A look at the trends suggests that living together before marriage can lead to a higher rate of divorce.
But a deeper study notes that younger couples that move in together skew the data.
Those couples skewing the data are predisposed to struggle because of their financial situation and — as younger couples — have not fully developed as individuals, so they may eventually grow apart.
To make matters more complicated, couples that move in together may feel more obliged to stay together in the face of gathering storms because they are under the same roof. The slow cracks that damage the foundations of marriage prevail in most cases for these couples.
That’s why it’s important to consider the reasons you’re moving in together. It’s not the moving in together part, but the reason behind it that seems to be the driver of whether cohabitation has a negative effect on a marriage.
If you’re thinking about moving in with your partner, really take a look at why you’re considering it. These four wrong reasons shouldn’t be at the top of your list.
To save money
In several locales — and definitely in New York City, where I live — there are significant savings when splitting a one-bedroom apartment with someone else. Both people in a union should prove they can make ends meet on their own before relying on a partnership to help ease the rent pressures.
To prolong popping the question
Depending on how you look at it, moving in together could accelerate the next step — or slow it down. When I moved in with my girlfriend, some of my friends praised me for “buying more time” before I had to pop the question.
Because “playing house” sounds like a fun next step
A friend of mine recently told me that she almost moved in with her older boyfriend right after college. The idea of owning a house and the challenge of “real life adventure” sounded appealing to her. At the same time, she was incredibly unsettled with her career and several other facets of her life plan. At the last minute, she broke up with him, moved to another town and started a new chapter in her life. The line between starting this new chapter and continuing her original story was incredibly thin.
Because it will help you find yourself
Find yourself on your own. While your potential soul mate may inspire you to change for the better, you should develop and settle down on your own instead of relying on someone else to make it happen.
Living together has gotten a bad rap because the majority of couples that were dictating the data were moving in together too young or with several challenges up front. These couples might have moved into marriage too quickly, and the stresses eventually drove the marriages to divorce.
“Readiness” seems to be the overarching factor for the success of a marriage. Couples can never be completely ready for the dynamic challenges marriage presents, but some can be more ready than others. It seems that several couples who move in together that give the arrangement a bad name are simply rushing things for the wrong reasons.
What are your thoughts on moving in together before marriage?