Why You Shouldn't Live Together
My husband and I have been married just over two years. Before getting married, we did not live together. We graduated from college in May 2012 and I lived with my best friend and he chose the bachelor life in an apartment closer to his work and about an hour away from me. Because of our upbringing and traditional, Christian beliefs, living together never even crossed our minds. It was a 'given' that that wasn't something we would do.
To tell you the truth, it was one of the smartest things we've done. Let me break it down.
Why you shouldn't live together:
1. Learn independence
Whether you're still in college, just graduated, or out for two years; learning independence and fending for yourself is so important. You take care of your own bills, buy your own clothes, live with your best friends, and simply learn more about yourself. It's a time to decorate however you want, eat whatever you want, and go to bed after reading trash magazines and binge watching Netflix with your best friend (cue Miss Independent). Take this time to prove you can handle yourself. You know where the DMV is and you most certainly can remember to get your oil changed on time. These are good lessons.
This goes along with independence, but it deserves it's own note because financial stability is a very hard lesson to learn. You learn limits fast. Suddenly, you have to choose between the new tops you found at Express, or your next three meals. It's about prioritizing. For me, the value of money and 'things' changed. That time in my life has forever caused me to become a minimalist and never take money for granted. Living off toast for a week because rent, gas, utilities, and my phone bill were due at the same time has never left my memory, and it made me a frugal person. It changes you.
3. You won't take your S.O. for granted
Living apart made me appreciate my relationship more. You worry about each other driving in inclement weather. You miss each other. Seeing each other is special and saying goodbye is hard. Many might agree that living apart made them love their S.O. a little extra.
4. You have to work harder at your relationship
Along with taking each other for granted, you also realize that it still takes work to be together. Dates still need to be planned. Meeting up regularly has to become habitual and take high priority. There's no room for complacency if you want your relationship to work.
5. Physicality is more exciting
So often you come across those articles about how sex stops after marriage. Word of advice: don't live together beforehand. If you choose not to live together, the temptation isn't constantly lurking across the bed. Living apart puts a greater focus on more important portions of your relationship (dating, communication, etc..). Let the sex come later. Let it be new.
6. You'll give more time to friends and family
Whether you're choosing instead to live with your friends/alone/with family, being independent of your S.O. will give you a chance to choose how you spend your time. Again, you will learn to prioritize your relationship, and the relationships you have with others. Your time will be your own.
7. Forces you to take the next step
Why would you bother spending the money, time, and energy to plan a wedding if you're already reaping the benefits of marriage by living together? You've got a great girl sleeping next to you, cooking for you, coming home to you every night... why spend thousands on a wedding or a ring? Yeah, and what if that same girl dumps you one day and takes your dog with her? No legal repercussions. You get as little or as much as you can work out with your ex. So awkward! Not living together forces you to either fish or cut bait. I do not mean this as a way to 'trap' someone in a relationship. But if this person loves you and wants to spend the rest of their life with you, they need to decide for themselves while living independently of you if they are ready to take that step. They would know it would be costly, but the end result would be commitment and companionship for life. Those who say they need to 'test drive the car before they buy it' are missing the point of marriage. You are not always going to have a smooth ride with this person. Sometimes marriage is going to stink. But when you weigh the good against the bad and realize that you are committed to making it work no matter what, and they are too, then make the leap. You don't need to live together to figure that out.
8. Marriage will feel earned
Yes, so often living together would be loads easier. My husband lived 15 minutes from where I worked, but instead I drove 45 minutes. When you spend so much time waiting for things, it feels earned to finally have the things you waited for. I earned it to finally live close to work. He earned it to finally have a beautiful woman cook him dinner. We earned it to receive some gifts to start us off in our life together, from the people who loved us most. We waited to finally spend every day together and wake up next to the person we dreamt of waking up to only months prior. Man, it makes you grateful. Even two+ years later - waking up next to my husband is such a pleasure.
9. Marriage is just... easier
Who pays the rent? Utilities? Do you share groceries? Who pays??? Tom and I lament over this one a lot. All the other good things about marriage aside, everything is just so much easier when you have the same last name. Same checking account, bills in both names, groceries come from one account. Easy peasy. I just can't fathom the stress of trying to make expenses fair when you aren't married. Don't get me wrong, obviously people make it work, but... why? Just for the sake of convenience, marriage is awesome. Haha!
10. It's just more exciting to wait
No, but really. Waiting to live together until you're married is just more fun. I was nervous, excited, worried, etc... and when the day finally came, it was so worth the wait.
It was a privilege and still is. It taught me to not take my spouse for granted. I learned what it was like to not wake up to him when I really wanted to. I had to wait. It wasn't easy, but it was more than worth it. There are so few novelty experiences anymore because we just do what we want when we want to. When you learn patience, you learn to appreciate. Through that you understand gratefulness and becoming less selfish.
What are your thoughts on this? Agree, disagree, indifferent? Everyone will differ on their beliefs and opinions. For us, it was a matter of morals and values based on shared faith. Either way, I hope this gave you something to think about or enjoy. Happy Monday! :)