lifestyle

Those people who say you shouldn't live together before you get married? They're wrong.

Try before you buy. 

It’s the relationship conundrum that has haunted young couples for decades: when is the right time to move in together?

Do it too soon, and it could be a death wish upon your previously carefree union; leave it too late and you could spook your partner with commitment issues.

In a (yet another) article chewing the fat on pre-marriage cohabitation, HuffPost is today giving us the heads up that whilst the marriage rate among young people has fallen dramatically, so have divorce rates.

“Australian Institute of Family researcher Lixia Qu said a big reason for the fall was that more couples were living together without being married.” – Huffington Post

So no-one is getting married or divorced any more because they are living with their Prince Charming before marrying him therefore having the chance to realise after two months of living together that he’s actually a total pig who compulsively collects Pokemon cards and leaves his beard trimmings in the bathroom sink.

In short: we’re all dodging a massive shitty-marriage bullet by going for the try-before-you-buy option.

But if your relationship is made to last, then it will take more than leaving the toilet seat up to shake your foundations. Still not convinced?

Here are our top 5 reasons that you should Rent (a place together) Before You Buy and get married etc etc etc.

Reason #1: There is a difference between gross habits, and gross habits.

When you first move in together with your partner, it’s good behaviour all round. You make the bed every morning, you pretend to really like broccoli, and anything involving the toilet is handled discreetly and not discussed. Fast forward a few months, and all bets are off. By this stage you will know what you’re dealing with, and whether it pushes your limits. I once dated a man who made me rub his stomach when he was constipated and I swear to you I still have not recovered.

Living with someone will teach you so much more than if they can cook. Trust me.

Reason #2: If you can’t handle 7 days a week, y’all probably can’t handle ‘forever’.

It’s shocking, I’ll give you that. They are there every night when you go to sleep, and there every morning when you wake up. You will eat together, food shop together, shower together, and work out together. Whilst it’s important to enforce private time in a serious relationship (when I say, ‘go to the pub with the boys’, I promise I actually do mean, ‘go to the pub with the boys’), you will still get a taste as to what it’s like to share a life together. And a toilet. Because if you can share a bathroom, you’re gonna make it, kids.

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Reason #3: Their true colours will be flapping on the line right next to yours.

My mother has long held the opinion that you can tell a lot about what a person is really like by observing how they treat visitors in your home. Keep this is mind the first time you have people around to your shared abode. Do they offer the guests a drink? Do they care if the kitchen is clean before they come over? Do they smile and tell them not to worry when they inevitably break one of your new wine glasses? Visitors maketh the man.

Try before you buy: maybe conquer your first electricity bill payment, before tackling something as serious as, ya know, a prenup.

Reason #4: Sharing is caring. This includes the TV remote.

As someone who managed to convince a previous boyfriend that I knew how to drive for almost six months, I know that glossing up your exterior is very easy prior to living together. However, once you cohabitate, the truth comes out, and one red flag to watch for is their ability to share. Bearing in mind that marriage = ‘what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours’; living together is a dry run of sharing. This includes but is not limited to:

  • The TV
  • A bed
  • The food shopping
  • Cooking
  • WIFI
  • A single bathroom
  • A room
  • A letterbox
  • Bills
  • Annoying neighbours
  • Music
  • Possibly a razor
  • A toilet
  • Choice in movies

And the list rolls on. If you aren’t happy to share, then maybe marriage is not for you.

Reason #5: When the going gets tough, you need to know they’re not going.

Finally, the most important reason of all: you need to test out their resilience in the face of disaster. At some point of your time living together, something bad will happen. From broken shower heads to broken legs, family drama to work drama, life is not smooth sailing – so you need to make sure your partner will act as your rock and can weather the storm. Not a rock in the ocean during the storm, obviously. That would make your ship sink. (Did I use too many analogies?)

Just so you know, the whole ‘reading paper in bed together’ thing DOES happen. And it’s just as cute as you think it will be.

Letting go of those early days, where everything was magic and you were able to hide your Sunday-night-pizza-in-bed routine is not easy. But what comes next is actually so much better. Why? Because if you’ve got it right, you’ll now have someone who will eat pizza in bed right alongside you.

…. and clean up after, too.

Do you think that living together is the direct cause of the marriage and divorce rate going down? 

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