Living together before marriage is often seen as a trial or a test for the newly coming of age generation. When I was in college and in my early 20’s I was in a long-term committed relationship that I believed would evolve as soon as we both graduated and moved in together. We both made the leap and shared a small apartment. However, living together eventually ruined the relationship from some unexpected reasons. Below are the top five reasons why moving in together before marriage is a risky move for your relationship.
The young and naïve younger version of myself assumed that moving in together would equate to unlimited sex, intimacy and romantic bliss. The actuality is that when you see the person that you are dating every minute of the day outside of work, you end up growing tense with each other resulting in limited intimacy. Think back to your first date. You probably spent hours picking out of the right outfit, making sure you were perfect before leaving the house and watching exactly what you said. When your relationship moves to the living together stage, you stop, doing all the things that makes the first few dates interesting and caring. From my experience, the intimacy starts to die when there is no privacy for yourself or imagination of your partner when you are not with them.
Moving in together destroys the boundaries of privacy between two separate individuals. No longer do you have your bed that is only shared on occasion, no separate bathrooms and no separate living areas. The biggest challenge to lost privacy is not being able to have your own time in your shared space, which results in more arguments and relationship destroying fights.
During college and post-college, I’ had several roommates before the eventual move in with my girlfriend. For the most part, these roommates were good friends that I knew before living together. No matter how good the friendship was, there were always fights that resulted from differences between cleaning, morning schedules and music choices. When you move in with your significant other, you will have more fights due to innate differences that were never noticed during the initial dating phase. While everyone will have a different reason to fight, the fights will be more frequent when moving in while still newly dating.
Commitment without Commitment
The reason that the older generations waited to move in with one another after marriage was to solidify a commitment that could not easily be broken. Buying a house or renting an apartment is a commitment; whether that is a mortgage or a lease, it creates a long term commitment. If the relationship starts to fail, you will go through the awkward phase of determining how to split up the house, or break the lease. The uncomfortable move out after the breakup not only creates financial stress, but emotional as well.
No More Imagination
Think back to when you were 3 or 4 years old and every time you played you were able to create a vivid back-story that required imagination. As we get older our use of our imagination shifts from playtime to using imagination of our partner. When we first start dating that use of imagination is what creates a mystery that keeps men thinking and intrigued. Once we move in the imagination all but vanishes, especially once you start sharing the same bathroom and dressing down because the comfort level is now greater and uninhibited.