I’ve had the idea of writing this for a while now, though I just haven’t realised how I would express it properly until a situation like this occurred to one of my friends recently.
I am against living together before marriage (or at least late engagement) for men and women, with very few exceptional circumstances.
Why? Since living together, especially for traditional women who want their relationship to move forward and settle down, it is literally the worst thing you can do. When a woman does this, she gives away her power and part in a relationship and leaves herself vulnerable, not only financially but also emotionally and commitment-wise.
In short: by living together, you are simulating the situation for married life already, so why would anyone be in a rush to marry?
I’ve heard women, friends or otherwise say:
“No, it’s not! Everyone does it nowadays.”
“We’re just testing to see how it goes.”
That’s some of the most common excuses I hear. Suddenly, the ‘testing’ goes for a few months. Then a year. Then a few years. Then cue the typical complaints that I’ve heard time and again.
“Why hasn’t he mentioned anything?”
“I totally thought he was hinting at engagement last year/month/six months.”
You are already living like man and wife, with the convenience of finance, sex and living conditions. Why would a man give up some of his money to save for a ring and go through a wedding (which can be pricey) and the process when he’s already got it all? Why strive for the milk, when you’ve got the cow. (Maybe that was harsh).This is even more exacerbated when women become extra desperate by giving up their previous home/comfortable conditions/social circles etc to live with their man.
Which is the situation one of my friends has now found herself in. Her man didn’t really have to do anything to keep her, so to say, though she had to give up a lot to go and live with him. In fact, he gained more and more because now she helps him with his payments and provides the convenience of a wife figure without having to commit or sacrifice anything on his part. Now that they are having issues, she feels he isn’t spending enough time with her in their relationship and it has come to ultimatums. I have told her this very phrase: why would he give and risk anything for you when he hasn’t ever risked anything for you and gets so much already?
Let me be clear: I have mentioned to my friend that this is what the situation looks like to me, from the outside, based on what I know from her and what I observe when they are together. I can confirm things like the payments and finances are facts. I told her that her decision in the ultimatum (continue or leave) between them is hers and my opinion is only an outside opinion. She is my dear friend, I don’t have the right to pressure her or make any decisions for her, she’s an adult!
In my personal view, this could have been avoided if she hadn’t given so much herself away and is now in a vulnerable position now that she just wants more time with him. Something so simple, when you think about it and she has nothing to help her prove anything to him. If he decides he’s tired of their issues and leaves, he leaves the relationship richer, having had had a good time while she is left with much less financially and having wasted time that she could have been with someone else more committed.
Living together is something that should be strived for. That is the living conditions of man and wife. It should be a reward and something to progress towards steadily for a couple as they go through the milestones of engagement and then marriage.
When you see your man, alongside you, striving towards commitment too and willing to wait – you can see how much he values you and your relationship because he is putting effort into these things.
When you give him everything he wants, why would he try? As for what you want, for women it’s also about denying ourselves what seems to be an easy way out, it is tempting to be able to be with your SO all the time and stop packing for sleepovers, I admit.
Men are traditionally hunters and more heavily goal-oriented than women, they value more what they have to work harder for (within reason). Then you can see how he truly sees you and your relationship. If he doesn’t want to strive, at least you can see this early and save yourself time by saying buh-bye.
When everything is easy come, a man doesn’t value that -it’s easy go.
But what if it’s for money/travel/etc reasons?
In dire, I mean dire circumstances where you are basically on the edge of being homeless or both living abroad something like that, do it temporarily. If possible, live with a friend instead or your family, you can still save that way!
What if we don’t want to rush to commitment?
That’s cool if that’s your thing. Though be honest, do you actually want commitment at all towards marriage and family? If you do, don’t pretend – this isn’t your thing.
What if we need to test it first?
You can test on holidays and other short-term stays like a sleepover. No need to live together. If you are around your partner a lot and communicate well, you would still manage to get a good idea of how they live day to day.
Earlier I said that there are exceptional circumstances to living together. I have another friend who is now on her way to marrying her partner and they have lived together almost always from the beginning. What makes them successful?
They agreed on a strict timeline towards marriage before living together and both have traditional family backgrounds they could trust each other with.
Many modern couples don’t do this. They are so frightened of talking about commitments, not wanting to ‘scare the guy away’ and all that. If you’ve been together for some time, you should already have communicated well enough to know if you both want commitment in the long term, even just a rough timeline. It is not something you wait a hint for or especially, wait years for for a sign! With the amount of women I’ve seen do this? If I had a dollar for every single one, I’d have a shopping spree.
A good guy, once he knows you well enough in a relationship, will not be afraid of commitment.
This all goes back to knowing what you want when entering a relationship and having good communication. Having some end goal, not just ‘seeing where it goes’. There’s got to be some direction there, even if not a specific goal. This is how so often people, especially women, waste their time on years-long relationships that culminate to nothing.
Unless you can trust your partner since they have a great history of commitment and tradition and you can talk and agree on serious commitment with them – just don’t do it.
Save living under one roof as a reward.
A shining reward for starting on and striving during the journey together as lovers, engagement partners and arriving as husband and wife to continue on the next chapter.
Imagine that amazing feeling of being bridal-style carried into your own home for Day One of your married life!