We've all heard the many opinions rolling around out here in the world about "shacking up" and "cohabitation before marriage": It's bad, it's a sin, you won't get married because the person will get too comfortable, you're playing house, you'll get pregnant, the list goes on. Well I'm here to tell ya, none of that happened to me and I did it for 4 years!
I'm not knocking anyone's viewpoint, I'm simply sharing my story and just another opinion.
Well hopefully by now you've read the my previous posts True Life: It Goes Down in the DM and True Life: I Transplanted For Love, and you know how I met my husband and what it was like for me to uproot my life to be with him.
In the beginning when we decided to live together, we actually were planning to live separately at the same apartment complex. After much thought about double the bills and the possibility that we would spend more time at one of our places more than the other, we decided to just move into a 2 bedroom apartment together with a 6 month lease to test things out.
In my opinion, that was a really smart way to go about "shacking up". We weren't sleeping in the same bedroom, we signed a 6 month lease so in case anything happened we wouldn't be legally "stuck" together for long, and if we needed space we had our own rooms. It was equivalent to living in separate apartments and visiting or staying over each others place only it was everyday.
I definitely struggled with the whole "living together" and seeing each other everyday thing. Not because of any of the usual things said about why shacking is bad, but because I felt like my independence was being taken away. I couldn't come and go as I pleased and I had to consider my then boyfriend with everything I was used to just deciding on my own, such as my whereabouts and what to eat for dinner. Those things seem small now, but they weren't so small then.
After a year of living in a two bedroom and going through our ups and downs we moved into a one bedroom. THAT was the REAL test! Honestly, it worked out even better than the two bedroom because we actually shared our space. "Mine" became OURS.
Living together first definitely was a BENEFIT for our relationship, more than it was drawback. The MAIN benefit of living together before marriage for us was that we learned how to communicate effectively. If we had an argument, instead of slamming the door and leaving the house to go to our own house; we were forced to live under the same roof and work out our issues in hopes to make peace in the home. I'm not saying that living together before marriage is the right thing for EVERYBODY, because sometimes a person is just not "The One" and if you find that out before getting married it's a win if you ask me.
Then again, I guess intent plays a big role in how the outcome turns out after living together. If your reasoning for living together is to keep someone around, because you got pregnant, or something like that it may not be a success but that's a whole other post.
I honestly can say that if my husband and I did not live together before marriage that we probably would not be married today. We got a lot of "issues" out the way that come along with living together. I honestly couldn't imagine if our first time living together was after the wedding. I would imagine that scenario would be even harder after living by myself that long and having to adjust and deal with the mood swings of a whole adult aside from myself. I can barely deal with myself sometimes lol. We learned how to be mindful of each other, the pet peeves of how each other live, and how to grow together vs apart.
As a millennial, I often see and hear the question of whether or not people should live together before marriage. My vote is DO IT! You can learn more about yourself in the process for the better. It's a win win whether it works out or whether it does not because you save yourself the time of having to find certain things out later for both scenarios.
What do you think?