I just moved in with my boyfriend of five years, and while we have no immediate plans to marry, we both intend to someday. I've read about the low success rates of people who live together before marriage. I don't think it applies to us, but wonder what your thoughts are. (If it helps, we have no immediate plans because we're in our early 20s and don't want to marry young like our parents did.)
I've seen those grim statistics. But they say only that these people divorced, not that they divorced because they lived together first.
Just to illustrate with the extremes, let's say a couple shacked up out of inexperience with stable family life, or opportunism, or whacked-out priorities (say, to save money), or impatience to play house -- and let's say a baby or pressure or fear or inertia nudged them to wed.
I don't think anyone at the wedding would like this couple's chances.
But couples who cohabit because both partners are informed, mature, committed to each other and committed to a shared life goal -- be it imminent marriage, marriage if compatible, life-partnership if marriage is irrelevant or illegal -- then they'll succeed or fail like anyone else.
So it depends on who you are, and what you expect of all this.
Which brings us to what you expect of all this. You're under the same roof with the mate you chose in your teens, and (presumably) you've pledged not to see other men.
Sound familiar? What if I play the "Leave It to Beaver" theme?
It's a marriage without the marriage, and, if you break up, it will be a divorce without the divorce. Your parents without the paper.
Which, since you're an adult making thoughtful choices of your own free will, puts you at high risk of an "oops" only if you made this choice while in denial about what it is.
Okay, here is the deal:
My girlfriend and I recently got a townhouse together, and everything is great, except one thing: I don't think I'm really in love with her.
It dawned on me a couple of weekends ago when I ran into my best friend, whom I hadn't seen in over three years. We parted back then on bad terms due to my bad judgment, and I realize now that I never fully got over her. I'm not sure whether I should tell my friend what I'm thinking, or just forget about it and concentrate on my current relationship. Any advice?
Advice can't make you love your girlfriend. But it can, I hope, keep you from doing either of the things you suggest. Don't talk to your best friend; she's beside the point till you're single. And don't "forget about it''; that's burying the point.
The point being, you live with someone you don't love. Real estate is to die for, but not to mate tepidly for. And, yoo-hoo, she deserves LOVE.
Wait it out if you're unsure, but not indefinitely. If the truth of "a couple of weekends ago" stands up as a truth for the ages (it does, but you need to see that yourself), then you must tell your girlfriend your heart isn't in this. Oh well.
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