Opinion: Never Marry A Guy If You Haven’t Moved In Together Yet

I can’t imagine how marriages were ever successful in the days before it was no biggie to move in with your significant other. I lived with my husband before we were married, and there were so many things it did for our relationship that have helped us stay strong and get through hard times. Here’s why:

  1. Loving someone doesn’t mean you can live with them. Anyone who’s ever been roommates with a friend knows the truth of this. Just because you get along with a person when you’re hanging out, that doesn’t mean you’ve got what it takes to live together successfully. Jumping into a long-term commitment with someone without testing this out first is just asking for trouble.
  2. You’re going to live together when you’re married anyway. If the idea of moving in with your guy freaks you out, why on earth would you ever consider something even heavier likemarriage? You’re going to have to make that next step sooner or later if you want a future together. If you skip it, it’s like going from being a couch potato to running a marathon without any training to prepare you.
  3. You learn a lot from someone by seeing how they live. Loving someone for the rest of your life means accepting them, issues and all. And when you live together, it’s a lot harder for you to conceal the fact that you’ve got a grasp on your finances or your guy gets hella cranky when he hasn’t slept well. These are the things that can slowly eat away at a marriage, so it’s best to face them now so you know what you’re getting into.
  4. There’s nowhere to hide. If you get into a fight while living together, it’s harder to just take off and give yourself a couple days to cool down. This is a good thing. When you have to face the person you’re mad at the next morning, you’re forced to talk and work things out in a way you never have to when you’ve got your own place to crash at. You learn if your relationship can through issues or if you only work when you interact on a casual basis.
  5. It’s the ultimate lesson in compromise. You hate clutter; he doesn’t see a mess unless he’s literally tripping over it. He likes to plan his meals out for the week ahead of time; your style is more “see what’s in the fridge and get creative.” When you share the same space and the same stuff, it forces you to learn to find common ground in your differences. This is a skill you’ll need if you get married.
  6. The mystery dies. It can be hard to find someone sexy when you’ve seen them fight off the flu or accidentally leave the bathroom door open. But this isn’t necessarily bad. If you can accept that you’re both human (and that sometimes humans can be gross) and STILL find each other attractive, it means your love is truly meant to be.
  7. Combining households is a good test run for combining your lives. If you can’t come to terms over how to decorate or who does what chores, chances are you’ll never be able to make bigger decisions together like where to move or whether to have kids. It’s better to know this now, when the biggest decision you have to face is whose couch you’re keeping and whose you’re tossing to the curb.
  8. It’s harder to put up a front. When you’re dating someone, it’s easy to only show the other person the best version of yourself. But when you live together, you see it all — good, bad, and ugly. It’s a great eye-opener that will show you if this is really the person you want to make a permanent part of your life.
  9. You become a stronger team. Living together makes you join forces in a way you’d never do if you only sleep over at each other’s places. When your homes are combined, you feel like your lives are more combined, and you’re more likely to feel invested in each other’s worlds. You become an “us” more than a “me and him.”
  10. You get to start your lives together. If you can’t wait to get married so you can start your lives together, then don’t wait. It takes time to save up for and plan a wedding, but living together is one legal document away from the same thing. Why postpone until you’ve said “I do” if you really want to join your lives?
Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.