My husband and I fully agreed to not live together until we got married. We wanted to save that adventure for after we had committed our lives together.
And what an adventure it was! It may have been the basement of a former strip club, but getting our first home was all the more special because it was something new for both of us.
I’m sure you are wondering why we didn’t live together before we got married. I had seen many of my friends who lived with their boyfriends, and almost every single situation ended badly. It seemed like there was a constant insecurity about where they stood, so their relationship tended to be really unstable. Something as simple as a sock on the floor could turn into an argument about who was more committed. And usually if an argument got heated enough, someone would leave.
Getting married before we moved in together meant we were already committed to each other. So our arguments about the small things tend to stay about the small things. And when it comes to the big things, we know each of us is equally invested.
Now that I am married, I can see just how big the difference is between living with my spouse and living with a boyfriend. When you’ve already exchanged vows, you approach your differences in a whole new way. In past relationships when an issue would arise, my first thought would be: “Do I really want to be with this person?” But my first thought when an argument arises with my husband is: “I love this man so much, I just want to work this out and get past this issue.”
So when my husband leaves his socks around the house, which is a daily occurrence, and never puts away things when he takes them out, it doesn’t spell the end of our relationship. Stuff like that, by itself, shouldn’t make or break a healthy relationship. No matter who you choose, you are always going to have differences around the house anyway.
I think waiting to move in together until we were married meant we knew each other much better than we would have if we had just moved in while we were dating. It gave us the time and space to learn each other, our assets and flaws, and to grow as friends and partners first.
Because we had so many conversations before we moved in about our roles and expectations, living together wasn’t a big change or a hard transition at all. I think a big part of why it went well was because we had grown our love, understanding, affection, and respect for each other, so negotiating the small stuff didn’t turn into major arguments.
Looking back on that first year, I am so glad we waited and did it this way. Waiting to move in together after marriage was so worth it because when we made that lifelong commitment, we entered living together—together.