Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thoughts on cohabitation

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?


Lali said...

i think i dont want to live with someone until after the wedding:but i also do not want a wedding and will most likely elope-so i will have to just time it when my lease is up.

who says i am not romantic....;)

ghettogeisha said...

I think you have to go into cohabitation thinking that this is the STEP before marriage. You can't go into that type of situation out of necessity (like "my lease is up, let's move in together")or convenience ("I'm always staying over, why don't I just move in"). Co-habitation shouldn't be taken lightly which is why I think so many people get into messy situation- they entered them with the wrong intentions.
oh btw, I'm Indio's wife- we met once briefly at Volsted. He got me reading your blog too! Great stuff!

Stephanie said...

I was living with someone and didn't know how to end it because of the living situation. We were opposites on pretty much everything, like I did have to compromise by using 2% milk and stuff like that :( I think next time around I'm going to have lengthy talk/inventory list before I live with someone again.

Moonjava said...

I'm against cohabitation before marriage and it's my opinion, one of those that I actually feel pretty strongly about. If I move in with someone, this better be for good, marriage, happily ever after, the whole shebang.

I mean it sounds like the whole moving in thing is a test run for marriage, an easy out so to speak because you can just move out if you don't like living together. I think if I'm in a relationship and I feel serious about my SO, I would definitely say marriage before moving in together. Yes there are things that would come out once we are living together, but I hope that we're not always meeting in public and not at each other's places or talking about things that are important to us both. Toothpaste, noise, sleeping sides, etc...those are little things...that if we had a strong enough relationship shouldn't get in the way of things.

The Novelista Barista said...

oh GOD good conversation topic.... i have been talking about this recently due to all the shit that just went down with my relationship that just ended.
i USED to think it was a good idea... but u know what? after the hell that i just went through i would say no.
I wouldnt wait until u get MARRIED, but at least have the engagement ring so that in CASE it doesnt work out, then u arent married yet...
but def DO NOT DO IT UNLESS U ARE ABOUT TO GET MARRIED.....not worth it....

although i am completely bitter and bias about this situation lol... so i dunno if my opinion is valid right now!

Nina said...

NB- how is it going? I think you did the right thing by moving out.