I was a long-time supporter of live-in relationships until recently. I lived with my first two boyfriends, and even though both relationships ended badly and left me in emotional and financial ruins, I still assumed that living together was the next step for my current boyfriend, Joe, and me. Joe and I have been friends for years, and once we started dating, we both knew we had something really special. Before long we were spending all of our time together, and we both figured living together would just make sense. We began looking for a place to rent and starting to figure out our budgets, and the stress of that endeavor led to a lot of arguing. Joe said that he wasn’t ready for us to move in together. He had never lived with anyone before, and he knew that he wasn’t ready for that yet. I was hurt and angry and told him that if he wasn’t ready to live together that I didn’t see why we were even dating, and we broke up.
We remained friends during our break and saw each other occasionally. During the time that we were apart, I learned to appreciate living alone. Once I got over the fear of not having a boyfriend around all the time, I realized that a lot of valuable soul searching can take place in solitude.
Eventually we got back together and took things slowly. When our dates picked up, and we were back to seeing each other every day, I didn’t have the urge to move in together. I loved Joe very much and was very glad to be back together, but I was actually happy living alone.
That was a year ago, and last weekend Joe asked me to marry him (YEAAAA!). We have decided to continue living in our separate apartments until after our wedding next summer.
Most of the writers supporting the “No” side of this debate argue from a religious standpoint, but my experiences have opened my eyes to the many practical, secular reasons for not living together. I have known Joe for years and spent a lot of time with him from which I can predict with great confidence what kind of roommate he will be. And if I find out that he has some disgusting habit that hasn’t come out in our years of dating, then I’ll just have to get over it; I’m marrying him because he is a wonderful, smart, caring, loving, responsible, handsome, easygoing man, and I trust those traits will make him a compromising and considerate roommate. I am so excited for our wedding, because I will finally get to live with this great guy; the only guy I’ve ever been with who has loved me enough, not just to live with me, but to spend the rest of his life married to me.