I was talking to a coworker who told me he recently got married. I asked how long he had been with his girlfriend before they got married and he said two, living together for one. He added that he thinks living together before getting married is very important and that every should do the "test run" before they decide to marry.
"Really?" I asked. After living with my ex boyfriend a few years ago, I vowed never to live with someone again until we were married or getting married.
He said, "No way. There are so many things you need to learn before you decide to spend the rest of your lives together and you only learn that through living together. Like, how do you fall asleep? Do you need to watch TV before bed? Or do you read a book? Do you need absolute darkness and silence? What type of toothpaste do you guys use?
"I like to read. And why can't you just have 2 different toothpastes," I asked. "I need to have to use Sensodine because I have sensitive teeth."
"But then are you going to have 2 of everything? Will you have extra pulp and no pulp OJ? Will you have Whole Milk and Skim? You need to jive and living together is the only way you can find out whether or not you can jive. Who will do the cleaning? Who takes care of the finances? I suck at cleaning, my wife sucks at bills. I watch TV before bed. She needs total darkness. She wears an eye mask, I use earphones."
I talked to Wifey about this and we both agreed that cohabiting would have worked out better if we had more of a commitment with our at the time live in partners. With each argument, each obstacle, the fact that we weren't married led us to the most obvious, lazy solution. "Let's move out." Whereas if we were married, we might have worked harder to make it work.
Also, contradictorily, I might not have stayed in the relationship as long had we had separate mailing addresses. I loved the home we built together more than I loved my ex boyfriend. Each time we broke up I confused feelings of missing my home for missing my boyfriend. I often thought, "Can we make it work so that I wouldn't have to find a new place to live?"
I vowed never to put myself back in that situation again; being miserable just to have a sense of home.
What are your thoughts on cohabitation? Do you think it's essential before marriage? Have you ever been stuck in a relationship because you live together?