This post is a response to some articles against cohabiting before marriage.
I advocate for cohabiting before marriage because the pros outweigh the cons.
And I’m not saying you must marry your partner if you cohabitate.
I’m saying that when you live together, you’d better understand what you’re getting into.
Because cohabiting helps you see and know each other unedited.
And if you see things you don’t want in a partner, you can walk away.
But these articles have several reasons why cohabiting can ruin your marriage.
And I’ve responded to their points based on experience and knowledge.
Also, I’ve linked the full articles if you want to read them.
Responding to NYTimes, Huffington Post, and Evie articles on Why You Shouldn’t Cohabit Before Marriage
NYTimes: the downside of cohabiting before marriage
The article was hard to read as it wasn’t well-formatted.
But these are some points I was able to pick from it:
1. Couples who cohabit before marriage tend to be less satisfied.
First of all, never ignore your dealbreakers, whether cohabiting or not.
That being said, sometimes we cohabit with people we have no intention of marrying.
But instead of seeing all the flaws, some couples choose to see the best in each other.
And they grow a great relationship that people envy.
So it’s what you choose to see in your partner.
And if you walk about believing you can do better than the partner you have, you’d keep seeing them as less.
And this can hamper your happiness or willingness to make the relationship work.
This happens whether you cohabit or live apart before marriage.
2. It’s harder to break off when you cohabit.
No, it is harder to break up when married.
You can pack your stuff and leave when you’re dating and break up.
Yes, it may be difficult at that moment, but nowhere as complicated as divorce.
It takes years to finalize a divorce.
But if you’re dating and cohabiting, you can pack your things, no lawyers involved – if you didn’t buy properties together – and leave.
So it is easier to break up when dating than when married.
3. Cohabiting before marriage means the woman is auditioning for years.
When couples cohabit, the man is auditioning just like the woman.
That’s why sometimes a man might think she would make a good wife, but the woman doesn’t feel the same. And vice versa.
And she can choose not to marry him even if he thinks the world of her.
Cohabiting helps you know if he’s someone who scratches and sniffs his butt every 10 minutes.
And it helps him know if you mess up the toilet and never clean it.
You’re both auditioning when you cohabit or live apart.
Read the full post here.
Huffington Post: why you shouldn’t live together before marriage.
This writer talks about the benefits of living apart until marriage.
1. Living apart gives you a chance to know each other better without the pressure of bills to pay
As I said earlier, you must know what you want from a partner before moving in together.
And if and when you decide to move in together, you must discuss paying bills.
After all, you’re sharing a space.
But if you don’t want to deal with paying bills, don’t move in completely.
Just make sure to visit often to know each other more.
Then again, there’s nothing wrong with sharing bills with your partner.
That’s how friends support each other.
If you can’t support your partner while dating, when will you help them?
Or is it “my money is my money. His money is our money?”
2. Living apart before marriage keeps the excitement of dating
This writer claims that cohabiting takes away the excitement of dating.
Since dating is all fairies and rainbows (sarcasm).
Things like “the excitement of dating” and “butterflies in your belly” keep some women thinking relationships are Disney movies.
While dating is exciting in the early stages, the high of a new relationship fades off at some point.
Also, cohabiting does not stop you from going on dates.
But you must know your partner more than date nights and kisses at the door.
Because after marriage, when reality kicks in, the excitement of dating won’t fix it.
3. Anticipation for the marriage and the vows are more meaningful.
First, saying your vows in front of family and friends is part of the wedding ceremony.
Yes, it is nice and makes a good wedding ceremony.
But your connection with your partner is the main thing that keeps your marriage.
And if your union only makes sense now because you read your vows to each other in front of people, then you never had anything in the first place.
Also, in the future, when your partner gets under your skin -believe me, they will- you won’t be thinking about some vows you said.
You’d think, “Yes, my partner is annoying, but I love them anyway.”
So treat the vows as the ceremony and the marriage as reality.
Besides, people have said vows today (made somebody shed tears at the fairytale wedding) and broke up the next day.
The marriage is more important than the ceremony.
Enjoy the ceremony.
But make sure you communicate with your partner to make the marriage work.
4. No post-wedding blues
Look, no special magic happens when you begin living together for the first time after marriage.
This is the same fairytale story we’ve been sold for years.
That thrill of being newly married only lasts a few days to weeks.
And after that comes reality.
That’s when you begin to see new things and some you cannot stand.
Take the butt-scratching example, and fix any gross thing you cannot stand in a partner.
Mind you, you’ll also come with your own set of surprises.
So your partner sees you in all your glory for the first time.
Let me be the first to tell you that the post-wedding blues will not fix these surprises.
It is friendship and communication that helps couples deal with issues better.
5. A chance to get out if it’s not right
We’ve all experienced heartbreak before.
Whether you live together or not, you can walk away from a relationship that’s not working.
Oh! Dividing belongings?
Yes, it isn’t enjoyable having to divide belongings.
But it’s best to know that you can’t marry someone after seeing how they live.
Instead of marrying someone you don’t know well.
And the worst part is staying in a marriage you don’t want because people tell you it’s too early to get a divorce.
6. Living apart shortens the engagement time.
Whether you live together or apart, your engagement can be shorter or longer.
It depends on the couple.
Again, don’t move in with a man if you don’t have a common understanding.
Talk about what you want.
If you want marriage and he doesn’t, maybe let him go.
Tomorrow you might find someone who wants the same things as you.
But never let any man make you the lord of the rings (staying engaged for years).
Also, if you don’t want to marry a guy, don’t wear his ring and waste his time for years.
These things go both ways, remember?
And some couples postpone weddings because they’re saving up for a grand ceremony.
So cohabiting or living apart doesn’t guarantee a shorter engagement.
It depends on if you want to marry each other, and what’s important to you.
Is it the ceremony or the marriage itself?
Please read the full post here.
Evie: why living together may sabotage your marriage.
Here are some points from the article with my responses.
1. Cohabiting makes it harder to say no to sex.
Whether you cohabit or not, you can say no to sex.
Yes, it is harder to say no when you live together because you’d see and want each other.
But if you want to wait until marriage to be intimate, date someone with similar beliefs and live apart.
Also, some couples discover they’re not sexually attracted to their partners after marriage.
And often, people who saved intimacy until marriage end up asking for sex advice from people they scorned for having sex.
This proves that sex is not automatically great because you waited till marriage.
So should you test your compatibility in bed or not?
Do what works for you.
2. Waiting to live together after marriage saves something unique and special for marriage
Okay, you’d have butterflies in your belly when you wait until marriage to live together.
Look, it’s best we grow up from this butterflies-in-belly mindset.
This is what’s keeping some women from growing up.
Some of us think a guy is not good enough if he doesn’t give us butterflies in our bellies.
Even if you have butterflies in your belly after the wedding, it doesn’t last.
And the butterflies don’t guarantee a lasting marriage.
The friendship between you and your spouse is what keeps your marriage going when the sparks fade.
Not the friggin butterflies or moths.
3. Your man might not propose on time or never propose
When a man wants to marry you, he will tell and show you -unless he’s playing games with you.
So whether you cohabit or not, if your man wants to marry you, he will propose.
Besides, some men will never propose to a woman they don’t know well.
You won’t know someone from seeing them two to four hours a week when they show you their edited selves.
But you’d know them when you spend days, weeks, or months together.
And you don’t have to move in fully or merge your belongings.
You can spend a week in and a week out.
Please get to know them and how they live.
It is crucial because this is who you’d be living with for the rest of your life.
4. You may end up with the wrong person.
Again when you cohabit before marriage, the chances of ending up with the wrong person are less.
Because everyone shows who they are after a few days.
Remember, you don’t have to move in completely.
You can keep your place and stay at your partner’s for a few days.
I spent a few weekends with an ex to find out he compares me to his mom.
So even a few days together on and off will help you know your partner better.
Does your partner have a place?
Do they leave food and snack packets all over their apartment?
Does your partner think it’s a waste to flush urine?
Or does your partner think house chores are a woman’s job?
As for the women, what does your partner know about you?
Does he know if you’d nag and try to change him because he watches football?
Also, does he know if you’d kick him to the couch when you argue?
Or does he see you as a shoulder he can lean on?
Or are you someone who minimizes his struggles?
If you don’t know these things, man or woman, you may end up with the wrong person because people don’t change overnight.
5. It emphasizes the wrong things.
This writer mentioned that some couples fight over toothpaste caps, etc.
Yes, that’s emphasizing minor things.
She also mentioned that honesty, good character, and being a good provider and protector make one a good partner.
That’s also true.
But how can you tell someone’s true character when they only show you what you want to see?
Some lady on Reddit said her husband changed after they tied the knot.
She asked him why.
And he said he showed her what she wanted to see.
Most people can pretend.
But we can’t pretend for so long, especially when we’re under the same roof as our partner.
Also, it’s okay to have dealbreakers.
As nobody likes unpleasant surprises.
One time, I visited a guy’s place for the first time.
As I stepped into the apartment, the stench hit me.
It was horrible.
I didn’t stay.
Later, he called to ask when I’d visit again; I said I couldn’t because the apartment was untidy.
He was mad and hung up on me.
But he later called to say he would clean his place, but I was done.
If a clean house isn’t essential to him now, when will it?
Yes, women complement men but know and never ignore your dealbreakers.
Remember, you cannot change anyone.
Gosh! I’ve had enough.
You can read the post here.
My final words on cohabiting before marriage
No one is saying cohabiting guarantees a happy ending.
But cohabiting helps you know if you want to marry your partner after seeing them unedited.
You’ve seen them when they are just chilling watching TV.
Do they treat you the same way they do in public? Or it’s more of a facade?
Does he look at you the same when you’re undone?
Does he do laundry without frowning at washing your clothes?
Or does your man say, “relax, don’t cook tonight; let’s order a pizza”?
Is your man flexible?
Will he eat whatever you make and not compare your cooking to an ex’s or his mom’s?
You’ll only know when you live together because people can only pretend for so long.
Some people run away on their wedding day because they have no idea what to expect after marriage.
I’d rather know who I’m spending the rest of my life with.
Instead of waiting until after marriage to discover my husband will never help around the house or pick up after himself.
Some women are okay with cleaning up after their men.
But most will be happier if their husbands help out more.
Lastly, hold yourself accountable if you see your dealbreakers and still marry the person.
I rest my case.
You may find these related posts helpful:
- Living Together Before Marriage – 9 Great Benefits
- 15 Signs You’re Not Ready To Move In With Your Boyfriend (6 signs you’re ready)
- How To Know When A Guy Is Leading You On – 17 Signs
- 15 Habits Of Couples In Happy Relationships
- How To Prioritize Your Marriage – 10 Tried & Tested Ways
- 9 Intentional Ways To Make Your Marriage Stronger
- How To Keep People Out Of Your Relationship