Why You Should Live Together Before You Get Married

If you’re in a long-term relationship, you’ve probably received a lot of advice (mostly unsolicited) about whether or not you should live with your partner before you get hitched. Obviously, some couples have cultural or religious reasons for not cohabitating, but if you’re considering moving in together pre-proposal, here’s why it’s a really good decision.

1. You can stop living two lives. If you’re already spending some nights at each other’s places, you’ve most likely invested in two toothbrushes, two pairs of those cozy slippers, and two of the exact same hairdryer…because who wants to lug your prized possessions back and forth, right? Well, once you move in together, you’ll get to know what it feels like to have all your favorite things in one place again. Halle-freaking-lujah!

2. It’s a LOT of fun. What’s better than living with one of your best friends? Not much. Every night becomes a fun night, even if you don’t make any special plans. So those random days when all you want to do is come home, put on your sweatpants, and order takeout? That’s now magically considered a date night because you’re doing it with you beloved. Those “House of Cards” marathons just got a whole lot easier to defend.

3. You’ll get to know EVERYTHING about each other. Whether you have a studio, a one-bedroom apartment or a whole house, living in close quarters means you’ll get to experience ALL of your partner’s sides (both the good and the bad). You’ll start to learn the little habits your partner has — that song he hums while vacuuming or the way she likes to organize things — that may never come up outside the comfort of home. It’s important to see these odd quirks and learn how to accept them for what they are and deal with them before they become serious pet-peeves.

4. You’ll learn how to share responsibility. When you share a place, you’ll have to find a way to split up the monetary responsibilities, household chores, and all the little tasks that make life possible. From deciding who pays the rent to who does the groceries and who will walk the dog in the morning, you’ll start to figure out how to compromise and form a solid partnership for all that life throws your way. This collaborative spirit will lead to many important conversations that you NEED to have before you commit to spending forever together.

5. You’ll learn the value of time apart. When you share a couch, a TV, a bathroom, and a kitchen, all of your down time will be spent together as a default. And while you’ll appreciate being able to spend more time with your favorite person in the world, it also becomes easier to spend time away from each other. You’ll start to see the benefits of a Girls’ Night Out and even the importance of a little “you” time. Keep that old saying about how “absence makes the heart grow fonder” in mind as you start to share all those unexpected free moments together. A little separation will help strengthen your relationship tenfold.

-By Claire Aven

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