Girl Talk

Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

Living together before marriage

Should You Live together before marriage? 

Like so many of your favorite relationship gurus, I have some opinions on relationships backed by no research and no experiences other than my own. But since my limited experience is leading me down the aisle, I also feel like I may have something valuable to add to the conversations. *polishes halo diamond and adjusts crown*

I am kidding but seriously, let’s talk about cohabitation (Living together). I have lived with bae for 4ish years and before that, I only lived with one other person for a really short amount of time. I have always thought of living together as a natural step in a relationship until I tried it the first time. (Nah.) Now I am on the “it depends on where are you” train.

Is it what you really want? The worst thing you can do is live together because it was an “honor to be asked”. If you have some religious views, not able to tell your mama, and/or dreading it in any way. Don’t force it. There is no love lost in living apart.

Why do you want to do it? You do not need some grand reason but be clear on what that reason is so your expectations and intentions are clear. If you want cheaper rent, that is perfectly fine but do not then start beating the other person up about getting married. Your end goal was to have more cash. If you are thinking you want to live together now and get married later – say that too. And living together forever and never getting married can be bomb. Just make sure you are not pulling a “bait & switch”.

How good are you at communication before you live together? girrrrllll.  I am going to be honest, I had to learn on the job for this one. All of that “not saying anything to keep the peace” … Do not do it. Picking your battles does not mean that you have to never have battles.

Get real. You cannot be “the cool girlfriend” when you live together. When we were dating I would be trying to stay up late with him and cook great meals when he stayed over. I am host to the core… maybe its all the southern black and igbo. But you gotta break out of that. Practice being real before you share a space or just get a stomach bug like I did early on. The jig was up after that. 

How are yours and his finances? It Matters. Do not take your good credit into a bad situation. If you are seeing late notices and stuff in his single apartment you may want to have him do some financial boot camp before you guys get a joint apartment.  That works both ways of course.

I will say personally I have enjoyed living together and I think it was a smart move for us. As two very independent 30 somethings, I felt like it was a way of easing into a “We” rather than “Yours v.s Mine”. Our relationship is 100 times better because of it but I also think that has a lot to do with where we are in life and that we had the same goal.

But as always I love some tea. Have you had a situation where living together went terribly or have some tips for the girls on surviving the first year? Leave them in the comments below.

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2 comments

  1. Sooo…I was one of those women because of my religious upbringing that swore off never to “shack up”. Well that all went out the window 3 years ago when I did the unthinkable “GASPS”. I decided after a year of dating to move in with my significant other. It was a poor decision for me because we never sat down and talked about expectations and all that other good stuff. All I knew was he was a neat freak like me and loved home cooked meals. I tried to have a conversation about it but it got swept under the rug and I never brought it up again. We both had unspoken expectations but they were never verbally communicated. The first year was HELL! The second and now into our 3rd year it has gotten better. There are still some things we can work on, but I will say this…if and that is a BIG IF I were to do this again, we would need to have a really good talk about what we want and what is expected. So my opinion on this is to communicate before you decide to take that route. A whole lot of things can be worked out with a conversation. That’s my 2 cents! 😉

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    1. That is a great two cents and I totally feel you. My first time around was also terrible and it was all my fault. I agreed because I felt like I had too and I was a complete child about it when it started to feel too much like a “ball and chain”. Both people have to be in the same place – that is the only reason it worked for me this time, Thanks for sharing!

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