For a long time now, several studies have shown that the divorce rate of married couples who have lived together before marriage is alarmingly high.
But what is the real reason behind it?
Is it because they experienced a teaser of marriage before actually getting married or is it because of something else?
There are many reasons behind why living together leads to failure in marriage, but all of them can be nipped in the bud if you really focus on a happy live-in relationship.
How can you making living together before marriage work for you?
The biggest setback of living together is the fact that lovers take the relationship more lightly. You’re not married, so why take it seriously, right? It’s just two lovers living together under one roof, testing the waters of compatibility and cohabitation.
But here’s something you need to think about. If you truly do want to live with each other for the rest of your lives, why are both of you pushing the thought of marriage aside? Getting this answer right will help you determine the success of your relationship.
Living together before getting married is a great way to get to know each other better, but only if both of you focus on the relationship in the right manner.
When you’re not married, it’s easy to get a second thought and think twice about the relationship. You can always walk out of a live-in relationship because both of you are technically not married to each other yet. At the same time, most lovers start taking the other partner for granted while living together, which can end the relationship.
How to make living together before marriage work for you
If both of you want to start living together before marriage, here are 14 things you need to keep in mind to create a successful marriage after moving in together.
#1 Why are you moving in? If both of you want to live together before marriage, be sure about why you want to move in with each other. Is it for the sex, cheaper living or something more valid? If you have a goal in life you want to achieve before tying the knot, speak about it with your partner. But always have a clear valid reason for putting marriage aside.
#2 Date for a few years. Don’t move in unless both of you are extremely serious about living together. Even if there’s a lot of love in the air, enjoy the times when both of you are apart and miss each other, and take things slowly. Moving in together should be a step that should be considered seriously and only as a step before marriage. [Read: Tips to have a long term relationship that lasts]
#3 Living together is not a test. This is the worst mistake that many couples make. If your main intention of moving in together is to test the relationship, you’re bound to find flaws and differences that’ll tear the relationship apart. Don’t look at living together as a test, look at it as a preparation for marriage because both of you are already prepared to commit to each other.
#4 Behave like a married couple. Take each other and the relationship seriously. Prioritize your life and be willing to change for the relationship and for each other.
#5 Fix a date or age. One of the best ways to keep a relationship alive and moving in the right direction is by talking about the relationship and the direction it is heading. If you’re moving in together, then set the next milestone so both of you have a clear direction about the relationship.
Are you waiting to be 30 before getting married? Are both of you saving up for a grand wedding? Fix a clear goal so both of you understand the seriousness of living together. [Read: What is the right age to get married?]
#6 Avoid the infatuation. Don’t ever move in during the infatuation period. It’s that time of the relationship when both of you are crazy about each other, but that’s no excuse to start living together. Always wait for the infatuation to pass and give time for love to mature into a mellow, but deeper kind of love.
#7 Are you ready for marriage? Living together should only be a small pit stop before surging ahead into marriage. Don’t move in together unless you’re already mentally prepared to marry your sweetheart.
Do you genuinely know why you’re putting marriage off if both of you are so madly in love with each other? If you’re just afraid of taking a big step like marriage, you’re definitely not ready to move in with each other. Don’t ever look at living together as an alternative to marriage.
#8 Make long term life plans together. If you want to live together, both of you have to learn to work together as a couple and as a team. Make big plans together even while living together and constantly strive towards it, be it saving up for a house or starting a new venture together. Feel a sense of accomplishment as a couple and you’ll feel more connected to each other. [Read: How to stay in love forever]
#9 Pick up after yourselves. When you meet your lover on a date, you always try to show off your best side. Don’t change that behavior after moving in together. Don’t ever take your partner for granted and always learn to pick up after yourself. In most live-in relationships, one partner almost always starts to take the other partner for granted, which can lead to a failed relationship.
#10 Help each other unconditionally. When you’re living with your partner, try to focus on their needs just as much as your own. You don’t have to wait until both of you are married to do that. Treat each other with love and respect, and help each other achieve little milestones and goals all the time.
#11 Give each other space. Learn to grow as individuals. Don’t lose your own identity just because you’re living together. One of the biggest problems in a marriage or even living together is the lack of individuality. You’re both two different people. Stop trying to be one person, instead be one perfect couple. [Read: The best way to give space in a relationship]
#12 Communicate and argue constructively. Arguments are never a bad thing. But unfinished arguments definitely are. Don’t take your partner or the relationship lightly just because you aren’t married yet. Give your relationship the same level of respect and concern you’d give if you were married already. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship]
#13 If it’s not working out, walk out. Be the best partner you can be for your lover. But don’t continue living together if you’re not happy with each other. And don’t feel guilty and coerce yourself into getting married because you’ve already lived together for so long. [Read: Things to think about before and after moving in with your partner]
#14 Keep it exciting. The first few months of living together may feel exciting, but after a while, having someone around you constantly can start to feel rather claustrophobic, especially when both of you don’t have anything interesting to share or talk about. Always look for ways to keep the relationship exciting and allow your romance to blossom into something that feels better with each passing day.
If you really want this relationship to work out, try to find ways to banish any boredom from the relationship. More often than not, what may start off as boredom while living together can lead to doubts and second thoughts about the relationship and its move into a happy marriage. [Read: Things to talk about in a perfect relationship]
It’s easy to make living together before marriage work for you. All you need to do is give the relationship the same dedication and passion that you would to a real marriage.
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Kirsten Cole doesn’t like falling in love often. Instead she prefers to hop, skip and jump through her perfect, beautiful life. And of course, if the perfect ...