Living Together Before Marriage
If you're a very religious person who believes that you shouldn't live with someone until you're married, that's fine; I'm not trying to change your mind or even alter your opinion. This article is for those who don't share in those beliefs, and who may be wondering if they should move in with a boyfriend or girlfriend. This article is based on both personal experience and the collective experiences of others I've known in similar situations. Personally, I believe moving in together prior to marriage is a very good idea; read on to learn the five biggest reasons why.
1. It takes time to learn how to be partners.
When you marry someone, you're automatically partners from a legal point of view, but this doesn't mean you're mentally ready for such a thing. You've got to learn how to give and take before you're ready to give everything up for someone, and you can't learn this simply by giving up that one corner in your bathroom for your girlfriend's makeup.
2. Quirks are easily hidden when you don't live with someone.
If you're dating someone who gets psychotic when the bathroom light is accidentally left on, you've got a better chance of discovering this when living with them, as opposed to just visiting them. If you're dating someone who downs a fifth of Jim Beam before bed every night, this is more easily discovered when living with them, rather than when sleeping over once in awhile. Nearly everyone can behave normally on a short-term scale -- few disturbed individuals can hide that on a consistent basis, though.
3. It can take time to learn that you don't want to marry someone.
Love can sweep over people pretty quickly and it's easy for some couples to fall in love with the idea of getting married. The last thing you want, however, is to get married, move in and then find out you can't stand your new spouse's sleeping, eating or drinking habits. And like I've said, you can't know these things until you have moved in with them. Yes, you may love them, but that doesn't mean you're going to be able to tolerate living with your girlfriend or boyfriend.
4. Your love life can be a good indication as to the strength of your relationship.
It's easy to stay attracted to someone you only see a few times a week. But if you're living with someone every day, you'll have a much better idea of how strong your bond (emotionally and mentally) is, and whether or not marriage would be a good next step or not. It's not "marriage" that kills the love life, it's learning that you're not compatible through all the little things one experiences when living with someone else.
5. You need time to learn what their real values are.
Compatible values are very important when it comes to relationships, and you can't know what someone's real values are just by talking about them. You need to see how they react to things, and to people, on a daily basis before you can really know such a thing. And when I say values, that includes the whole gambit; anything you can think of. For example (and this is just an example!) it's easy to think your man believes in women's rights, but later discover that your new husband sits in front of the tv all night and bashes female politicians simply for being female. You don't know what someone really believes until you see them act those beliefs out on a regular basis.