What does cohabitation really mean? Well, cohabitation implies that you are living with your romantic partner outside of marriage. According to the Pew Research Publication Center (2010) approximately 69% of Americans live together before marriage. Although many cultures and religions disapprove of cohabitation, more and more couples are practicing this type of arrangement. If you are considering moving in together before getting married, there are some things you should consider. Listed below are the pros and cons of cohabitating before marriage.
Pros of Cohabitating
According to Cathie Robertson, a professor at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California (2013), one of the most common advantages of cohabitating is companionship. Living together allows you to relish the company of your partner after work, when you have free time, in the mornings when you wake up and at night before you go to bed. It also gives you an opportunity to see just how compatible you really are before you get married or make a serious commitment to one another.
In a way, you could consider cohabitation a trial period before marriage. In some cases, it is important to live together before getting married because it gives you a chance to experience marriage in its truest form. In other words, you learn each other’s pet peeves, quirks, inconsistencies, behaviors and thought processes before vowing to love one another forever. You also learn how to work through problems and issues that occur within the relationship.
Living together also allows you to have financial stability. When you cohabitate with someone, you generally split the bills between the two of you. In other words, you may pay the mortgage or rent payment, the telephone bill, the electricity bill, the cable bill and the Internet bill, while your partner pays for the groceries, gas and/or any other bills that you amass.
Cohabitation is appealing to a lot of couples because it takes a lot of the financial burden off of one person. In addition, when you cohabitate you save gas money because you no longer have to travel daily or weekly to each other’s residences. In fact, approximately 70% of people view cohabitation as the first step towards marriage (Pew Research Publication Center, 2010).
Another advantage of cohabitating is that it takes the pressure off of the relationship. In other words, you do not have to feel like you have to get married to keep your partner happy and satisfied. You can enjoy each other’s company without entering into a legally binding agreement. There are many reasons why you may prefer to live together without getting married.