Couples don’t need to live together before marriage to make it work: blogger

It may be seen as the tradition method, but one blogger says living together after marriage made her relationship stronger. Getty Images

One blogger says there is a strong case for not cohabiting before tying the knot.

In a recent blog for Huffpost U.K., wedding blogger Becca Pountney said although there are pros and cons to both decisions, she and her husband of eight years decided to move in together only after getting married.

“My friends questioned if our marriage would really work, but I firmly believe that if you have spent time whilst dating, building good foundations for marriage and finding out about their values and personality, then you can see past some of those things and find ways to discuss them when they come up,” she wrote on the site.

READ MORE: Nearly half of Canadians feel ‘marriage is simply not necessary’ — poll

The realities

For Pountney, the benefits of living with her husband after marriage meant making her dates more creative and having time and space to explore their own interests.

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She adds she also didn’t have post-wedding blues.

“Many couples feel lost when their wedding planning is finished but this way once the wedding is done you have the excitement of setting up a new home together,” she says. “There are no guarantees that living together before marriage will ensure for a successful relationship and the same can be said for those who decide not to live together. Having the same beliefs, patience and values is at the core of any great marriage and so too is some give and take.”

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This is a method Claire AH, a matchmaker with Friend of a Friend Matchmaking, believes in. She adds whichever route you take, it’s also important not to impose your own values onto other people — or judge them for their own choices.

“Whatever works for the individual is fine. There are lots of reasons to not live together before marriage and there are a lot of valuable reasons [people do],” she tells Global News. “I am a fan of cohabitation before marriage because it’s a good way to know somebody.”

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She adds sometimes couples who don’t live together before committing have a hard time adjusting to their new living arrangements. And it’s not just about cleanliness, either — even though this is an important factor of living together — things like bedtime routines, morning schedules and even finances will all change when people choose to live together.

“It’s also their relationship to their space, alone time, togetherness and even moodiness. You will pick up on these when living together.”

Bringing up the conversation

She says that while common dating trends show more people are living together before tying the knot (and some are not getting married altogether), bringing up the conversation to live together isn’t always easy.

Sometimes it is convenient to move in together, in situations where one partner’s lease is ending or if another partner’s roommate moves out. In major cities like Vancouver and Toronto, it is cheaper to rent together to cut back on cost. But if you just want to take that step and move in together, Claire adds timing is important.

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“If you are the type of couple who has discussions on relationship issues in a more abstract way, one discussion can be around how soon is too soon to move in,” she says.

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“I wouldn’t have the discussion before the year mark, but I know a lot of people who have moved in together earlier. Ultimately it’s good to have a solid base with everyone on their own timeline.”

She adds sometimes people “just know,” but after waiting an appropriate amount of time, being on the same page is the best way to make sure both people don’t feel rushed or forced.

“It’s not a magic trick, it’s two humans speaking maturely.”

Adjusting to change

And like any part of a relationship, moving in together (whenever you decide to do it) is adjusting your own life as well, she adds.

While a lot of us have routines and pet peeves, it can be difficult to live with someone who doesn’t follow the same rules.

READ MORE: Are you ready for marriage? 6 ways to know if it’s right for you

This comes down to compromise, Claire adds, even if it is the obvious answer.

“For someone who likes a clean home, [think about] how much is reasonable for expectations and how to share the work,” she says. “Compromises aren’t about you doing what you want 50 per cent of the time and [the other person] doing what they want 50 per cent of the other time.”
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