by Jasmine Barnes
Like with all things, living with someone before marriage has its pros and cons. For me, I want to live with my future boyfriend or fiancé before we get married; however, I respect that there are plenty of other people out there who do not believe the same as I do. Moving in with someone is one of the hardest decisions to make but it is also one that nearly everyone has to face at some point in life. To help those that are considering moving in with a significant other, here are some pros and cons.
First, living together before marriage can help one figure out whether he or she can actually live with that other person. This is crucial be- cause some people have gotten married and divorced quickly due to the fact that they can’t stand living with the other person. It could be that the woman in the relationship is incredibly messy to the point where the man can’t take it or that the man snores so loudly that the woman can’t sleep. Living together before marriage is like a test run to prepare for the real thing. The couple can figure out whether or not it is going to work before they seal the deal by getting married.
On the other hand, moving in together can ruin things. Couples can move in together too soon and things won’t work out. If they would have waited until marriage or until they had grown more in love, the living arrangement could have ended up working. Instead, a good relationship ends due to lack of patience. Sometimes the things I mentioned before could be overcome if the couple is in love enough, but if the couple moves in before their love has blossomed, the little things could destroy everything.
Sex is also a big part of moving in together. If you are a Whitworth student who wants to have sex with your significant other, moving off campus is a way not to break one of the Big Three. According to a study conducted at the University of Denver, 70 percent of couples are having sex before marriage. It shouldn’t be a shock to know that there are Whitworth students that fall under that percentage of people. An easy way to respect the university and still have sex is to move off campus.
I’m not saying that everyone who moves in together is having sex. Some people are able to fight the temptation and still wait until marriage, which is the Christian way. Temptation is hard to resist though. If you are the type of person who couldn’t resist the temptation of having sex with your significant other but you want to save your virginity for marriage, then moving in together wouldn’t be a good idea. Sticking to your morals is far more important than doing a live-in test run.
The most important thing is to be open with your significant other before moving in together. Make sure you know what the sexual relationship will be. If it turns out that one person can’t resist temptation and one can, then moving in wouldn’t be wise. If one person is unsure about the longevity of the relationship then moving in could result in one person not having a place to live if the relationship ends. This decision is a tough one that should take a lot of careful thought. My advice is: don’t rush this process. Think it through and don’t hold back.
Barnes is a freshman majoring in English and secondary education. Comments can be sent to email@example.com.
2 Replies to “Premarital move-in should be up to couples”
Thanks for the thoughtful article. But, moral questions aside, there is still more to consider:
According to scholars at Rutgers and the University of Virginia, “Many studies have found that those who live together before marriage have less satisfying marriages and a considerably higher chance of eventually breaking up. One reason is that people who cohabit may be more skittish of commitment and more likely to call it quits when problems arise. But in addition, the very act of living together may lead to attitudes that make happy marriages more difficult. The findings of one recent study, for example, suggest ‘there may be less motivation for cohabiting partners to develop their conflict resolution and support skills.'” (http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/MythsMarriage.pdf)
Further, while it may seem like you need to find out if you are ‘sexually compatible’ with your potential marriage partner, studies also repeatedly show that sex within marriage is both more frequent and more pleasurable.
So there is more to think about here than meets the eye.
Jasmine’s editorial makes a compelling argument for cohabitation before marriage, but only if you reduce it to a list of qualifications you have for your spouse.
If your goal in cohabitation is a test drive with someone, then you will inevitably fail every time. Are they messy? Do they snore? Are they good in bed? The reality is that living with someone will bring about numerous frustrations because people are just plain different.
But marriage is more than that – it’s more than a list of qualifications. In pursuit of someone to spend your life with, don’t just build a list to check off. If that’s what you’re is looking for, then maybe pre-marriage cohab works. However, I think you will find marriage so much more rich and fulfilling if you find someone whom loves you well and whom you can love well. Is it someone who knows you and accepts you despite your flaws? Is it someone who understands what makes you tick? Is is someone you can do life with – who sees your relationship as a fortress against the rest of the chaos of the world? And most of all, do they love you unconditionally, mirroring Christ’s love? And do you offer the same in return? I assure you that finding someone who knows how to love well will be far more fulfilling than finding someone that suits a list of living standards – it will also eliminate the need for “try-outs” and begin a life in marriage as God designed it.