Should You Live Together Before Getting Engaged?

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Last week I launched a new weekly feature: from now on, every Friday I’ll feature a reader comment from earlier in the week. Sometimes, I’ll publish a beautiful comment that really resonated with me. Other times, I’ll publish a comment from a reader who disagrees with me but whose insight has made me consider something in a new way. And some weeks, I’ll just publish a fun — maybe even a little silly — comment that gave me a good laugh.

Today’s comment comes from Jessica, who responded to Tuesday’s Dear Preston column about a planner whose boyfriend was resisting marriage. Here’s what Jessica had to say:

“I believe it’s a huge mistake when women live with their boyfriends before they are married. They believe the lie that “they’ll get to know each other better,” and figure out if the marriage will work. This trial period of playing house gives people the mindset that if it doesn’t work, they can just walk away. It is extremely difficult to alter that mindset. And, there is no longer any incentive for the man. He is comfortable the way things are, and she is left to dream. Hold your ground, ladies. Don’t move in, and he will get the ring.”

Thanks for your input, Jessica!

Personally, though, I think this is an old-fashioned way of thinking. Because of the current economy, moving in together before marriage can make a lot of sense. I also think that the high divorce rate has made many couples more gun shy about marriage. They don’t want to rush into anything and want to make sure they really know what they are getting into. After all, it’s not about the ring; it’s about compatibility and building a partnership together.

Couples shouldn’t marry until both people feel 100% comfortable. Some men and women are also afraid of getting married — maybe their parents had a rough marriage or divorce, and they don’t want to repeat those mistakes. Living together before getting engaged helps some folks feel more comfortable with the idea of marriage, and I understand that. Everyone has to do what’s best for them.

Dear Readers, what do you think? Did you live with your partner before marriage? Did your children move in with their partners before getting engaged? What about your friends? I’d love to know your experience and point of view. Please share.

Happy Friday, folks! Have a wonderful weekend.

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