Some people believe it’s best, some think it’s the worst. Me personally, I don’t know if I could be married to my husband if I didn’t.
My husband (then boyfriend) and I moved in together Summer of 2011, a year after dating. We rented a house together, and lived together in that house for less than 2 years before he got his own place in Memphis, and I eventually prepared to move to Houston solo. I still remember initially our parents were not on board with us living together. My mother specifically said and I quote ” I did not raise you to be shacking up. You never saw me do it.” I heard her, but it was my decision to make. I was financially independent at the time, and I felt it was financially smart to live together as we were spending 90% of our time at home with one another. If I could turn back the hands of time and do it all over again, I think I would have waited a little longer before moving in. Here is why:
When we moved in together, my husband was 20 and I was 24 (Yea I am older so what! lol). Old enough to make choices for ourselves, but lacking the maturity to deal with what came with those choices. When you are young, you don’t know if this relationship is a forever one. One minute you are all in love and fixing dinner every night, the next, you are sitting on the couch with a glass of wine wondering when somebody coming home. It gives you too much availability and access to someone that is not your husband/wife. Think about when you were 20 years old…did you think you were seriously committed to somebody for life? Not to mention, being on a lease together or making big purchases together period and then realizing you have to find a way to get out of all this. True this can be the situation when married too, but before marriage is a whole different ball field.
Jumping the gun and living together can also give someone the impression “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free.” If you are practically living together and providing that husband/wife feel, what is needed with a ring or a confirmation of another level of commitment? Some do not see the need to rock the boat if what they have going on is working. At the time I made the decision to move in with my boyfriend, I do not know if I even thought oh this will lead to marriage. I saw it as cheap rent and having him around all the time lol. After a year or so, we realized this was too much for us to not be married. My husband was definitely not in a place to be proposing and I was not in a place to be accepting. Everything happens in its own timing I guess…I went on to move to Houston, did long distance for a year and got engaged after 5 years of dating.
Another thing to consider is the advantage of seeing how someone lives. Cleanliness, eating habits, what people do when they are “comfortable”…it all comes out when you are living together. For me, I did not see just how much of a clean freak my husband was until we lived together. It was not as intense when we lived in Tennessee, but when he moved to Houston after we were engaged and after living alone for about 2 years, it was more than evident. While it irks me at times, I am appreciative that he prefers things in order and clean. He could have been a slob or one of those men that expect you to pick up after them like their mothers. (Count your blessings! lol) We still have our moments where his standard of clean and mine are not the same, but I am better equipped to handle those moments having lived with him and knowing where he is coming from with his requests.
Now that we are married and parents, I can reflect and see how if we had waited till we were married to move in together, I could see myself feeling overwhelmed. As Christians, I know it is not the way of the Word, but we all sin one way or another. It is a lot of change and transition and learning a person, and doing that after you say I Do…kinda makes me feel like I signed up for it so I wouldn’t be able to change my mind based on living arrangements not being up to par. I also see the importance of waiting as the Word says. Experiencing things for the first time with the person you vowed to spend life with creating memories and first times to always remember. When someone is the one, and God has led them to you, it will all work out in the end. I believe one way or another it always will and it will always be for your good.
So, if you lived with someone and it didn’t work out, count it all joy! If you live with someone and it is still giving you the feels of forever, count it all joy! At the end of the day, the choices we make are ours to make and God allows us to make them. No matter what though, He is always there to guide us and sometimes get us out of the mess we got ourselves into.
With that said, choose wisely : )