Playing House – Is Moving In With Your Partner Good or Bad for Love?
Cohabitation. Moving in with your partner. Otherwise known as a “trial run,” “playing house,” or “shacking up.” It’s when an unmarried couple decides (or believes) that they can tolerate each others’ existence on a full-time basis and move in together. Of course, it’s a lot more common and accepted now than in our parents’ day, but the debate is still very active: should couples live together before they are married?
There are 2 basic schools of thought on the matter. One maintains that a couple that moves in together before they’ve made an official commitment to stay with each other have just gotten engaged to the failure of their relationship. People who believe this say that living together too soon kills “the magic”. They also think a couple will tire of each other after seeing each other day after day after day in every possible state…sick, healthy, happy, pissed off, horny, off-limits (for whatever reason), fresh out of the shower, after maybe skipping a shower for a day, fully decked out in the finest or in basketball shorts and a smile…oh, and the arguments that WILL happen whenever 2 people live with each other. After a while, some people think it just becomes too much for any young love and can spell the death of a relationship.
The other, the one that I subscribe to, states that a couple should absolutely live together, not only before marriage, but as soon as Boyfriend even mentally toys with the idea of making Girlfriend into Fiancé (or the other way around, I guess…don’t want to piss off any fem-power types…this post). If “the magic” in your relationship can be killed just by seeing your lover live their day-to-day life, it ain’t all that magical to begin with.
I say you don’t… wait, can’t really know somebody until you live with them, and you damn sure shouldn’t marry somebody you don’t know. If you’re even thinking about committing the rest of your life to someone, (it’s so easy to forget that’s what a marriage is in the days of 3 month marriages, drive-thru annulments, and a 50% divorce rate…) you should definitely get familiar with their lifestyle, and there’s no better way to get real familiar, real fast than spending a while living under the same roof.
I don’t know about you, but I would want to know whether my future wife snores while sleeping, and under what conditions. Playing house is how you figure that out. I want to know about any weird little quirks she may have…6 months into a marriage is a bad time to decide that you hate when she sings along with movies or that she needs all her food at a certain temperature and doesn’t like when you start eating before she’s ready (whether it be 30 extra seconds or minutes) or that she hates when I talk to football games or never untie my shoes when I take them off.
I want to know whether my future wife will ever try to stop me from eating fries in the car on the way home, and having the car take you to the same place after every time we go to Burger King will help me do just that. It’s not like you’re not going to find these things out anyway…you can have the mystique. Go ahead, date and live separately for 5 years, keep those facades up and say ignorance is bliss… but if you get married, guess what? You two lovebirds just might live together! If you’re not really compatible, and I mean 12-18 hours a day compatible, you’re just delaying the inevitable (except it’s a lot more expensive after you make it official).
Point is, you can love someone all you want, but until you figure out whether you can actually live with them, it’s just not a good idea to commit to doing so. That’s why it helps to move in with your partner and playing house isn’t such a bad thing. I have friends who I can hang out with on a regular basis, but know I could never live with (and have both of us be alive after a few months). Hell, I lived with my parents for a decade or 2…I love them very much like any good son, but the fact that I now pay thousands of dollars a year specifically NOT to live with them should tell you how far that goes. Just sayin’…
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