There’s an old saying: “Why buy the cow when the milk is free?” This idiom is usually used to refer to men who don’t want to get married when they can get all the benefits of marriage without doing so.
These days, the idea is, why get married if you can just live together? But I have a different take on it; I’ve always believed in test-driving a car before I buy it. Marriage is the most important decision a person will make in her life. It is not one to be entered into lightly. Now that living together is socially acceptable, doesn’t it make sense to have all the information before going into such a serious union? You wouldn’t purchase a house without seeing it, start a business without researching it, or buy a car without test-driving it. So it makes sense to live together before committing to marriage.
Part of a great marriage is finding someone who is a good roommate.
No matter how much you love someone, if you are a neat freak, and he’s a slob, you’re going to have a difficult time, especially as the shine begins to fade off your relationship. By living together first, you can determine whether your differences are doable or insurmountable.
Another great reason to cohabit prior to marriage is to ascertain your partner’s spending habits.
As you combine houses and expenses, you’ll get a good idea of your prospective mate’s attitude towards finances. Is he always three days late to pay a bill? Is he able to prioritize costs? Is he a saver or a spender? Money is one of the main reasons why spouses fight and divorce, so it is important to understand your lover’s financial views prior to marriage.
Living together is the ultimate test as to whether your relationship can withstand the monotony of everyday life.
Life isn’t always fun times. Can your relationship stand up to the not-so-fun times, especially when you aren’t able to just escape to your own house when you have a fight? You’ll also get a better idea if you are sexually compatible when you sleep in the same bed every night.
Of course, there are those who don’t approve of cohabitation before marriage, claiming that it leads to less satisfying marriages and a higher rate of divorce. But if you are like me, someone who doesn’t just jump into serious commitments without being fully informed, the decision to cohabit prior to marriage is a no-brainer.
Isn’t it better to taste the free milk to determine whether it will soon spoil?
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About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.