Shacking up is not on my to-do list.
Call me selfish, close-minded, or old-fashioned, but I do NOT believe in living with your partner/significant other before getting married—aka “shacking up.”
Let me first say I have nothing against those who do; it’s just my personal preference. And here’s why:
- I value my independence
We all have values. Mine include a strong emphasis on privacy, independence, and flexibility. I want to have my own space where I can come home to my own things the way I like them, to come and go at my own pace, to have whoever over whenever and ultimately do as I please without having to consider anyone else (except perhaps neighbors).
- I am old-fashioned
More than my independence, it’s more of a traditional value for me. I’ve grown up hearing how you shouldn’t live with the opposite sex before marriage and witnessed how it was shamed. Thus, I have developed the mindset of marriage being the solidifier to “happily ever after.” It is the event, the covenant, in which I give myself solely and wholly to you. Where we are no longer two, but one ’til death do us part. It is the time where we build together: buying a house, merging finances, having children, etc. So can you blame me for wanting to be a wee bit selfish now? Besides, if we do everything a married couple does BEFORE we’re married, where’s the joy in being married? I want moving in together to be a milestone, when we can begin to grow in our marriage. I want to have all the typical problems normal couples have after sealing the deal for their house. If a ring is the only thing that changes, I fear complacency. Some may argue we can still buy a house, we can still make memories, but that’s not the point.
- It gets complicated
Shacking up complicates things. I’ve seen too many instances when couples move in prematurely and then become dissatisfied with their relationship, but are put in an awkward situation when deciding how to go about dissolving their “cohabitation.” There are other instances when things like pregnancy, distance (from home), finances, etc. force people to stay in situations and relationships they otherwise would not be in.
Ultimately, whether you live together or not it is a decision between you and your partner. I think it CAN be absolutely fine and work out; it just requires a certain level of maturity between the individuals, as well as a strong foundation. Either way, if you ever need some space, know that my couch is always open (that is, when I get a couch of my own)!