Engagements Are A Good Test For Marriage

Proposal in bed

Planning a wedding teaches us a lot about our partner and is an effective trial for married life.

Before I got engaged, I used to think a couple's truest test of compatibility and readiness for marriage was living together. What could be more of a test, I reasoned, than successfully sharing the same space, splitting the bills, and delegating household chores while still enjoying each other's company and remaining sexually attracted to one another? That's why, when my boyfriend proposed after nearly a year and a half of co-habitation, I didn't hesitate in saying 'yes.' I'd lived with a boyfriend before—for over three years—and when that relationship eventually became more like brother-sister than boyfriend-girlfriend, I ended things and wondered if it was even possible for me to live with someone and continue loving him in the romantic sense. But then I met Drew and realized it was.

From the beginning, things clicked into place. We tackled the obstacle of the 700 miles between us, I moved to New York from Chicago, and planned to stay with him until I got a job and found my own place. Secretly, though, I didn't have much intention of finding my own apartment. I used the plan as an "out," in case those first few weeks at Drew's place were a catastrophe and we realized it was too soon for that kind of togetherness. And the truth is, things were a bit of a catastrophe—I was homesick and missed my friends, I couldn't find a job for months, I was running out of money, and I resented that so much of Drew's life remained unchanged while mine had been completely uprooted. But I still liked living with Drew, and he, God bless him, liked living with me. Even when things were bad—oh, and they were a box-of-Kleenex-a-day bad for a while—we still had fun together, still remained attracted to each other, and if that didn't prove compatibility, commitment, and readiness for marriage, what did? Watch: Will Living Together Ruin Your Relationship?

Three weeks away from my wedding, I can say with complete confidence that surviving an engagement and planning a wedding tests a couple's readiness for marriage way more than simply shacking up together does.

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Written by Wendy Atterberry for The Frisky.

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