Growing up we get told “no sex before marriage”…. Well, I don’t know about you but I did. I was the V-Unit President of Southridge Senior High School. My parents never really mentioned living with your significant other before marriage though. I always got the “go to college, get a good job, fall in love, get married, and have kids.” Story book movies always show couples moving in together the day after they get married. You know, after they come home from the honey moon. I guess growing up, I just thought that’s what you end up doing when you get older. Then I got exposed to the real world – sex, lies, love, and just plain ol’ living.
I’ve become a true believer that living together before marriage is a must. Hell, I believe it should be a law. Personally, I think that divorce rates would decrease drastically if it was put into effect. Think about how many people end up moving in together after saying “til death do us part” only to find out that they can’t stand living with that person that they just basically signed their life away to. Think about how much money and time that would save. Prior to name changes and contracts that are going to cost you a pretty penny to get out of depending on who you are, why not save yourself some life struggle by living out a test run?
Now, I’ve only lived with two men that I’ve dated – an ex boyfriend and my current. I only believe that two people in a serious relationship should consider living together. Don’t go jumping in head first and moving in with just anybody now. If somebody has lived with a bunch of their significant others, I suggest you run. Something ain’t right. I’m speaking from experience here. This should only be done if you’re seriously thinking that the person is someone you would like to spend the rest of your life with. If you do it for other reasons, it might be a recipe for disaster but that’s a whole different blog post.
There are just certain things you learn about people when you live with them than when you guys are just dating. Little things that don’t mean much really when you’re just spending the night together once in awhile at each other’s places might become a problem when you have to live and deal with it daily and on a constant basis. Say you’re a light sleeper and can’t deal with the sound of snoring or you get insanely annoyed with people who have OCD. One or two nights out of the week, you can deal with. Every day/night of your life, will potentially have you on Channel 7 news for domestic violence or featured on an episode of ‘Snapped’.
On top of learning things about the other person and what you hate or love about them, you learn a lot about yourself too. Hell, I’ve learned that I’m messy as hell, spoiled and a lot more self centered than I would have liked to have believed. I leave shit everywhere. Turning off lights and tvs when I leave a room is a foreign concept to me (…but that might be triggered by the fact that I’m kind of afraid of the dark). Oh, and the most important one: I have a big problem with communication. I broke up with my last boyfriend but after being in the relationship I’m in now where these flaws have been pointed out to me time and time again, I wonder why he didn’t break up with me first. I’ve learned to loosen up to. Remember when you first start dating a person and we all make the mistake of trying to be perfect at all times? Like when you know that you’re going to see your man that day so you make sure everything is perfect? Well, when you live with somebody every day of your life, you know that every day isn’t going to be text book perfect. They see that dried up drool in the corner of your mouth before you shit, shower, and shave in the morning. They know that you flick your boogers into the air after you picked your nose. They know how bad your farts smell like when you’re on your period. They see your vagina in between waxes and still want to have sex with you. (You’ll learn that most men don’t even really care to point out that you have a little hair growing down there if they’re trying to cut…..That’s for another blog post too.)
Space. Space. Space. It’s important to us. We value and cherish our personal space as human beings. When you move in together, “mine” become “ours” and “I” becomes “we”. At least that’s the way that it should be. When two people decide to live together, it means that they’ve opened up to allow another person to come in and share their personal space with them. We all know that we don’t share our personal space with just anybody. Hell, I didn’t like sharing my personal space with anybody for years. This is especially hard for people who have grew up as the only child or were forced to share their personal things or space growing up. You might love candles in the bathroom. They might hate it. You may disagree in having a tv in the bedroom. They might not be able to sleep without it there. You love to eat on fine china. They probably don’t care about what the food is on as long as its clean, healthy, and tastes good. You just throw the groceries in the fridge. They might have a certain order and place that everything goes. Most of all, when you open up to live with somebody, you trust them with your space.
Now money isn’t everything but not having it is. Making money can be stressful. Spending it could be too. Managing it is the most. When you live with somebody, most of the time, you will end up splitting or sharing the bills. You guys come together and make sure all of the bills are paid off so you don’t walk into the house one night and find the lights or water cut off because something didn’t get paid. You see what they spend money on and what they don’t spend money on. You’ll find out if they’ll let the light bill be over due because they wanted to buy a pair of Jordans to stunt and post on Instagram in or if they put off buying something they’ve wanted to fix something in the house that needs to be repaired instead. Knowing how a person manages their money and how they take care of their financial responsibilities can be a plus or a deal breaker in a relationship. You will never know any of this until you live with the person. There’s a lot of things people can hide when you don’t live with them.
All of these things I discussed above are issues that are going to come up when you live with somebody. Imagine not going through this before you get married and finding it all out after you do. It could be catastrophic. When you live with somebody before marriage, you learn how to coexist, communicate, and compromise….or maybe not…. but the point is, you find out if that person is somebody you really could LIVE with the rest of your life or somebody you’d rather live without…….
So before you jump the broom, sign a lease together. Losing a deposit on a place and splitting belongings because you can’t stand each other is going to be waaaaaay cheaper and less of a headache than filing for divorce, child support payments, spousal support, changing your name back, and whatever comes with divorce.
Here’s some posts from other blogs who agree and disagree with living with each other before getting married you can check out:
- About.com’s Reader’s Respond: Should You Live Together Before Marriage?
- Helium.com’s Debates: Should Couples Live Together Before Getting Married?
- CNN: Is it okay to live together before getting married?
- Yahoo! Young People Living Together Before Marriage Cause Confusion and Mistakes
- Christian Post: Five Myths About Living Together Before Marriage
- Your Tango: 5 Reasons You Should Live Together Before Marriage
- Fox News: Living Together First Can Spoil Marriage, Study Finds