More and more couples today are “cohabitating” meaning they live together without the intention of ever getting married. Once thought of as “shaking up” and frowned up on, the practice is gaining more and more acceptance. But is it really right for you? If you give us five minutes of your time we will give you all the answers you’ll ever need.
What She Said:
What are the benefits of marriage when you can get the same thing by shacking up? On the one hand, it’s nice not having to worry about legalities when you live together. On the other hand, when you get hitched you can throw a party and get a lot of cool gifts! Stepping beyond the material, there is something to be said for standing up together and turning from “boyfriend and girlfriend” to “husband and wife.” (Or whatever lovely combination of partnership you’re in. Everyone deserves to get married, if they so desire!) Taking that step of saying “I do” in front of friends and family can be an incredibly moving moment, as well as the beginning of something deeper.
But what if you don’t want that little piece of paper to “bind” you? Living together is a fulfilling option. It’s great to share a home and a life with someone you love. The experiences will be similar to your married pals – with the convenience of a little mental freedom. You can walk out the door anytime you want to – but you’re choosing to stay!
On the other hand, being married does come with legal backup that can make a lot of things easier – insurance, home ownership, in the event of a medical emergency – you get the drift. Sounds sexy!
Seriously though – there are a lot of things that go hand in hand with getting married. I still hope and believe that people are committing to each other for one big reason – love. Getting hitched isn’t a guarantee, especially considering today’s divorce rates; but it can provide a certain peace of mind in a working partnership.
It really comes down to this – what does your heart tell you? What’s best for you and your partner? A ceremony is one thing – it’s how you treat each other that will matter in the end. There are so many ways to have a happy home – getting hitched is only one of them.
What He Said:
I really wish more people would handle relationships like I do. You’d say: “That was great! Money’s on the dresser! See you next time.” Kidding.
Seriously though, what’s the point of just living together? I don’t know. I mean, yes, you don’t have the “piece of paper” but if you live together long term, over seven years, you’re basically common law anyway. There’s really too much pressure put on people to be married, to have “successful” marriages, to not get divorced and the like, and if you’re a child of divorce, you’re more than likely to be extra sensitive to those pressures. Divorce is painful and messy and that’s just stupid. It should be as easy to get divorced as it is to get married. But it’s not and that can make you gun shy too.
Basically, this is a personal decision and you should make it like you make any other: on your own terms. You shouldn’t get any pressure from your parents, your partner or anyone. And if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Good luck. You’ll need it!