Living together can be revealing

Shanel Royal

After dating for awhile, a couple may choose to take their relationship a step further by moving in together.  Many couples might contemplate marriage before cohabitating, but there’s no need to move so fast – living together before tying the knot is a great way to find out if a person is right for you.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics said 48 percent of women moved in with a partner before marriage between 2006 and 2010. Living together before marriage allows the couple to get to know each other and serves as a pretrial to married life.

“You get to know a lot of the quirks you wouldn’t get to know by hanging out with somebody because you’re with them 24/7. You see them at their worst as well as their best,” said junior anthropology major Sarah Hawks.

At the start of a relationship, you both hide your flaws or bad habits because you want your date to like you. You avoid conflict because you want to have a happy relationship.  Finding out these habits after marriage can lead you or your significant other questioning your compatibility.

When you get comfortable with another person, you find out his or her morals, values and life goals. This gives insight to your future with your partner and you can decide if he or she is still right for you.

When you share a space you discover if your significant other likes to leave clothes around the house or maybe he or she loves watching television late at night. Knowing these things allows you to get used to them because this is probably how your partner is going to be during marriage.

People get married because they love each other and feel their partner is the right one. A good marriage is steady and smooth, but it can get rocky if you are spending the early stages discovering that your husband or wife has more flaws than you thought he or she did because you didn’t spend enough time getting to know each other.

Junior criminal justice major Kaylie Reiswig said she disagrees with living together before marriage and feels that testing things out is not the right way to go.

“I think it gives you an easy way out whereas when you’re married and you live together you have to work things out because you already committed. If you live together and things get rough, you don’t have a reason to fight (for your relationship).”

For some people, marriage is a huge commitment. It means spending the rest of your life with someone no matter what. Not everyone is ready to jump into that kind of decision so living together before marriage lets them still have a steady partner without the serious commitment.

Living together is also something that doesn’t have to be long term. The decision to stick together forever is not something you or your partner have to feel obligated to do. Couples can move out and still be in a relationship if they don’t like living together.

“You can find out exactly what you have in common, and if you guys have major issues, then maybe that’s someone you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with,” said junior criminal justice major Clay Sears. “If you (and your partner) can’t coexist in the same living space, then it’s just not going to work out.”

If you and your partner are living together before marriage, and it is not working, you can break up without bringing legalities into the situation. Divorce means hiring a lawyer and filing paperwork before you can move on to another person. Breaking up means someone can leave and date another person the next day.

Living together provides the opportunity to really get to know your partner before marriage. It can help you and your partner get to know each other’s best and worst qualities, and give you each time to learn how to work with each other. Marriage is a big commitment and living with your partner beforehand can help strengthen the bond between the two of you.