Pros and Cons of Living Together before Marriage and 3 Tips if You Decide to Do It

Although living together before marriage is still frowned upon by some people, nowadays half of the couples live together before getting married.

Living Together Before Marriage

The common reasoning is that living together before marriage is a good way to test your compatibility as a couple (inside and outside the bedroom) and see if you can spend forever together.

Are you tempted to start living together with your girlfriend before fully committing to the real thing? 

If you've been dating for at least six months and already built trust in your relationship, you can try it out - below are the pros and cons to help you decide.

Living Together before Marriage means
No Commitment... you aren't forced to stay together through it all - the good and not-so-good times; the unavoidable ups and downs. 

One of the reasons some married couples split up is the feeling of suffocation that comes with knowing you can't easily end the relationship when problems arise.

However, no commitment comes with a high price. Without it, you have less motivation to develop compatibility with the woman you love.

Consider this. Two people are never COMPLETELY compatible. Along with intimacy, a certain degree of relationship compatibility develops over time - but only if you are not afraid of commitment.

Believe it or not, commitment is the key to building happy lasting relationships; when you leave the door open for a breakup, even the smallest crack gets bigger with each passing year.

Living Together before Marriage Gives You a Sense of Security

This is especially true if you are divorced. Having failed before, your self confidence and/or level of relationship trust is probably low. Naturally, you want to make certain that this time it will work out. You want to test-drive it before.

It's understandable.

Living together before getting married, you get to know each other more and build trust faster than if you're just dating and seeing her a few times per week. You can settle your finances early, see how organized she is, how she treats your friends and family or if she's ready to have kids - if that's what you want.

You will be able to figure out whether she will make a good wife if you live together before marriage, but make sure you take the time to discover together each other's answers to the required questions for couples.

Before deciding whether...

Living Together before Marriage Is for You...

...or not, you should know that many relationship experts warn against it. Based on statistics over the last two decades they say that:

  • married couples who had lived together first are 46% more likely to get separated or divorced

  • unmarried couples who live together have more conflicts, worse relationships with their respective families and are less satisfied sexually

  • over 20% of couples experimenting living together before marriage never get married to each other; for men, the top reason was that they weren't motivated enough, since they could enjoy the same benefits of married couples while knowing they could step out of it anytime.

Clearly, this arrangement is not for everyone. Before deciding to move in together, consider these tips.

3 Tips on Living Together before Marriage

1) Get engaged first

Getting engaged and announcing it publicly affirms your commitment and communicates to your partner that you are serious about your relationship.

2) Put a time limit on living together before getting married

The shorter you live in this type of arrangement, the better your relationship forecast. Why? Because right after you move in together, the second relationship stage of common relationship problems (power struggle) kicks in.

Dealing with this difficult stage before your commitment level is full on is a sure recipe for conflict and failure.

3) Protect your children

You will be wise to avoid living together before marriage if kids are involved - either yours or your partner's. Why? Because studies have shown that the higher rate of breakups between cohabitating parents vs. married ones affects long-term increasingly more children, producing devastating effects in their own lives.

According to Rutgers University researchers David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, authors of "Should We Live Together? What Young Couples Need to Know about Cohabitation Before Marriage", children in cohabiting households have more behavioral problems and poorer academic scores.

Moreover, in case of a breakup, your authority as a parent diminishes, along with your kid's respect for you. Also, kids' success expectations for their own relationships become lower - as a good parent you surely want to be a good role model, right?

Before deciding on living together before marriage, make sure both of you consider the pros and cons above to increase your chances of becoming happy, long-term intimate couples.

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