It is common that people, these days decide to live together before getting married. I’ve known enough couples who have done this. It seems that the younger the couples are, the quicker moving in and cohabitating happens.
I’ve seen people in their twenties do this, I’ve seen couples in their thirties do this.
It appears to me that the question on how long a relationship lasts all depends on how mature the couple is and when in the relationship this decision is made. It’s not marriage, yet, it’s still a serious decision that needs careful weighing.
Back in the 1990s, couples stayed together longer if they cohabitated first. For some reason, that has changed. People are more secure if they wait until after they are married to live together. The secret is that the couple has to make a specific commitment to live together in order to make it work.
The questions that should be thought about are, for instance; Why do you want to live together? Do you honestly see us as a life long couple? How are we going to do this in a fair, manageable way?
A good thing to think about is how did the relationship begin. Was it a “hook-up”? Or was that person someone who you truly wanted to get to know and develop something meaningful with? Because, if you saw that person and you felt your face light up and your heart skipped and you wanted to be more than you are before you saw him/her, chances are pretty good that you found the person you were looking for. Now the thing to do is talk.
Don’t get me wrong, no one is saying that living together is wrong or bad. It does have it’s advantages. Living together will let you both know how the other person is when relaxed in the home environment. Habits are discovered that were totally unexpected. (And aren’t you glad to know that he really does pick his nose and leaves it on the side of the leather chair?) The discoveries are limitless, not to mention surprising. Who knows, they may even disappoint. But that’s what relationships are about. And you have to either overlook and forgive or you may want to move on. Hopefully, you can do the former as opposed to the latter.
Before writing this blog, I did some reading on marriage from www.nationalmarriageproject.org
I didn’t want this to be a stat sheet. So I went on my own observations on other couples I know who are living together. I can tell you on one couple who have been living together for almost fifteen years. It is unfortunate that the relationship is, in my opinion, a disaster. And for some reason, they grind it out. I also know others that are doing great.
There are a lot of variables in making a relationship work. But that’s just it. It takes work whether you are in a marriage, or just thinking about getting married. Work hard at it, but work together as a single unit.