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Which Comes First? Living Together or Marriage

I am in full support of living with someone before you commit to marriage — there are just certain things you can only learn about a person after living with them — but cohabitation pre-"I do" isn't for everyone. I know many variables play into your opinion on this topic, but tell me which will come first for you.

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danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Browsing old posts... I'm a little disappointed in myself now. I wrote that I would never live with my guy without an engagement first... my choices came down to breaking up or moving to Texas (from California) with him as his girlfriend. I was assured a proposal was on its way. 7 months later, my finger is still bare. As much as I love being with him, I should have stayed in California. I left my job, family, and life (basically) and all I've gotten is broken promises.
CrazyBella CrazyBella 8 years
I think living together should come first. So many people are quick to jump the gun into marriage and maybe if they took some time, moved in together and really got to know each other there wouldn't be so many divorces. I started dating my boyfriend 5 years ago, we just finished college and are finally moving in together, and though we thought we knew everything there is about each other there is so much i am learning now that we are living together. I love him so much and it is nothing serious he is doing, but some people may just not be able to live with someone and find habits and such that change their opinion of that person.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
Living together. In my situation, I'm not moving in with my guy until I have the (engagement) ring on my finger. The reason we are moving in together before marriage is because he's in the Navy, if we didn't move in together, we'd live in separate states and basically grow apart. He's not "ready" for marriage (we've been together for more than 4 years, we're in our mid-20's), so that's why we're not married yet.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
Marriage first! A person ought to be able to pay attention and get an idea of how their partner lives on a daily basis without having to move in with them. Moving in just complicates things & if it doesn't work you either feel guilty for saying it's over, marry someone you don't truly love, or feel taken for granted because you never got the ring or the title but play the part. Someone you truly love is worth marrying.
dubalicious dubalicious 8 years
My boyfriend and I are both going to grad school next year and financially we wouldn't be able to maintain separate apartments, so we will likely move in together. We've been together for 5 years and it just seems to make sense.
PensaGrey PensaGrey 8 years
Having said that... there's definitely a timetable. I'd only live with him during our engagement. Not to mention I have children so that 'living together' would be 'adjusting'. Not the ever-male-preferred 'shacking up'. And the engagement wouldn't be a Kmart lay-a-way plan with an extension. I'm talking 6 mos. to maybe a year if there's a big wedding brewing. *for me about 3 mos. cause I don't want a big wedding at this point* Needed to clear that up... I forgot who uses/visits this site. :OY:
PensaGrey PensaGrey 8 years
Living together! The divorcee' knows best! I would never agree to be legally stuck with a jerk and then BEG the government to let me resume my life 'less the a$zhole'.
weffie weffie 8 years
I lived with my ex boyfriend for 3 years. He never showed his really ugly, controlling, emotionally-abusive side in all its glory until about 2 1/2 years into it... then all hell broke loose. It was a nightmare getting the mortgage sorted out so I could move out, but I am forever grateful that there wasn't a divorce to worry about on top of all that hassle. That experience taught me that, yes, I do need to live with somebody to really know them, but also taught me to RENT with a boyfriend. I'd never enter into a mortgage again with somebody I wasn't married to... that's just my policy tho, I know most guys aren't controlling psychos--just the ones that I tend to attract hahaha
BeataB74 BeataB74 8 years
Granted, these all came from a Christian website, and I didn't follow up on them (out of laziness - seriously, I do enough research for class) but here are some of those studies for the person that requested them. --> Psychology Today reported the findings of Yale University sociologist Neil Bennett that cohabiting women were 80% more likely to separate or divorce than were women who had not lived with their spouses before marriage. The National Survey of Families and Households indicates that "unions begun by cohabitation are almost twice as likely to dissolve within 10 years compared to all first marriages: 57% to 30%." Another five-year study by William Axinn of the University of Chicago of 800 couples reported in the Journal of Demography that those who cohabit are the most accepting of divorce. In a Canadian study at the University of Western Ontario, sociologists found a direct relationship between cohabitation and divorce when investigating over 8,000 ever-married men and women (Hall and Zhoa 1995:421-427). It was determined that living in a non-marital union "has a direct negative impact on subsequent marital stability," perhaps because living in such a union "undermines the legitimacy of formal marriage" and so "reduces commitment of marriage."
francais82 francais82 8 years
Honestly, if you can't figure out some basic characteristics about your mate without living with them, maybe you're not as close as you think. On a smarter note, you have better protection when you live separately, common law couples can get the shaft in a nasty breakup (see the movie: The Breakup).
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
I think some ppl reference "fun" because that may be what ppl who on insist on moving in first may be thinking, and it's used as a response to.. Ideally, for me, it would be an engagement or marriage first.
NurseKimberly NurseKimberly 8 years
Marriage
Allytta Allytta 8 years
always living together. those 30 precent are probably all in 49 who get divorced in the end. you HAVE to know what person is like in a long run, not just on dates...
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
I definitely preferred marriage.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
Sidenote: Does anyone else find it funny that all the anti-living together metaphors on this blog equate women to animals? Lastly, can anyone cite these statistics on living together before marriage resulting in higher divorce rates? A source?
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
I feel sorry for all the people who are referencing the "fun," "excitement" of moving in together. I think these are the same people who believe that after they get married they will live happily ever after and all the problems will magically disappear. Moving in together is really when the reality, problems, and conflicts set in after the whirlwind infatuation of courtship dies down. When you move in together is when you really see if you have the stuff to make it through even when times are tough. I don't really believe that keeping a mystery in marriage is romantic. I think communication and really knowing your partner is romantic, and that is achieved by living together. I moved in with my boyfriend about 7 months before he asked me to marry him. By the time I asked I felt like he truly knew me and I truly knew him, and that made the proposal all the more romantic. On a practical level, I think moving and getting married at the same time would be way too much stress.
fashionlovr fashionlovr 8 years
I lived with my boyfriend for 3 years before marriage, and I think our marriage is as close to perfect as any marriage can be. My sister dated her boyfriend for 7 years, but only moved in AFTER marriage and they almost got divorced in their first year because they found out they were so different.
nv27 nv27 8 years
Wow, a lot of great points. I've lived with my bf for over 2 years and we're not married or engaged yet. I wouldn't have done it any other way. I THOUGHT I knew him... A good friend of mine is about to get married and she's never spent the night with, or had "relations" with the man she's about to marry. I love her and I respect her decision, but I think she's in for a big surprise.
Bailey812 Bailey812 8 years
I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years and we have lived together for 2. We learned a lot about each other by moving in together and I think that it has brought us a lot closer. It puts you at ease in a relationship when you know that you can continue moving forward together, because you both work so well together!
c4rolin3 c4rolin3 8 years
I'd love to be traditional and say that I want to get married before I move in with someone. This would still be my perfect situation. The truth is however that in this current climate it is so hard to buy a home on one persons salary that the only option if you want to buy a home is to find someone to buy one with, and this makes sense to be a partner. Ideally I'd love my own home and for my boyfriend to have his own place. You'd probably spend time between homes and stay with one another most nights anyway. Then when you've got married you can get somewhere together. If you did move in together you could either sell both your places and pool the money, or have a comfort net and rent out your place for some income and the safety of knowing you could return if all went wrong. (Pessimistic I know but thinking Charlotte SATC!)
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
If you want to do it, fine, but if you are not engaged, don't go in with the expectation of marriage. Guys get complacent, you're too much like roommates, which is what you really are if you are not engaged. I know so many people who lived together, then got married because it was the "expected" next step, and ended up splitting up. Personally, would not do it unless I was engaged, and even then, not sure I would.
polkadots567 polkadots567 8 years
Living together! I had a cousin who got married before moving in with her guy, and when they finally moved in with each other after their wedding, they got divorced within 10 months because she couldn't stand him! Lesson be learned...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
No on the living together thing. Have you seen the posts on here alone about it? not a good idea. I personally think its putting the cart before the horse, it lessons the specialness of marriage and what that stands for.
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