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Do you have to cohabitate to know if you want to marry someone?

In today's society, relationships come in all shapes and sizes. Couples are customizing their individual relationships to fit what works for them more so, than what meets traditional standards. Many couples are opting to live together before marriage instead of waiting to cohabitate. But the question is, why? Some couples choose to live together to spend more time together. Others do so to save money, perhaps even to save up for that wedding. But many are doing so to test the waters and find out if they even want to get married at all.

Living together before marriage is a big step, but it shouldn't be a trial run!
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Do you have to live with someone before marriage to know if you want to marry them?

The thing is, if you live with someone just as a test for whether or not they are marryable, that leaves the alternative of breaking up with them. That means you are living with them to learn their daily habits and would then break up with someone for, say, leaving the cap off of the toothpaste. If you are willing to break up with someone over petty issues like that, then there are probably much bigger underlying issues that you just don't want to address. And if that is the case, then marriage shouldn't even be in your vocabulary.

You really don't even need to live with someone to learn their "bad habits". You can learn someone's habits and little idiosyncrasies without living together. Just by talking to them on the phone, spending time with them, and going on "sleep-away trips" you can pick up on the little things your significant other does that may or may not annoy you. The question is not, does it annoy you? The question is, can you live with it? Nine times out of ten you can either mention it to them and they can try to work on it or you can work on ignoring it because it's probably not even that serious. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill!

And honestly, you can't really preview marriage. Even if you live together, there will always be new challenges and trials and tribulations that you must face. We grow and change as people over the years, so the things someone does early in the relationship are one thing, but if they pass that "test" and you get married, there could be a whole other realm of annoying things (i.e.: He doesn't get up with the baby in the middle of the night). Do you just up and leave? Someone's personal, daily habits should not be deal-breakers in a relationship.

The point is, no one is perfect. Not even you! Finding out stuff later is all a part of the adventure of having a life-long partner. You should be committing to the person, not their perfection. No one should be auditioning to be your mate. Yes, you should want to get to know them in the courting and dating process, but honestly, you should know whether or not you want to marry them pretty early on. You should live with someone because you want to, not because you have to find out if they're husband or wife material. There are going to be things you don't agree on. That's where compromise comes in. Love is all about compromise. You honestly just have to know and love the person you're marrying and be committed to working on your marriage and relationship continually.

Top 10 Dumb Reasons to Leave Someone After Moving In Together:

  1. They leave the cap off the toothpaste
  2. They put the toilet paper roll on the roll the wrong way
  3. They leave the toilet seat up (or down)
  4. They snore
  5. They leave hair in the sink/drain
  6. They can't cook
  7. They push you off the bed in the middle of the night
  8. They eat up all the groceries
  9. They don't wash the dishes
  10. They leave clothes in the washing machine/dryer for days

Here's what you said on FB:

  • SD: "I think it is best to really get to know someone, before you jump into marriage. Living together is an option."
  • ZR: "I am of the impression that if you have to live with each other to see if it will work, then you haven't been honest enough with each other all along."
  • BH: "The thing about marriage is you take someone for better or worse. You live together, you love each other, you grow together. For better or worse."
  • CD: "No ... cohabitation is an open ended contract ... marriage is a commitment."

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Also read: Why you shouldn't act like you're married when you're not.

©Tara Carr 2014, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA

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