Living together…. should we?

by Rod Smith

I have had a number of letters about “living together.” With a few edits, here is a column published some years ago….

First, as adults, you can do whatever you both decide. But “living together” is deceptive for both persons. There is no commitment even if you say there is. Commitment is making vows in the presence of witnesses and signing a legal, marriage contact. When either of you can “walk” without legal consequence – there is no commitment.

Try buying a house using the same approach. Tell the bank manager (mortgage company) you want to know if you and the house “click,” are compatible. Tell him you love the house and are very committed. Then tell him you are not ready to sign. The obvious will happen: no signature on a contract, no bond (mortgage) on a house in your name.

Living together is no “trial run” on marriage any more than baby-sitting is the same as rearing a child. If you are not ready for marriage, you are not ready. Living together will not make you ready, nor will it tell you what marriage will be like. People who are willing to live together, even by mutual agreement, offer each other no security – which hardly sounds like love!

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2 Comments to “Living together…. should we?”

  1. I lived with my now ex-husband for three years before we wed. He became controlling and possessive almost as soon as the papers were signed! Rod is right; it’s not the same when there is no legal commitment. Of course, I heard words of wisdom once from someone who lived unmarried with her boyfriend for about 20 years – “people who live together that are not married are together because each morning they wake up, they CHOOSE to be together, not because a legal document proclaims it, but out of simple love alone.”

  2. I agree for most people living together is not the same as marriage, especially if neither person has been married before. As in anything there are exceptions where mature couples who live together do very well.

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