Living Together Before Marriage: Is It Really The Best Move?

When it comes to this topic, there are so many opinions, facts, research, and statistics that either are either in favor of living together before marriage or choosing to wait until the knot is tied. But the reality is that living together before marriage can be great if both parties are truly aware of what they really want and actually stick to it, and that is a BIG IF.

 

When it comes to men, cohabiting will probably benefit them much more in the long run than it can for a woman. Many men for the most part enjoy sharing a home with a woman because of all the wonderful things that women bring to the table (naturally). Cooking, cleaning, and making a house into a home, is usually ingrained into most women’s psyche’s, and that can be more of an incentive for a man to want to take the relationship to the next level and move in together.

 

But what about the woman?

 

Well, when it comes to the woman, this can be a different story all together. Some women want to marry their partner that they are thinking about moving in with, some women don’t, some just need a roommate situation to help with finances, and the latter two situations are probably the only two that the woman comes out on top.  But for those who are hoping to get married in the near future without a set engagement, moving in together is probably not the best move for her.

 

There has been plenty of research that shows couples that move in together before marriage are working against the odds. They have less satisfaction with one another over time, and their relationships are more likely to end in divorce more so than those who waited to move with the intent on getting married within that year. So why is that?

 

Let’s be real here, what is the real incentive for a man to want to take it to the next step and marry a woman who already cooks, cleans, and acts like a wife when he already has everything he needs and more without incurring the expensive costs of a ring or the wedding? There really is none. Most women find themselves quietly waiting, which turns into asking in frustration, for a more serious commitment, such as an engagement, and it can take YEARS for that to happen, and that is not a guarantee.

 

Truthfully, more women have expectations of wedding bells in the near future than their mate does after moving in, and that fact alone can cause friction, resentment, and eventually the end of what could have been if the woman was clear on what she wanted before taking that big step of sharing more than an address. So moving in together before this type of commitment is made can also unconsciously spell out, “if it doesn’t work, I can leave,” and this type of thought process can actually spill over into the marriage (if that does happen), therefore nixing the “for better, for worse” clause.

 

So if you, or someone you know is planning on making this BIG MOVE, make sure you are not going into it with expectations that have a high chance of not getting met. The years can go by fast, babies can and will come, with or without a ring, and sometimes what you thought you signed up for turns out to be much more than a 1-year lease. So make sure the move is right for both parties, and make sure you set boundaries and timelines if you are wanting more than a roommate to share the bills with.  Keep things open, honest, and you increase the chances of a success story to prove all those statistics wrong.

 

-And That’s The Bottom Line

 

If you are interested in some of the research on this topic check out this site:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1945281

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