Is it better living together before marriage or after?

Many couples have debated whether or not living together before marriage is a good idea throughout the last few decades. People didn’t have to think about this in previous generations because it was so uncommon. Today, though, it is becoming increasingly widespread and tolerated. However, there are other factors to consider before moving in together.

To begin, you must both analyze your intentions and be on the same page. In other words, are you living together in the same house to see if you’re compatible? Are you cohabiting because one or both of you want to avoid (or postpone) marriage? If that’s the case, why are you doing it?

You should ideally have a long and honest discussion about why one or both of you wish to live together but not be married. Maybe one of you thinks the other wants to get married, but they don’t. Or one has a deadline to meet in order to marry, while the other does not. Alternatively, one may believe that this is just a serious relationship and hasn’t given marriage any thought.

This dialogue is critical because if your intentions aren’t aligned, it will lead to problems in the road. However, for the purposes of this piece, pretend that you both understand that the ultimate aim is marriage—not just any marriage, but one that is full of love, joyful, and healthy.

Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of living together before marriage.

The benefits

1. Sharing Finances

One of the most common reasons for living together before marriage could be this. Consider this: most serious couples are already practically living together. They keep their clothes and other personal goods at one person’s house, and they may spend more time there than they do at their own. So, in that situation, it would be logical to stop paying two leases or mortgages, two utility and cable bills, and so much more.

While there is undoubtedly a benefit of living together, you must exercise financial caution. It’s all too easy to squander the extra cash you’ve saved and have no idea where it went. Saving the money from the other home and investing it in your future together would be a better plan.

2. When You Finally Get Married, It’s Less Stressful

It’s difficult to live with anyone. Whether it’s your own parents, siblings, or children, everyone has the power to irritate you when you live in the same environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s an unavoidable truth of life.

When you’re dating or in a serious love relationship, though, you have a lot less time to learn about someone’s routines. You don’t notice—or overlook—some of your partner’s unpleasant habits while you’re first dating. You might even find it endearing. But, as time passes, what you thought was fine starts to grate on your nerves.

Consider what would happen if you had never lived together before getting married and then had a mental breakdown when you moved in together. “This individual drives me nuts because they never do the dishes!” you could think.

You will go into marriage with your eyes wide open if you live together beforehand, and there will be far fewer surprises.

3. You become closer and your bond becomes stronger

In any relationship, but especially in marriages, intimacy is extremely crucial. But I don’t only mean physical/sexual or emotional closeness when I mention “intimacy.” There are several types of intimacy that are equally significant, including intellectual, spiritual, experiential, and volitional closeness.

Let’s talk about the concept of volitional intimacy. This type is all about the promises two people make to each other. If you decide to buy a house, a car, or a puppy together, for instance, you are committing to each other (regardless of whether you are married or not). And moving in together symbolizes that kind of closeness.

When a couple’s relationship is strong, they have all of these sorts of closeness in harmony. So, before you get married, living together will enable you “test” and see if you can build and sustain these intimacies. If this is the case, it will strengthen your bond and give you more confidence in your decision to marry.

The drawbacks

1. Others may not agree with you

Everyone has a point of view on everything. And, whether you ask for it or not, most people enjoy telling you what it is. Having said that, doing something without the approval of your family or friends might be quite tough. Religion frequently gets in the way of your loved ones. Many people look down on couples who live together before getting married.

Many Catholics, for example, are opposed to it. So, perhaps one or both of you grew up in a family that regularly attended church and adhered to the church’s doctrines. If you choose to deviate from the spiritual path, your family may become enraged.

It’s bad if both people’s families and friends oppose them moving in. Even if one of you has a family that isn’t supportive, but the other is, it might still be a problem. The partner whose family approves may not comprehend why the other person’s family does not.

This can lead to persons losing relationships with their family and/or friends in extreme cases. As a result, it’s something to think about before you decide to move in together.

2. Your Relationship Might Be Weakening Due to a Lack of Support

Whether you’re getting married or not, living with your partner is a major decision. Even living with someone who isn’t yourself isn’t always easy. Sure, having a roommate can help you feel less lonely, but it can also present a number of obstacles.

So, if you don’t have the backing of your social system, your relationship will most likely suffer—and not for the better. There could be a lot of stress and anger between the two of you. Outside causes can lead you to have conflict, whether it is verbal or unspoken, and it may or may not have anything to do with the two of you personally.

Living with anyone can be a challenge in and of itself at times. If you’ve ever had roommates, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. As a result, if you don’t have a decent support system in place, you could jeopardize your relationship because it could bring up new issues that you and your spouse haven’t dealt with yet.

3. You will save money, but your bond may be weakened

You have complete financial control when you are single or just live alone. Nobody has the authority to tell you what you can and cannot spend your money on. However, this can alter when you move in with your significant other.

You’ll still have separate bank accounts, but your costs will be shared. Decisions concerning how the rent/mortgage will be paid, as well as who will pay for groceries and utilities, will need to be made, and you may have quite different ideas about how to go about it.

Then there’s the issue of external and/or personal spending. Perhaps one of you is a “spender” and the other a “saver.” If the saver believes the spender is being careless with their money, they will be irritated.

For example, one of you might think it’s a good idea to buy a $200 outfit just for the sake of it, while the other feels it’s a bad idea. Alternatively, one person may wish to spend $300 on a gourmet supper while the other believes it is a waste of money. Couples can have a lot of troubles because of variations in how they spend money.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s up to the two of you to decide whether or not to live together before getting married. As you can see, there is no clear right or wrong answer—a it’s decision as individual as the relationship.

So, whatever you do, make sure you and your spouse have critical discussions about it and are both aware on the benefits and drawbacks. Then simply do your best and believe that everything will fall into place as it should.