordable when both of you are splitting the bill.

    But…

    Problems can arise when you don’t agree on what your money should go towards. Does one of you always do the shopping while the other eats all of the food? Do you split everything down the middle or are some things considered “yours”?

    Financial arguments are always a big deal in relationships, so if you don’t discuss the ins and outs of your monetary arrangement, then it can lead to some problems down the line. This is particularly the case if one of you pays more than the other. Also, if you guys sign a lease together, it can make things tricky if things don’t work out.

    Learn About Your Partner

    No matter how much time you spend with your SO, there is only so much that you can learn from him or her without living together. We are all different people when we’re by ourselves, and living with someone is the best way to see what kinds of quirks and habits they have. If marriage is the ultimate goal for you, then this can help you ensure that you’re making the right choice.

    But…

    You may drive each other crazy. Not everyone does well together as roommates, and when you’re cohabitating that’s essentially what you are even though you are more romantic. In some cases, living together will rip you apart as you start to get annoyed with everything that the other person does.

    To help minimize this issue, it’s important that you discuss things with each other as they happen, rather than letting it fester under the surface. With regular roommates, you can ignore each other most of the time, but as a couple, you have to face the music eventually. 

    You Get Closer to Your Partner

    For most people, the act of moving in together is a big step that means that you are taking your relationship to the next level. As such, it can be exciting to spend more time together and share new experiences. Shopping for groceries and home decorations can be more enjoyable when you do it with the person you love, and it can bring you two much closer together as you develop your relationship.

    But…

    There can also be a lot of pressure as well. No matter who you are, eventually you will want to have some personal space and time to yourself, which can be hard when your SO is living with you.

    As such, you may feel obligated to do everything together even if you aren’t into it, which can cause resentment. Also, people outside of the relationship may start pressuring you to get married, which may or may not be your next goal.

    Again, communication can help alleviate this problem, so talk to your SO about how you feel and make sure that he or she understands where you’re coming from.

    Improved Sex Life

    When you move in together, you can do so much more than was possible before, especially if you two live by yourselves. Sex can be more spontaneous and exciting, especially now that you have so many different times and places in which to do it. Unless you have kids, moving in can be a shot of adrenaline into your sex life.

    But…

    It only works if you’re both on the same page. If one of you wants it all the time but the other doesn’t, it can lead to a rift between you that could have dire consequences (such as cheating). In the end, you want to make sure to respect your SO’s wishes and ensure that he or she is on board before asking about doing it in the living room or something.

    Overall, there are plenty of reasons to move in with your partner, as long as you go about it the right way. Jumping in too soon can be a devastating move, which could derail your relationship before it really gets going. In the end, communication and honesty are key to making the whole thing work, so never go into it with any assumptions. Always discuss anything so that there is no confusion or dysfunction.