A Threesome With His Gym Socks: Living Together Before Marriage

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A Threesome With His Gym Socks: Living Together Before Marriage
Living together before marriage is becoming a common practice, but does it make a difference?

Once upon a time, there was an order to romance that was seldom broken: boy took girl on date to the drive-in or malt shop; boy pinned girl at sock hop; boy and girl got married; and then—and only then—boy and girl began living together (white picket fence sold separately). But, in present day, more and more couples are bucking tradition and moving in together before actually saying "I do."

In fact, according to an article in U.S. News, a survey showed that 48 percent of women between the ages of 15 (15?!) and 44 lived with their partner before getting married during the time span of 2006 to 2010. That 48 percent is an 11 percent jump since 2002 and a 41 percent jump since the olden days of 1995. But, does all of this living together really make a marriage more likely to be successful? In honor of my love for ambiguity, the answer is yes and no.

Living Together: The Good And The Bad

Living together before marriage offers several advantages. It saves money, it allows you to spend more time with your partner, and it allows you to know them on a completely different level (cause as the movie Single White Female taught us, you don't really know people until you live with them). In a sense, it lets you know what you're in for before you actually take the plunge.

So, if you do it voluntarily, meaning out of love, out of companionship, and out of the desire to be with each other, then, yes, living together can lead to a more concrete marriage.

However, this isn't likely to be true if you move in with each other out of necessity—he moves in because she just lost her job and can't afford the rent; she moves in because her landlord has decided to no longer allow cats inside the apartment; he moves in because he pulled a Shawn Kemp and there is a baby on the way. For people who move in because they need to, rather than because they want to, the benefits can quickly turn into resentment and regret. 

Living Together Before Marriage: The Smelly

So, as demonstrated above, living in sin can have a positive effect on your eventual marriage. However, this isn't to say that bunking up is not without its difficulties. Living together tends to involve a lot more compromise than living alone—he will have to clean his whiskers out of the bathroom sink, she will have to realize that baseball is on every night—EVERY NIGHT!, he will have to throw his dirty socks into the hamper instead of leaving them sandwiched in the covers of the bed, she will have to learn to put the toilet seat down (as well as a million other little things).

But, because marriage is largely about working together on your problems, living together beforehand makes for good practice. Living together also involves being around each other a lot more, which can make some people feel as if their freedom is being yanked away, and stored under the bathroom sink next to the tampons (yes, guys, living with a woman also involves living with tampons). But, this can easily be amended by respecting each other's space, each other's hobbies, and each other's need to spend time alone or with friends.

Overall, living together before marriage can help prepare you for what marriage truly involves. Just be sure you do it because it's something you really want to do. It can help with finances, allow you to see each other whenever you want, and form a routine (she does the dishes, he does the laundry) that will carry you well into wedded bliss. And, as an added bonus, living together means you can have sex whenever you want—just hopefully not when your parents are visiting.

To learn more about preparing yourself for marriage, click here.

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Michael Griswold

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