One of the things I remember from childhood is the innocent, if not irritating, repetition of four-line songs on the playground. One lyric in particular seems to have embedded itself in my memory and lasted through the years: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage.” I am sure most of my fellow college students remember it well.
Now that I am in my third year of college and in love, I find myself trying to shirk the marriage step by thinking of something that could be put in the middle of love and marriage. I am not alone. Many of my friends think about moving in with their boyfriends or girlfriends in order to fill the gap, and just as many others are actually taking the plunge.
While moving in with your significant other may seem like the perfect solution to help stall the big walk down the aisle, it isn’t. In fact, it will eventually have the opposite effect on your relationship, and more than likely you’ll end up old, alone and unhappy. Your beauty will have faded, and the fellow singles in your now middle-aged category will be seeking younger, more nimble models. You’ll wish you could have done something to save your marriage.
Marriage is something that most of us will inevitably come to face within the next five to 10 years. I have always loved the idea of my hypothetical husband carrying me up the steps of our first home together after a big, beautiful, white wedding. Yet, if we moved in together before getting hitched, that dream would no longer be able to become reality.
I do believe that couples who move in together before marriage can find ways to make it work, but the odds are against them. I was raised in the nuclear insulation of a Christian home. I have since come to form my own beliefs and do not believe my upbringing influences this decision. What does influence my opinion is not only the dream of sharing my first home with my loved one after marriage, but also objective proof all around me. It is easy to spot the unhappy couple stuck in a marriage because of children or for financial reasons. I can only hope that my future marriage will not mirror that of others and that I will indeed have the fairy tale ever after I have dreamt of.
I can’t say I don’t see the benefits of moving in with your lover, especially considering the current state of the economy. Splitting rent with someone who’s already constantly with you seems efficient. And, as I see it, the biggest benefit of cohabitating is that you find out all of your significant other’s vices before deciding to take the leap into marriage. If you can withstand repeat exposure to his or her previously hidden idiosyncrasies, it’s a good sign things are working out. And if your partner has a habit so repulsive it becomes a deal breaker, well, you have the opportunity to dodge the...