Premarital Cohabitation: Living In Reality Or Living In Sin?

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To move in or not to move in, that is the question! Is it OK for folks to shack up before marriage?

By Straight Male Friend Marcus Osborne for GalTime.com

Periodically, I meet people who still hold fast to the idea of not living with your significant other unless there's a wedding addendum attached to the live-in love agreement. Personally, I don't care one way or the other if a couple decides to "play house." However, there are some definite old-schoolers, traditionalists, and religious types who, in no uncertain terms, will not go for "living in sin" — ever. But if I ever decide to get married again, there's no way I'm not moving in with her first. Here's why.

Related: 'Exclusive', But NOT 'Serious'...What?!

There's no amount of sleepovers that comes close to duplicating the day-to-day rigors of life with another human being sleeping next to you each evening. No plurality of extended vacations matches the daily grind of working through financial decisions big and small. And let's not forget the wealth of easily concealed habits that conspire to drive one to stand up and say, "Hi, my name is Marcus…and I'm an alcoholic."

Let's keep it real. When you live with someone, you sometimes discover how little you actually know about them and then you have to figure out how to make your dysfunctions work with their dysfunctions. Are All Guys A**holes?

Maybe I'm crazy for wanting my daughter to live with her fiance for at least a year before they decide to lock it down. But I would rather she discover that the guy is a d-bag before the paperwork is done. If she's living with him, she can just walk out. If she’s married to that joker, I might have to pull a Suge Knight to extricate her from the situation. And Daddy doesn’t want to do that.

Related: Are You Unrealistic About Romance?

Here are some fun facts about cohabitation:

  • Living together is considered to be more stressful than being married.
  • Just over 50% of first cohabiting couples ever get married.
  • In the United States and in the UK, couples who live together are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples.
  • Couples who lived together before marriage tend to divorce early in their marriage. If their marriage last seven years, then their risk for divorce is the same as couples who didn’t cohabit before marriage.
  • In France and Germany cohabiting couples have a slightly lower risk of divorce.
  • If cohabitation is limited to a person’s future spouse; there is no elevated risk of divorce.
  • In the U.S., cohabiting couples taking premarital education courses or counseling are not at a higher risk for divorce.

So what do you think? Should folks shack up or wait until marriage? Online Dating Fatigue: 5 Steps To Recovery

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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