Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Dash of Advice

I am Jayme and I approve this message.

I cannot recommend living with your fiance highly enough. Joe and I moved in together in August last year, and yes at first, we drove each other crazy. This lasted for about two weeks, and then it has been smooth sailing ever since. For the other two and a half years of our relationship, we've lived separately. This led to constant fights over stupid, minute things and arguments with each others' roommates. We thought living together would solve all our problems, and strangely enough, that's exactly what happened.

Not only did this opportunity fix a previously broken living situation, but I recommend it for everyone who is in a long-term relationship for many reasons. Staying the night at each others' places frequently (or even every night) does not equal living together. It's very different. Living together means being in the same space at almost all times (outside of work and class). It also means paying the bills together, making important financial decisions together, and - most importantly - learning if you can actually stand living together.

I am very afraid of divorce. My parents divorced when I was very small, and it was hard growing up in that environment - and I'm sure all children from divorced families know exactly what I'm saying. I firmly believe that living together before marriage can prevent divorce. There are a lot of other things I believe can help prevent divorce, but this post could turn political quickly. If the first experience you and your intended have living together is after the wedding, neither of you really know what it will be like - if it ends up being terrible, odds are the marriage will be too. If Person A has certain tics and habits that Person B just can't stand, living together gives you the opportunity to work through these problems or just realize that maybe it wasn't meant to be.

I'm not discrediting traditionalists that believe this is considered 'living in sin' or that a groom shouldn't see a bride in the dress before the ceremony begins. I'm merely stating that these are not laws - no one is going to burn in a fiery pit over living together for a couple years before marriage and that a first look on the wedding day can be one of the most emotional and private moments the bride and groom get on their wedding day. That's a different post, however. I'm just asserting that living together can be both very eye-opening and very rewarding. It's like taking a couple classes at community college before going on to get your bachelor's degree... It's preparation, and a lot of fun.