Life Coach Magazine

Should Couples Always Live Together Before Marriage?

By Tempestra @tempestra1

I was reading an article today which said that couples that live together before they get married are more likely to end up getting divorced.  At first, I wondered how that was possible, but reading on, it started to make some sense.

Should couples always live together before marriage?
First up, there are more people living together before marriage now than ever before – around 80%.  This means that those who choose not to live together are already a minority group.  And when we think about why people co-habit before putting rings on fingers….well perhaps they don’t always do it for the right reasons?  For example, my friend’s son – he’s a classic commitment-phobe so does not want to get married yet (ever?) but he’s also very lazy and likes the idea of living with a lady who can organize his life!  If he gets married, it will only be because he caves into the pressure from his live-in girlfriend.  A sure-fire recipe for disaster.  I believe many couples also choose to live together sooner (too soon?) because they can’t afford to keep up rent on two places, they end up rushing things and then marriage is the next ‘expected’ step…

Call me old-fashioned, but I was one of those few that did not live with my beloved before we married.  Back in the early eighties, it wasn’t such a common practice.  We worked together so we saw each other every day anyway – and we were both quite happy with our living arrangements at the time, so it never really came up as an option.  Instead, we saved for the wedding and a deposit for our first home at the same time.

Has not living together made any difference?  I honestly don’t think so. We did not rush into marriage – we dated for over 2 years first.  We spent a lot of time together (yes, that included ‘sleepovers’!) and we holidayed together.  That combined was enough for us to learn whether or not we’d be compatible as housemates.

It’s almost as if it’s now expected of society that couples should live together before they get married.  Personally, I think it’s entirely up to the couple and they should not feel pressure either way.  I just hope that when the time comes for my children to fly the nest and settle down, that they only co-habit for the right reasons, not because it’s cheaper or simply more convenient.

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