Testing cohabitation waters key before wedding

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I hog all the hot water and insist on listening to ‘90s rap in the wee hours of the morning.

If I ever decide to tie the knot, I need to know my significant other can tolerate living with me and all my quirks. Moving in before marriage is the best way to make an intelligent decision about whether or not to marry. 

Romantic relationships tend to bring out the emotional side in all of us, but it’s important to approach aspects of a relationship with a logical mindset. Aspects like moving in together, marriage, or the fact your significant other may not agree with how you handle money, are situations that are best approached level headed.

I moved in with my boyfriend after years of dating and careful thought. Family and friends are constantly asking us when they’ll be receiving wedding invites. But the truth is, I don’t know if we’ll ever get married. Sharing a life and home together and having an intangible commitment to each other might be enough for us.

Whether you’re dating, cohabiting or married, what matters is your mindset. If you’re committed and taking relational steps in a methodical manner, like testing out cohabitation before marriage, those are the things that will help the relationship succeed.

Living together prior to marriage helps couples gain insight to a big and unpleasant part of life: fighting. The way a couple handles fights could potentially make or break a relationship, and the best way see how fights unfold is to share a space. Whether you’re married or unmarried, there’s likely to be an abundance of arguments. However, if the fighting becomes intolerable or abusive, it will be a simpler situation to remove yourself from if you’re unmarried. 

According to the “First Premarital Cohabitation in the United States:2006–2110 National Survey of Family Growth,” published April 4, 2013, by the Centers for Disease Controlmore people are moving in together before marriage and staying together longer. 

I hate the saying, “Why buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free?” And if you’re a woman, you should hate it too. First off, we’re being compared to an animal and a possession.  Secondly, what exactly is the “milk” here? Is it sex? Is it housework? Is it cooking? If so, is that where society thinks the value in a woman lies? Because that is not where my value lies. And if I want to give away my “milk” to someone I love and am committed to but not married to, that’s my choice and that’s OK.

In every type of romantic relationship there are risks involved. Your partner might cheat, spend all the money, or annoy the hell out of you with her ‘90s rap obsession. But living with a person is the best way to get a look into who an individual truly is. And if and when I ever get married, I demand to know the good, bad and the ugly aspects of my partner.