How to Live Together Before Marriage
Living together before marriage can be a good way to test out your relationship and get a sense of what life might be like as a married couple. Cohabitation can also allow you to determine the best way to share space with your partner and function well together at home. You should focus on setting up the space together and establishing your roles in the space. You should also work on cohabitating well together so you both feel comfortable living under the same roof.
Setting Up the Space
Decide where you both will live.You should start by discussing where you and your partner will live once you move in together. Maybe you will move into your partner's place and you will work together to make the place suitable for you both. Maybe your partner will move in with you or you will both move into a new place together. Decide the terms of where you are both going to be living and try to find an option that is affordable and comfortable for you both.
- If you both still live at home, you may decide to pool your money and get a place together. You should then discuss who's name will be on the lease and how the rent will be paid, such as through your partner's account or your account, every month.
- If you are moving in with your partner into their place, you should decide if your name will be added to the lease. You should also discuss the financial aspects of the move, such as whether you will pay your partner's landlord rent directly or if you will both pay together in one lump sum every month.
Determine how the space will be designed.As you and your partner go through the process of moving in together, you should get together and decide how your new space is going to be set up. You should walk through the space and discuss how large areas will be set up, such as a living room or dining room. Doing this together will allow you to both feel part of the decision making in the space and contribute to the design of the space overall.
- You should also consider how you are going to position furniture and other items in the space. Perhaps your partner will take the larger closet because they have more clothing or you both agree to split the closet equally so you can both fit your stuff in the space.
Combine your existing furniture.You should start by going through your existing furniture with your partner and deciding what to keep and what to throw away. You should work with your partner to try to make the space feel like it belongs to you both. Combining your existing furniture so they work together will make the space feel cohesive and like it belongs to the two of you.
Compromise on design styles.You should feel like you can collaborate with your partner on how the space should be set up and styled. Work together to create a design style that complements both of your tastes. This may mean you will have to make some compromises so you can both feel happy and comfortable in the space.
- For example, maybe your partner prefers a more modern aesthetic and you are more into a rustic, boho style. You may both sit down and make a mood board together to try to combine your design styles. You may also need to compromise on certain items or style choices so your aesthetics fit together better.
Establishing Your Roles in the Space
Determine how you will divide household responsibilities.A big part of living together is sharing household responsibilities well. It is important that you and your partner determine who will do household chores like laundry, dishes, and yard maintenance so it is clear what your roles are in the space. Try to divide the roles so they feel equal and you both feel comfortable taking them on.
- You may decide to create a chores schedule, where your partner knows to take out the garbage on Fridays or you both agree to set aside time on Sundays to do laundry together.
- You may also play to your strengths and designate certain chores to you or your partner based on your preference and skills. If you are a good cook and enjoy cooking, you may take on most of the cooking at home. Your partner may then be on cleaning duty and do the dishes after every meal so you both feel you contribute to the household chores.
- Consider rotating chores that neither of you wants to do. A rotation schedule may be the only fair way to divide the chores.
Discuss how bills will be paid.Another element of living together is dealing with the household finances as a couple. You and your partner should discuss how all the bills will be paid. Doing this will allow you to both feel you are contributing financially and give you a better sense of each other’s financial habits.
Decide how the space will be maintained.You and your partner should also talk about how the space will be maintained in terms of upkeep and repairs. If you have a landlord, you should both have contact information for this person. You should also both be willing to split the cost of any repairs or maintenance of the space.
Cohabitating Well Together
Try to accept your partner’s living habits.Cohabitating with your partner is a good way to get a sense of their living habits. You should try to accept your partner’s living habits, especially if they are minor and harmless. Getting used to their living habits will make the transition into marriage easier for you both in the future.
- For example, maybe your partner prefers to walk around the house in their underwear. You may accept this and feel comfortable doing the same.
- Your partner may have living habits that you do not like, such as a bad habit of leaving dirty clothing lying around or forgetting to put food away. Consider if the living habit is real no-go for you. If it is, you should talk to your partner about it and try to get them to shift this habit to accommodate you.
- If you each have habits that the other does not like, consider working together to make minor changes for each other. For example, your partner may be able to work on putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, while you may be able to start washing your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink.
Create routines at home together.Another big part of living together is being able to create your own routines at home. You and your partner should work on having routines or rituals that you do at home, just the two of you. This will allow you to enjoy the living space together and create positive memories as a couple at home.
- For example, you and your partner may have a Tuesday Taco night where you have tacos and margaritas every Tuesday. Or you may have pizza party Fridays where you order in pizza and watch a movie together.
Give each other alone time.Though you may be thrilled to be living with your partner, you should still try to carve out some alone time. Having alone time at home can ensure you both do not get too comfortable with each other and that you have time on your own. Even if you are a happy, functional couple, having alone time allows you to have a balance of time together and time to yourself.
- For example, maybe your partner goes out for the night with friends and you stay at home on your own. This could give you some alone time to do what you want to do in the space.
- You may also try to create alone time while you are both at home, where you do separate activities in different rooms. This way, you are not feeling crowded or overwhelmed by each other all the time.
QuestionWhat is it called when a couple is living together before marriage?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerUsually, it is referred to as cohabitation. It can also just be called living together.Thanks!
QuestionDo most couples live together before marriage?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerThere has been a tremendous rise in the percentage of couples who live together before marriage in the past 3-5 decades. Depending on the values and religion of the individuals, stigma can be totally removed. Many consider the ability to live together a pre-test for marriage. It remains an individual/couples decision.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are the effects of cohabitation?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerCohabitation can identify areas of a relationship where compromise will have to be developed. It can also introduce a sense of reality into a relationship--that it is not only about romance. It all depends on how couples deal with the difficulties that they encounter--work on them or run away.Thanks!
QuestionCan you live together before marriage in the Catholic Church?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerThis might be a question for a Catholic priest. Teachings are always being updated. Individuals must do what their conscience and values are comfortable with.Thanks!
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