Cohabitation: Is It Smart to Live with Your Partner Without Getting Married?

Last Updated on May 14, 2023

Is it better for us to live together before getting married or not? It’s a classic question. The responses to this question can vary greatly depending on your background. Cohabitation, which refers to a situation in which two people live together before marrying, is no longer considered unusual by the majority of people, as the practice is on the rise.

It used to be frowned upon to live with your significant other before getting married. However, it appears that not cohabiting is now considered inappropriate. That isn’t to say it’s suitable for everyone. It all depends on the persons involved when it comes to deciding whether to cohabitate before marriage, just like it does with other issues concerning relationships. Of course, it isn’t for everyone, and not every couple that decides to co-sign an apartment lease before obtaining a marriage licence will marry.

When you consider all of the advantages of marriage, it’s fair to believe cohabitation could offer equal advantages—after all, the only tangible difference between marriage and cohabitation is a sheet of paper. However, a previous study has found that relationships between couples who live together before marriage have “very short durations and significant degrees of instability.” According to studies, these relationships last on average less than two years, with only 40% of them ending in marriage.

Marriage is, interestingly, rapidly becoming a numbers game. Wealth can predict marriage independently, with couples who own a home and receive interest from their financial holdings being more likely to marry. To put it another way, the more money you make, the more likely you are to marry, especially if you and your partner have similar incomes. Couples who are less well off, on the other hand, are more prone to divorce.

There are numerous elements that can influence your decision to move in together or not. There are advantages and disadvantages to cohabiting, no matter where you fall. Let’s break them down, bearing in mind that just because one couple lives together before marriage, it doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.

The Pros of Cohabitation

Your Relationship May Be Deepened and Enriched

Every love connection, according to one philosopher, contains at least three types of intimacy, perhaps four: emotional, physical, volitional, and spiritual for some others. The more well-known forms of intimacy include emotional and physical intimacy. The first entails sharing your emotional and mental life with the other, as well as how you’re feeling; the second, well, you already know (cuddling, sex etcetera). Volitional intimacy, on the other hand, is about two individuals making decisions together. When a couple decides to acquire and raise a dog jointly, for example, they are making a new (and significant) commitment to each other to raise a dog collectively. Finally, there’s spiritual intimacy, which is the intimacy exchanged between two people when their spiritual lives intersect.

What makes a relationship or marriage “healthy and strong” now is when these various forms of intimacy work in lockstep with one another. If the couple bought a property together after the first date, for example, it might not be the best thing for the relationship. The emotional intimacy does not match the volitional intimacy.

Perhaps you’ve been dating for a few years and are now engaged, and your relationship is emotionally and physically gratifying. As the next step in your volitional intimacy, you’re considering moving in together. Taking this step could significantly improve and deepen your relationship. Perhaps, but perhaps not. Other circumstances will influence what happens, but this enhanced level of volitional intimacy is unquestionably good.

Read: Discussing Prenups: How to Avoid Conflict with Your Partner

The Stresses Of Getting Married Can Be Eased

Living together before getting married can help alleviate some of the difficulties of marriage. As you may or may not be aware, getting married is a difficult process. There are so many things to do, and so little time (along with everything else you’re probably doing). One of the advantages of moving in together before getting married is that you can save time closer to your wedding date. Rather than focusing on relocating your possessions to your partner’s apartment or both of your belongings into a new place on the day of your wedding, you can relieve tension by doing it ahead of time.

Reducing Your Expenses Can Save You More Money

One of the most common reasons for couples to move live together before getting married is financial reasons. Simply enough, combining homes can save you money. You save money by paying one rent or mortgage, one set of utilities, and one set of housing maintenance expenditures by living together before getting married. It’s difficult to dismiss the financial benefits of sharing a living space with your partner before getting married.

Living together before getting married appears to be a definite positive in terms of lowering your expenses. Couples, on the other hand, frequently find other ways to spend the money they would have saved. So, if you’re thinking about moving in together before marriage to save money, make sure you have procedures in place to assist you really saving that money.

The Cons of Cohabitation

Cohabiting Couples are not Protected By The Law

Did you know that couples who live together but are not married cannot claim the same rights as married couples? Many couples assume that they are protected as “common law spouses” if they live together even if they are not married. There is no such thing as a common law spouse or a common law marriage, regrettably. Those who just live with their partner without marrying them are putting their lives in danger. In the event that their partnership fails, they have virtually little protection. All cohabiting couples, even those who have been together for many years, are affected by the lack of protection.

Cutting Ties Becomes Harder

When compared to simply sharing a shelter, marriage usually entails a greater level of commitment, which likely correlates to people putting in more effort with that level of loyalty. When you’re dating and you start to integrate your lives by moving in together, on the other hand, it’s more harder to split up if you need to. This could be one of the reasons why research suggests that while living with your spouse before marriage increases your chances of success in the first year, it also increases your chances of divorce later on.

It’s possible that once you move in together, you discover it’s too difficult to break up, so you marry instead. Years later, you may decide it’s not for you and divorce is the result. So, even before you share a front door, figuring out your level of devotion to the relationship could be the key to avoiding divorce down the road.


Whether or not cohabitation is good for a relationship is entirely subjective. It depends on a number of factors. The answer varies depending on who you ask. While it is becoming increasingly more acceptable, there are still a good number of people who have their reservations about it. If the couple are ok with the sneers they may get from those who do not believe in cohabiting and have friends and family that support their decision, then all they have to focus on is their growth as a couple in all aspects of their lives.

Some people believe that cohabitation brings a couple together and helps them discover more about each other. From eating habits to hygiene, you’ll learn more things about your partner. though I must warn you some will be cute, others will be… hopefully tolerable.


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