If you have only been following my blog for a short while, you probably do not know that Jude and I decided to live together before we got married. A few months after we started dating, we began to talk about how awesome it would be to have our own apartment. It was a little weird to think about that though because in my culture, and the way I was brought up, it was not the most acceptable thing to cohabitate with a loved one before tying the knot. However, after actually going through this experience before marriage, I want to share with you what an awesome idea it is!
Jude and I dated for about two years before we began looking for an apartment. However, we kind of went through living a few days a week together when I moved to Boston. I had a dorm room, and after three semesters, I had my own room! Jude began coming over and sleeping over more often, and it kind of felt like we already were living together. We cooked... We did homework together... We binge-watched movies... And even did my laundry. Lol!
So in my family, it was not really acceptable to move in with a loved one before getting married. You know, it was one of those old-fashioned views on relationships and life. I completely understand that your family may have the same opinion on this topic, and it is difficult to not follow that. In no way am I encouraging you to tell your family to fuck off, and completely ruin that relationship. That is just not worth it!
Also, I am not encouraging you to live with every single boyfriend/girlfriend you have! I knew that I would spend the rest of my life with Jude. In this case, the idea of living with him before marriage was appropriate, and my parents supported it as well! :)
So let me finally tell you why I think it is a good idea to live with your loved one before marriage! The first and most important lesson that I am happy that we learned before marriage is how to live together. It sounds funny, I know... But, we grew up in different families, with slightly different values. For example, in my family, it is not really acceptable to wear outside clothes when we are home. In Jude's, that is a totally normal thing. Our two cultures had to learn to live together!
This was a very simple example, but there were others that we had to learn to deal with. We learned to establish our own family's rules, and it took quite some time. I will be honest that we had several disagreements about domestic stuff, but I think we figured out how to deal with those issues for the most part. So, we didn't have to go through this shock of what to do with each other 24/7 after getting married, because we already figured that out prior to our wedding.
Another plus for living together is that we learned to be ourselves around each other before marriage. Every person tries to be the perfect version of themselves while dating. Sometimes, we pretend to be someone that we are not, and this happens in every single relationship. When living together, I feel like going through the phase of getting to know each other on another level happens faster. I didn't have to deal with this stuff after we got married because I already really knew him! I didn't have to associate getting married and finding out the surprising things about him with something negative, such as leaving his empty water bottle near his bed (which still kind of drives me nuts a little, but I know how to deal with that annoyance). Lol!
Another advantage is we already had established roles in our household before marriage. Imagine you come home from honeymoon, and your expectation is that your loved one will help you with chores, but he does not. You will get frustrated and might be scared to talk to him about, it because you just got married and want to keep that amazing feeling between the two of you. This frustration may bottle up, and it can only lead to fights. We learned how to communicate about this stuff after we moved in together. We established our roles early on, so after we got married, we continued enjoying the feeling of being husband and wife instead of arguing about who does dishes or vacuums or does laundry.
I think it is also important to note that I learned about his family values much more in-depth after we started living together. Yes, we had conversations about that while dating, and living in the dorm, or even when I was at my parents' house. However, actually seeing what was important for Jude in our family was very helpful. I had a very clear idea of how our family would look like after we got married. Living together prior to marriage only showed me that we can exist in the same household, and we would not annoy the fuck out of each other. If I were to have that feeling, it would be extremely stressful to deal with after getting married.
Anyway, those are my reasons for why I think it should be more acceptable to live with your SO before marriage. Everyone may have their own opinions. Your friends may not support that idea, but think about it... Are they really your friends if they do not support you? I kind of learned to do what my brain and heart tell me, and people who love me will support my decisions no matter what!
I hope you like this post! Please share your thoughts on this topic, even if they are the opposite of mine. I would love to have an awesome conversation with you! :)