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Shacking Up or Marriage? It's Your Choice

Updated on April 18, 2012
Should a couple live together before marriage?
Should a couple live together before marriage? | Source
The Cast of Braxton Family Values
The Cast of Braxton Family Values | Source

Moving In Together Vs. Marriage

Yesterday, I was watching "Braxton Family Values", and the matriarch of the bunch, Evelyn told her daughters (and her son over speakerphone) that she and her on-again, off-again boyfriend "Doc" are engaged. Now Tamar, Towanda, Traci, Trina, and Toni had their own opinions about their mother getting remarried, but Toni's opinion stood out to me the most. Toni mentioned that her mother and "Doc" should wait a little more and that they should live together first. I thought it was interesting to say the least because it brought up the issue of whether shacking up or waiting until marriage to live together would be the most appropriate thing to do in a serious relationship.

I guess from Evelyn's point of view, she does not agree to shack up before marriage due to her old-fashioned views. And maybe I am old-fashioned as well, but I personally disagree with the concept of living together as a couple before marriage. Reason being would be that in my opinion, it defeats the purpose of marriage. It is like the whole saying goes, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" When a couple is married, they share responsibility of expenses, housing, living space, bills and children. This takes a lot of compromising, understanding, listening and communication to make living together as a married couple work. And what does living together as an unmarried couple do? Pretty much the same thing, just without the ring and the real commitment of what marriage is really about. Marriage is a sacred union between two people that are willing to take their vows seriously, and people who are truly in love that are willing to make it work no matter what happens, because of that union the two of them have together.

Too many times, I have seen women who I am close to living with a guy, and she wonders why their mate has not proposed to them yet. The reason why their mate has not proposed is often because they have allowed the guy to "get too comfortable" together and reaping the benefits of marriage so he does not see the point in getting married. In his head, he is already practically married and would make excuses like, "We do not need a piece of paper to prove that I am committed to you" or "I'm here, am I?" The unfortunate part of that kind of situation is that the woman ends up disappointed in the end because of the fact that she build all her hopes up to eventually marry is shattered. While it would be easier to just leave the relationship and not have to face the courts, the question lies in this: Is there a real commitment to just live together without the benefit of marriage, or that person just wanted to have their cake and eat it too?

Do not get me wrong, I do have some liberal standpoints about certain things, but at the same time, certain old-fashioned rules in my opinion is still beneficial. Some people reading this hub might argue and say, "How would you truly know that person is truly 'the one' you want to marry for you if you do not try to live with them first?" My answer would be is: when you marry someone, you have to adjust to a new living situation, however difficult it may be. If you truly love and care for the person that you fell in love with and know why you married them in the first place, then you can make it work with that person. This is not a hub designed to insult couples who chose to cohabitate without marriage. It is my opinion on the topic, and I do acknowledge that each situation has an exception to that rule. Like I always say, to each their own and always do what makes you happy at the end of the day.


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