A live-in relationship or living together before marriage is a big leap of faith for a couple. Before taking a plunge to being together after marriage, live-in is the only way to understand each other. Like a mock marriage drill, it is an eye-opener of sorts that introduces a couple to the challenges of cohabitation.
Now, living together is not an easy task. Just like in a marriage, it involves two people making a host of adjustments – from sharing personal space to finances, from emotional outbursts to passionate make-out sessions, from cooking to binge-watching shows and so on.
Such real-life situations act as a true test of a love relationship. As you are ‘two’ individuals with ‘me’ set of identities, it becomes fairly important to analyse whether both of you are ready to acknowledge the ‘we‘ keeping ‘me’ as it is. But, can we say that staying in a live-in for a considerable time prepares you for marriage?
Well, let us explore whether living together does help you take the decision of taking the plunge or not.
Is It A Good Idea To Live Together Before Marriage?
As discussed earlier, cohabiting with a partner is an eye-opener that introduces both of them to the challenging terrain that lies ahead. In the recent past, there has been a constant rise in the cohabitation of the couples in the country.
But despite this trend, the should couples live together debate continues. People come up with live-in vs marriage viewpoints and some also swear by the golden rules of living together that have known to work.
It has become a tried and tested formula for couples to know each other in their personal space, but there are many pros and cons of living together as well. Nearly all the Indian metros have also normalised live-ins. Many youngsters who stay away from their families choose to cohabit with their partners and test their compatibility and commitment.
A similar pattern was observed in the United States where cohabitation statistics show two-thirds of the couples who got married in 2012, had lived together before marrying.
Do marriages last longer if you live together first? Cohabitation statistics in the US showed that couples were living together as early as 1968 and those who lived together had longer marriages and lesser divorces.
Also in the Indian popular culture, cohabiting has become a trend which has worked wonderfully for many celebs. Many even got married to their live-in partners and enjoy a camaraderie and companionship to look up to. Isn’t it a great trend that testifies that live-ins definitely has a future ahead? Well, we definitely think so.
How long should you live in before you get married?
How long is too long for a couple to decide either to get married or not? This question baffles many of the youngsters who are still toying with the idea of cohabitation. For such couples, here is good news. Waiting for three years or more increases the likelihood of you entering the holy matrimony.
It even reduces the likelihood of divorce by 50 per cent. So, when you are beginning a live-in pattern, try and be open to your partner about the 3+ year time to decide the long-term plans of marriage. This will keep you both on the same page, and steer clear a smooth possibility of a satisfying live-in translating into a happy marriage. But, that doesn’t mean you have to spend 3+ years in a live-in.
For many couples, the realisation can come much before it. Here, we suggest you to go with your gut feeling. When you feel the time is right and you found the ‘one’, you can propose the marriage to him/her.
If you ticked the most of the prerequisites mentioned above as ‘yes’, then chances are fair that you have sailed through your live-in phase successfully and are ready to marry. Looking at the current trends, our relationship experts feel that ‘cohabit before commit’ mantra will be a key to realisation for many youngsters to decode their compatibility wisely.
But what is the best time to move in together? It’s probably the time when you feel like coming back to home to the one you love. When you are okay with the farts and warts, the dishevelled hair and no make-up look doesn’t bother you and you look forward to being in the kitchen together.
Related Reading: 10 Tips To Ease Moving In With Your Boyfriend
How Do You Know You Are Ready For Marriage After Living Together?
After spending considerable time cohabiting with each other, marriage is definitely seen as a gradual milestone or transformation for live-in couples.
But living together before marriage does not always mean you are totally ready to tie the knot. Many couples fail to analyse whether they are marrying just for the sake of marriage or share genuine compatibility with each other. If you are still in doubt if marriage should be your next step here is a checklist that can help you decide whether you are ready to be hitched or not.
1. Excited about new beginnings of life
Your live-in partner has brought a ‘Midas touch’ in your life. You feel a sense of completion as he/she has made you a better individual.
You feel more positive in his/her presence than anybody else. You have experienced a great transformation in your personal space and focus in professional life after they came in your life, which symbolises growth.
In short, you feel they are the catalysts for your quality life and you are excited to be with them
2. Keeping marriage above a wedding
Somebody has said it right, ‘a wedding lasts for hours, but a marriage lasts for life.’ If you both are equally invested in the quality of your marriage post cohabiting with each other for the rest of your lives, then this is a great sign ensuring ‘together forever’
3. You take pleasure in enjoying everyday life
Being in a live-in has introduced you to the daily household responsibilities. In a marriage, a couple enjoys a ‘grace’ called honeymoon period, but live-in has no such breathing space. The moment you move in, challenges of life are there to occupy your attention.
Getting a house on rent, managing monthly budgets, cleaning the house, hosting your friends/friends of your partner are some of the life’s new challenges. As we said it earlier, such daily tasks are a mock-drill for marriage, preparing the couple for lifelong challenges.
If you both are able to accommodate such changes in life and still have fun, then it is a great sign of you being ready for a marriage
4. Trust is the core of everything
Live-in has no-strings-attached, where any of the partners can walk-off anytime. Amid so much of uncertainties, trust for each other brings a sense of soothing effect on both the partners. So, if your trust on your partner has no bounds, then this symbolises a stable relationship fit for marriage.
If there is trust in a relationship then the only direction you can think of moving in is marriage.
5. Compatibility through conflicts
They say a couple is not a couple unless they argue over issues, big or small. Living together before marriage exposes a lot of vulnerabilities in a relationship.
At times, finance, household work, the balance between professional and personal life may take shape of arguments and conflicts. But, a couple’s success lies in how they make the most of conflicts and channelise it for great compatibility.
Many couples in a healthy live-in relationship know their priorities quite well and are upfront with their views. They never hesitate in discussing important money matters and responsibilities together and resolve them mutually. This openness in a relationship provides a strong foundation for a healthy marriage
Related Reading: Survival Guide: Dos and don’ts of being in a live-in relationship
6. From if to when…
In the initial stages when you are living together before marriage, both the partners are uncertain whether this would lead them to the holy altar or not.
Amid a lot of doubts, real-world challenges, chaos, and problems, a couple finds strength and compatibility in deciding, ‘Yes! This is the one I want to spend my life with.’ So, when that ‘if we marry’ becomes ‘when we marry‘, this is a great sign symbolising you are ready to be hitched soon. But when the ‘when’ stays iffy then it’s best to think again.
7. Look forward to the ‘we-time’
Even after lots of arguments and disagreements, you can’t imagine your life without him/her. When they go for work trips abroad, you miss their presence and yearn for them to return back. When they are in town, all your eyes and attention are on them.
You feel an instant connect and chemistry with them. The touchy-feely ways make you look forward to the ‘we-time’. Don’t worry! It’s not hormonal; it is a strong signal that you are in true love with your partner. Congrats! You are ready to be married!