Cohabitation Before Marriage – Does Living Together Spell Game Over?

The short and long of it is not necessarily. Not if you’ve done a little “self love” homework for yourself before jumping onto the living together bandwagon.

The important thing to remember when in any relationship is that the relationship is not the “be all/end all” of you. It’s more like an extension of you and it can either be an unhealthy extension or a shining example of love and hope to struggling partners everywhere.

Is Cohabitation Before Marriage a Good Idea?

It depends. Too many people get involved with the wrong partners because they are literallyincapable of being alone and feeling whole without another person there to validate them or “complete” them.

In Girl Gets Ring we talk about this more in-depth but the gist is this: you have to be a healthy, whole and complete person all on your own before inviting another to share your life with you, whether that’s living together first or getting married first.

When you aren’t able to be happy by yourself it’s generally a self-esteem issue and I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the saying “like attracts like” but it’s so true.

When your self-esteem is low you tend to attract other people with low self-esteem and as a result you wind up in a relationship that is dysfunctional on its foundational level.

So whether you’re living together before getting married or living together after marriage, you’ve set yourself up with a recipe for disaster and heart ache that no one will emerge from unscathed.

However, if you learn to love yourself and live your life in a way that makes you happy all on your own, you begin to attract men who are of a similar mind set.

These are strong, capable men who are as comfortable in their own skin as they are cuddling up against yours.

Healthy men who (like you) love their lives, enjoy their passions, and are looking for the perfect person to share those experiences with… but could just as happily enjoy those experiences alone until the right person comes along.

Living Together Before Marriage Cons:

Cohabitation is very much like marriage already… Have you ever heard that old saying “why buy the cow if the milk is free”?

That little bit of wisdom comes into play a bit here. Just like having sex too soon can interfere in the forward progress of a relationship, so can living together before marriage, especially if he has commitment issues.

One thing it’s important to remember is that when you live with someone, it’s almost like marriage already. The only thing missing is the $20,000 wedding debt, the marriage certificate, and vows of love before the public!

It’s one of the reasons many couples who have lived together for any length of time, choose never to take that next step.

For all intents and purposes (in their minds) they are already married and for whatever reasons have decided the actual marriage ceremony doesn’t need to take place for their relationship to feel validated. They may even feel that if they are already living together, what’s the point of getting married?

Or more accurately for men it may be closer to “what’s the benefit”?

In his mind you are already living as though you’re married, so why conquer the fear that often goes hand in hand with marriage and take that next step if he doesn’t have to? He already has all the benefits of being married to you!

Living Together VS Marriage

Ultimately marriage is a personal choice between two people and God that should be made with the utmost of care and a healthy dose of clarity going in. Living together is also an equally weighty decision and should be considered carefully before leaping in with both feet.

For other less healthy relationships, couples that live together may find themselves getting trapped in patterns of behavior that wind up driving them apart rather than progressing them forward towards marriage.

Even if you bypass the whole “milk is free mentality” there are other landmines that can be dangerous.

For instance if while living together you inadvertently trigger your man’s warning bells and change his “inner traffic light” (which was clearly green at some point) into yellow or red, then your relationship will wind up stopping it’s forward momentum just shy of marriage.

You will then be stuck in a holding pattern of your own making. (We talk more about this “inner traffic light” and how to get him to commit here.)

So Live Together Before Marriage? Do We or Don’t We?

As you can see, the title of this post is a relatively tricky question. I don’t believe there is a one size fits all answer here.

Living together before marriage pros can be that it’s a valid opportunity to “test the waters” and really work on helping your guy shed his “super hero armor” and figure out how much you both want the next step.

…But, it can also backfire on you and create irreparable damage to a long-term future together.

Ultimately only you can decide the path that’s right for you and whether or not living with your man is the best next step to take. I’d love to hear about your experiences with this issue.

Did living together before marriage enhance your end result? Or did it derail your “till death do you part” future together altogether?

Feel free to share in the comments below.

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