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Feb 24

The benefits of living together before marriage

living together before marriage, couples living together, quotes about living togetherCommon-law marriages are quickly becoming the common alternative to marriage in this day and age. Since common-law couples are entitled to the same rights as married couples, why not opt for the less traditional approach to married life?

Okay fine.

For those of you who prefer being legally married, can we at least agree that living together before marriage isn’t the worst sin in the world? In fact, I think couples living together are taking an important step toward that marital commitment.

I’m happily engaged to a wonderful man. Sure, we’re engaged to be legally married (one day), but currently we’re living together in common-law matrimony. As a common-law wife, I have to say that living together before marriage is a great idea. Here are the benefits I’ve experienced with choosing to live together before tying the knot.

Pro #1 – You get to see your partner’s day-to-day activities and habits

I know a few couples who lived with their parents, got engaged and then moved in together after they got married – thinking married life would be just like when they were dating. If you’re like that, you’re in for a RUDE AWAKENING.

Living together before marriage allows you to see your partner’s regular activities, routines and habits. Guys, are you okay with seeing your girl with no makeup on, wearing bummy clothes and doing her lady things in the bathroom, bedroom or wherever she may? Ladies, are you going to keep your cool when your man is lounging around in his boxers, watching TV, playing video games or farting repeatedly?

No? Then you’re not ready for marriage.

Dating is like interviewing for a new job. You wear your best clothes and act properly to present yourself in the best possible light. Living together is like casual Fridays at a job you’ve been at for a few years. You’ve gotten comfortable, so you start wearing what you want, acting more like yourself, and taking a more relaxed approach.

Pro #2 – You learn how your partner approaches household chores

Living together before marriage is by far the best way to gauge how your partner approaches household chores. Sleeping over on weekends won’t do it. You’re still considered an overnight guest, so we’ll tidy up, vacuum, do laundry (or hide our dirty laundry) before you come over. Then we do it all again before the next time you come over.

Once you move in together, the vacuuming, laundry and dishes are now part of the shared chores of the home. Living together will reveal if you can agree on who does what chores, when, how often and more importantly, if you’re comfortable with the way the other person does things.

living together before marriage, financially compatible, couples fighting about moneyPro #3 – You discover if you’re financially compatible

First thing’s first. Before you even think about getting married, you need to have the money talk. Once you get married, “my money” and “your money” suddenly becomes “our money.” But sharing money also means sharing debts, loans, and lines of credit.

Granted you don’t technically need to live together to learn if you’re financially on the same page, but living together does help. Why? Because you’re paying bills as a couple. This is when you’ll discover how financially responsible your significant other is. Does he/she pay their bills late, on time, at all? Do they practice good saving habits or live pay cheque to pay cheque? Can you two agree on how to divide the household bills? These questions get answered pretty quickly after living together. Trust me.

Pro #4 – Living together helps you determine if you can spend the rest of your life together

Let me just clarify one thing. I’m not saying that couples need to live together first or else they’ll fail in their marriage. Nor am I saying that couples who do live together before marriage will always succeed.

What I am saying though is living together before marriage will help you realize how compatible you really are (or aren’t). And it will help you determine if you can spend the rest of your life together (or not). Knowing your partner’s day-to-day activities and habits, how they approach household chores and how they handle money is important before taking that leap into married life. In my opinion, living together is the best way to find those answers.

For example, if I never moved in with my fiancée (who was my boyfriend at the time), I would have never realized how much I wanted him to be my husband. Living together helped us realize how perfect we are for each other. Every couple is different, but for us, the decision to live together before marriage was a great one!

What’s your opinion on the topic? Should couples live together before getting married? Leave me a comment.

3 comments

  1. Craig

    This goes in line with Pro #4.. Guys like even myself are notorious for wanting our own space. Whether its to play video games, watch sports on tv, you-know-whats-terbate, or even lay in our own filth while we are sick/dying we love our space (at times). Living together shows u what its like when you have to wake up, come home and go to sleep with the same face beside you EVERYDAY. If you can say without a doubt that you are still in love after a year or two of living together being married will be a lot easier. I know some couples that struggle living together due to poor communication or high expectations from their significant other. Living together first allows couples to hash out their differences. If they can’t, no messy and expensive divorce. I recently read about a trend where couples live apart to avoid complicating their relationships. You get to maintain your own spaces and see each other whenever you want but to be honest it just sounds like a “friends with benefits” scenario.

  2. Catherine

    Thanks for the excellent post! Completely agree that it is a great idea to live together before you get married. It is essentially “try before you buy” mentality and you know exactly what you are getting into. I particularly like your point around financial compatibility as this can be such a contentious point in many marriages so you need to be in the same space. It is better finding out sooner rather than later to determine whether or not you think it is going to work out.

    1. Joanne

      Totally! It’s important to know where you both stand on money, among many other things, before you tie the knot. You would never buy a car without test driving it :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Come back anytime.

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