The line, “if I only knew” has never been more overused than in the context of romance and marriage.
“If I only knew he was going to be a jerk.”
“If I only knew she was a psycho”.
“If I only knew marriage would be so complicated.”
Each line is then usually followed with “I never would have…” But is it okay that you move in together before getting engaged or married just to avoid any regrets? There are always two sides of a story and, in the case of cohabitation, pros and cons.
List of Pros of Cohabitation Before Marriage
1. An opportunity to get to really know each other
Even if you have been boyfriend and girlfriend for a really long time, there are still things about your partner that you may only discover when you live together. This makes cohabitation the perfect time for you to really dig deep and understand one another.
2. Test run before the real thing
Marriage is no joke, and cohabitation can serve as its trial period. This gives you and your partner a chance to explore marriage in its truest form, including the inconsistencies, problems, behavior and thought processes that go into a marital relationship.
3. Teaches you about financial stability
Living together generally means splitting the bills between the two of you, from the rent payment to the cable subscription. This does not only take financial burden off your personal expenses, but also help you and your partner achieve stability where money is concerned.
4. Takes the pressure off the relationship
When you cohabitate with someone, you do not feel like you have to get married just so the other person can be happy and satisfied. The need to get married can be really frustrating, especially if you are unsure if you want to be totally committed to one person, or when you do not believe in the institution of marriage.
List of Cons of Cohabitation Before Marriage
1. Results in a broken engagement
After a few weeks or months of moving in together, you are likely to discover habits, pet peeves or preferences that would not sit well with you or make your partner less desirable. He could turn out to be a deal breaker, which would make you rethink about your relationship. If the situation turns out bad while you are still cohabitating, imagine how things would go when you are officially married.
2. Discover plenty of incompatibilities
Once the honeymoon phase is over, reality will set in. Whatever it is that you thought was cute when you were still dating would become irritating, annoying or frustrating when you are living together. This could lead to a break up that would prove advantageous to a certain extent. You would not want to be married with someone you don’t like, right?
3. Loss of excitement over getting married
A lot of couples who enjoy cohabitation would no longer see the value of being married and making a legally binding commitment. The marriage contract would be nothing more than just a piece of paper that they don’t really need. They simply lose excitement over the prospect of getting married.
4. Increases the pressure to get married
Cohabitation may lessen the pressure to get married, but it can also have the opposite effect. That is, you will be pressured to take habitation to the next level. Your partner would likely expect it and so would the rest of your friends and family.