Living Together Before Marriage

living together for marriageLiving together before marriage can be a controversial topic and like all things, has its ups and downs.  As you all know, Chris and I have been together for five years.  We aren't married.  We've officially been living together for 4 years and have lived in 4 different states together.

I'm going to start with saying that the point of this post isn't to say who is right or who is wrong, or persuade you to think otherwise. It's really to give my perspective on this topic and hopefully help those considering moving in together decide what's best for them by telling my story and experience.  

It all started when Chris and I got our first place together during my senior year of college.  To be completely honest, we were already at that point in our relationship where we didn't have to think much into the situation of moving in together- we just knew it was the right choice.  I know this probably isn't much help for someone in the situation of contemplating the idea, but here's my advice:  if you find yourself over thinking if you should move in with a significant other, perhaps you're not ready.  Like I said, for Chris and I, it wasn't that big of a deal.  We were already so comfortable with one another, and when you know, you just know. We never stopped to think how things would work, we just knew they would.  We didn't think about how bills would be split, or who would buy the groceries, or what if he/she's messier than I thought, or what about privacy.  None of that was a concern.  From nearly day one, we have always been that "married" couple, just without the official signed papers and a much smaller ring. Everything was, and still is, ours.  There's none of this my stuff vs your stuff, etc.  Everything in the relationship is shared as if we are one, and that's what made living together so soon work for us.  I think when you get to that point, you will know 100% that you are ready and it will work.

So how exactly do you know you're ready?  That's the question that seems impossible to answer.

While I can't speak for every couple out there since every relationship is different, I can give you a look into my experience and what's worked.  There really is no way to know when you're ready, and that's for any aspect in life.  You just have to give it a try or else you'll never know.  I would look at it this way:  if you think it may be too soon or could ruin your relationship- then it probably is and probably will.  I'm not saying that because I'm some fortune teller or something, I'm saying it because if you're thinking along those lines then obviously you have some sort of reservation, meaning perhaps it's not time yet to make that big move.  Wait until you have no more questions because that will most likely mean everything's already figured out. Do you get where I'm going here?  I hope so because I don't think I can put it into words any other way.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.  Living together has been beneficial for us, and realistically if we didn't live together, we might as well because he'd be over all the time anyway or vice versa.  Living together hasn't made us hate each other, or sick of one another, or all of the bad things people fear could happen.  If anything it's made us closer and more comfortable with one another, which isn't a bad thing.

If there's one thing that could possibly be negative about the situation of living together before you're married, it's that you're already comfortable enough with one another and you already feel married, so nothing would be different once you are married. For me, that doesn't matter, but to each their own.  I just personally would rather know everything about a person and be at that comfortable zone before making a large commitment like marriage and I'm a believer in the fact that you just don't really know someone until you live with them.  But if you're craving that new adventure feeling post marriage, maybe wait to live together? Just do what makes you happy!

When it comes down to the actual marriage part, I guess you cold say my views on the topic are a little non-traditional.  After living together in college, Chris gave up his good job to live with me across the country for two years while I attended grad school. He didn't think twice about his choice and neither did I- that's just how we are, like a married couple (you wouldn't leave your spouse behind, now would you!?) From living in Connecticut and Massachusetts together while I was in grad school (the last thing I wanted to do was plan a wedding while in grad school), to where we are now- in Texas, we're perfectly content with where we're at in our relationship.  The school days are over and we can finally settle into a place to call home.  If you asked me what I would want the next step to be, I'd say buy a house together.  Now if that doesn't define living together before marriage then I'm not sure what does!  Some of you wouldn't even consider doing such a thing before being married, but like I said, to each their own. Personally, I would rather pay off student loans and own a home before dumping $20k into a wedding (why the eff does a one night event cost so much), but that's just me.  Sure, the time will come one day, but let's just say my priorities are house first, then the rest, no rush- because when you know, you know!

What are you thoughts on living together before marriage?  Are you considering moving in?  Been there, done that? I'd love to hear your story!

In other news, be sure to head over to Helene's for the Blog Auction! I have some jewelry up for grabs!