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"The Engaged Couple Living Together: Exploring the Pros & Cons of Cohabitation"

Sam Ojong ·

Engaged Couple Living Together

Cohabiting couples are becoming more common, with many couples choosing to live together before getting married. While studies have shown that cohabitors have a higher likelihood of divorce than married couples, this does not mean that all cohabiting relationships are doomed to fail. In fact, living together before marriage can provide valuable insight into a partner's habits and preferences, which can contribute to a successful marriage in the future.

For cohabiting adults, volitional intimacy is an important aspect of family life. Cohabiters choose to live together for various reasons such as convenience, financial stability or simply because they enjoy each other's company. Regardless of the reason behind their decision to live together, unmarried partners say couples who live together need to be committed to making their relationship work.

One of the benefits to an engaged couple living together before marriage is that it allows you to get to know your current partner on a deeper level. You will learn about their habits and preferences finances and even personal space. This knowledge can help you build a stronger bond with your spouse-to-be and make adjustments accordingly.

However, it is important for cohabiting couples not to view living together as a trial run for marriage. Instead, they should approach it as an opportunity for growth and development in their relationship. It is also crucial for them to communicate openly about their expectations and goals for the future.

When it comes time for the wedding ceremony, many cohabiting adults may feel like they have already experienced everything there is in terms of family life with their partner. However, getting married still holds significant meaning and importance in terms of commitment and legal recognition.

Factors to Consider When Living Together Before Marriage


One of the most significant factors to consider when living together as a family before marriage is time. This arrangement can give you a chance to spend more time with your partner and get to know them better on a day-to-day basis. When you live together, you share responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning, and paying bills. These tasks can help you understand each other's habits and preferences.

Minor Reasons

It's important to consider why you want to live together before marriage. If it's just for minor reasons like convenience or saving money, it may not be the best decision. Living together should be a well-thought-out decision that both partners agree upon. It should not be done for trivial reasons that may cause problems in the long run.

Types of Relationships

Every relationship is different, so it's important to consider if living together is the right choice for your specific relationship. Some couples may feel comfortable living together after dating for only a few months, while others may prefer waiting until they have been together for several years. It's essential to assess your relationship and determine if this step is right for both of you.

Life Changes

Living together can be a big life change, so it's important to discuss how this will affect both of your lives and make sure you're both ready for it and you both have the same end goal. You'll need to decide who will pay what bills, how household chores will be divided, and what happens if one person loses their job or gets sick. These are all things that need to be discussed before moving in together.

Future Plans

It's crucial to discuss your future plans as a couple and how living together fits into those plans. This can help ensure that you're both on the same page and have similar goals for your relationship. For example, if one person wants children but the other doesn't, this could cause problems down the road if not addressed beforehand.

Financial Considerations

An engaged couple living together means sharing expenses and financial responsibilities. It's essential to discuss how you'll split the bills and what will happen if one person can't pay their share. You should also consider how living together will affect your finances in the long run, such as saving for a down payment on a house or retirement.


Living together is not only good marriage preparation but it also means sharing a living space, which can be challenging for some people. It's important to discuss boundaries and privacy needs beforehand. For example, if one person needs alone time or prefers certain spaces to be off-limits, this should be respected.


Especially as young adults, living together requires excellent communication skills. You'll need to communicate about everything from household chores to personal issues that may arise. It's crucial to establish open lines of communication and make sure both partners feel comfortable expressing their feelings and concerns.

Cohabitation Agreements

Cohabitation agreements are legal documents that outline each partner's rights and responsibilities when living together. These documents are fairly straightforward and you do not need a degree to understand them. These agreements can cover topics such as property ownership, financial obligations, and what happens if the relationship ends. While not required by law, these agreements can provide peace of mind for both partners.

According to a study by Pew Research Center, 59% of adults believe that cohabitation is acceptable even if couples do not plan on getting married. This shows that more people are accepting of this arrangement than ever before and it is the case now of it almost being normal..

Statistics show that couples who live together before marriage have higher rates of divorce than those who do not. However, this does not mean that living together causes divorce; rather, it may indicate that couples who choose to live together before marriage have different attitudes towards commitment and marriage than those who do not.

One couple decided to move in together after dating for six months because they wanted to save money on rent and spend more time together. They discussed their expectations beforehand and established clear boundaries regarding household chores and privacy needs.

Another couple chose not to live together until after they were engaged because they wanted to maintain their independence and avoid rushing into anything. They felt that waiting until they were ready to get married was the best decision for their relationship.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Together Before Marriage

Living together before marriage has become increasingly common in modern society. While some people may view an engaged couple living together as a necessary step towards marriage, others may see it as an opportunity to test the waters before making a long-term commitment. In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living together before marriage.


Living together before marriage can have several advantages for couples. One of the most significant benefits is that it allows partners to understand each other's habits and preferences better. By sharing a living space, couples can learn about each other's daily routines, likes and dislikes, and pet peeves. This understanding can lead to better communication and a stronger relationship.

Another advantage of living together is that it can help couples identify potential issues or deal-breakers early on. When two people live together, they are bound to encounter conflicts or disagreements at some point. However, by addressing these issues early on, couples have a chance to work through them before getting married.

Additionally, living together can help couples save money on rent or other expenses. Sharing a home means splitting bills and household chores, which can be beneficial for both partners.


While there are many advantages to living together before marriage, there are also some potential downsides that should be considered. One disadvantage is that some studies suggest that couples who live together before marriage may have a slightly higher risk of divorce compared to those who don't. While this correlation does not necessarily mean causation, it's worth noting that cohabitation may not always lead to long-term success.

Another disadvantage is that living together can make it harder for partners to maintain individual identities and personal space. When two people share a home, they must compromise on everything from decor choices to daily schedules. This constant negotiation can sometimes lead to conflicts or feelings of suffocation

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Personal Choice: Why I Could Never Marry Someone Without Living Together First

Living Together Before Marriage: Why It's a Personal Choice

As someone who has been in a committed relationship for several years, I can confidently say that living together before marriage has been one of the best decisions we've made. For me, it was important to truly know my partner's habits and quirks before making a lifelong commitment. In this section, I will discuss why I could never marry someone without living together first.

Realistic View of Your Future Together

The major reason why living together before marriage is crucial is that it gives you a realistic view of what your future together will look like. When you're dating, you may only see each other during planned outings or special occasions. However, when you live with someone, you get to experience their daily routine and see how they handle stress or unexpected situations.

For example, my partner and I have different sleep schedules. While it may seem like a small issue, it can lead to conflicts if not addressed early on. By living together, we were able to find ways to compromise and make adjustments so that both of us could get the rest we needed.

Navigating Conflicts and Disagreements

Another benefit of living together before marriage is that it allows you to learn how to navigate conflicts and disagreements in a way that works for both of you. No relationship is perfect, but being able to communicate effectively during tough times can strengthen your bond.

In our case, we had different expectations when it came to household chores. By discussing our preferences and finding a system that worked for us both, we were able to avoid unnecessary arguments and resentment.

Personal Choice

It's important to remember that living together does not necessarily mean you are committing to each other forever. It's ultimately up to each individual couple whether or not they want to take that step. For me personally, it was important to prioritize my own personal choice when deciding whether or not to live with my partner before marriage.

Everyone's situation is different, and what works for one couple may not work for another. Some couples choose to live separately until they are married, while others may move in together after only a few months of dating. It's important to do what feels right for you and your partner.

Determining Your Future Together

Ultimately, living together before marriage can help you determine if this person is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is a big commitment, and it should not be taken lightly. By living together, you can see how compatible you are in various aspects of your life such as finances, household responsibilities, and future goals.

In fact, studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage have a lower divorce rate than those who don't. This could be because they have already experienced some of the challenges that come with living together and were able to work through them before getting married.

Should Cohabiting Couples Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Separate Before the Wedding?

The Catholic Church recognizes cohabitation as a sin, and it encourages couples to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation before getting married. The purpose of this sacrament is to seek forgiveness for sins committed and start the marriage with a clean slate. This can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.

However, some dioceses require cohabiting couples to separate for a period of time before the wedding in order to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. This requirement may seem harsh, but it is meant to help couples reflect on their actions and make an informed decision about their future together.

It is important to note that celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation does not mean that all past sins are forgiven. It means that one has sought forgiveness from God and made a commitment to avoid repeating those sins in the future.

For cohabiting couples, this commitment may involve separating for a period of time before the wedding. This separation can be difficult, but it allows both individuals time to reflect on their relationship and make sure they are ready for marriage.

Some may argue that separating before the wedding is unnecessary or even harmful to the relationship. However, studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who do not. By separating before the wedding and seeking forgiveness through reconciliation, couples can start their marriage on a stronger foundation.

It is also important for cohabiting couples to understand why living together before marriage is considered a sin by the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that sex outside of marriage goes against God's plan for human sexuality and can lead to emotional pain and spiritual harm.

By choosing to live together outside of marriage, couples are also missing out on many benefits that come with committing themselves fully through marriage. Marriage provides stability, security, and legal protections that are not available through cohabitation.

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The Changing Attitudes Towards Cohabitation: From Taboo to Norm

Cohabitation used to be considered taboo and frowned upon by society. Couples who chose to live together before getting married were often met with disapproval and even scandal. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in attitudes towards cohabitation, with more and more couples choosing to live together before tying the knot.

This change in societal attitudes towards cohabitation has been driven by a variety of factors. One major factor is the changing role of women in society. In the past, women were expected to get married and start a family at a young age. However, as women have gained more opportunities for education and career advancement, they have become less likely to settle down early in life. This has led many couples to choose cohabitation as a way of testing the waters before committing to marriage.

Another factor driving the shift towards cohabitation is changing cultural norms around relationships and marriage. In many cultures, it was once considered unacceptable for couples to live together before getting married. However, as these cultural norms have evolved over time, so too have attitudes towards cohabitation.

As more and more couples choose to live together before getting married, there have also been changes in policies and laws surrounding cohabitation. In many countries, unmarried couples are now granted legal rights that were previously only available to married couples. For example, common-law marriages are now recognized in many jurisdictions as a legal alternative to traditional marriage.

One benefit of this shift towards cohabitation is that it allows couples to test their compatibility before making a long-term commitment like marriage. Living together can help couples learn about each other's habits and quirks without the added pressure of being legally bound together.

However, there are also some potential downsides to cohabitation that should be considered. For example, living together can sometimes lead to complacency or taking each other for granted. Additionally, there is some research to suggest that couples who live together before getting married may be more likely to divorce than those who do not.

Despite these potential drawbacks, it seems clear that cohabitation is becoming an increasingly accepted and even normal way of life for many couples. As society continues to evolve and cultural norms continue to shift, it will be interesting to see how attitudes towards cohabitation continue to change in the years ahead.

Pastoral Issues with Cohabiting Couples in Marriage Preparation

Premarital cohabitation can pose challenges for pastoral ministers during marriage preparation as it goes against the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. While many couples choose to live together before getting married, this practice is not in line with the Catholic Church's teachings on sexual immorality. As such, some diocesan policies require that couples who are cohabiting undergo counseling or a period of living separately before they can be married in the Church.

Pastoral ministers need to approach cohabiting couples with sensitivity and compassion while also upholding the Church's teachings on sexual morality. This can be a difficult balance to strike, but it is essential for helping these couples prepare for marriage in a way that aligns with their faith.

One of the biggest challenges that pastoral ministers face when working with cohabiting couples is helping them understand why premarital sex is considered immoral by the Church. Many young people today see nothing wrong with having sex before marriage, and may not understand why this behavior conflicts with Catholic teaching.

To help these couples gain a deeper understanding of the sacrament of marriage and its importance within the context of their faith, pastoral ministers must be prepared to have frank conversations about sexuality and morality. They must also be willing to listen carefully to each couple's unique concerns and struggles, offering guidance and support as needed.

Another challenge associated with working with cohabiting couples is navigating diocesan policies around premarital counseling and living arrangements. Depending on where they live, some couples may be required to attend counseling sessions or even live apart for a period of time before they can get married in the Church.

While these policies are designed to help ensure that couples enter into marriage fully prepared and committed, they can also create additional stress and uncertainty for those who are already struggling with issues related to premarital cohabitation. Pastoral ministers must therefore work closely with each couple to help them navigate any requirements or restrictions associated with their diocese's marriage preparation policies.

In addition to these challenges, pastoral ministers must also be prepared to offer emotional and spiritual support to cohabiting couples who may be struggling with doubts or fears about their relationship. Many young people today enter into cohabitation as a way of testing the waters before committing to marriage, but this can lead to feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.

By providing a safe and supportive environment for couples to explore their feelings and concerns, pastoral ministers can help them gain greater clarity and confidence in their decision to get married. They can also offer guidance on how to build a strong foundation for their relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and shared values.

Ultimately, working with cohabiting couples requires a great deal of sensitivity, compassion, and understanding on the part of pastoral ministers. By approaching each couple as individuals with unique needs and concerns, they can help guide them towards a deeper understanding of the sacrament of marriage while upholding the Church's teachings on sexual morality.

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How to Begin Working with Cohabiting Couples in Marriage Preparation?

Importance of Marriage Preparation for Cohabiting Couples

Marriage preparation is a crucial step in building a strong foundation for a successful marriage. For cohabiting couples, the need for marriage preparation is even more significant as they face unique challenges compared to non-cohabiting couples and having a good support system for each other is of the utmost importance. Cohabitation has become increasingly common among couples, and while it may seem like an excellent way to test the waters before tying the knot, it can also lead to problems down the road.

Cohabiting couples often struggle with communication issues, financial management, and division of household responsibilities. They may also have different expectations about their future together, especially it's essential to encourage open communication between partners about their goals and expectations for their life together.

Open Communication About Expectations and Goals

One of the most critical factors in preparing cohabiting couples for marriage is encouraging them to communicate openly with each other. It's important that both partners feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or rejection. This includes discussing their expectations and goals for their future together.

If they plan on raising children together, they should discuss how they envision parenting styles and responsibilities. It's essential that both partners are on the same page when it comes to child-rearing since conflicts over parenting can be a significant source of tension in any relationship.

Navigating Potential Conflicts

Living together can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to dividing household responsibilities and managing finances. Cohabiting couples should be prepared to navigate potential conflicts that may arise from these issues by creating a plan that works for both parties.

For example, they could create a chore chart or divide household tasks based on each partner's strengths and preferences. they should establish clear guidelines around budgeting, saving money, paying bills, etc.

Seeking Premarital Counselling or Attending Marriage Preparation Programs

Finally, it's essential to emphasize the importance of seeking premarital counselling from a community figure like a pastoral minister or attending a marriage preparation program. These programs can help couples build stronger relationships by providing them with the tools and resources they need to navigate potential conflicts.

Premarital counselling can also help couples identify any underlying issues that may be affecting their relationship, such as trust issues or communication problems. By addressing these issues before getting married, couples can work together to build a stronger foundation for their future together.

Navigating the Complexities of Living Together Before Marriage as an Engaged Couple

Unmarried couples living together before marriage are becoming more common, especially among young adults of college and high school ages. While this trend is on the rise, it's important to note that it can bring up a host of issues related to differences in age, work practices, and areas of experience. However, living together can also provide an opportunity for engaged couples to experience intimacy and prepare for married life.

One issue that often arises when unmarried couples live together is the lack of legal protection. Unlike married couples, unmarried couples do not have access to the same legal protections and benefits. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to issues related to sex and sexual activity.

Legal agreements can be helpful in navigating these complexities. For example, a cohabitation agreement can outline each partner's rights and responsibilities while they live together. This document can address issues such as how expenses will be divided, who will own property purchased during the relationship, and what will happen if the couple breaks up or one partner dies.

In addition to legal agreements, communication is key in making the most of the experience of living together before marriage. It allows couples to work through any challenges that arise and build a strong foundation for their future together.

One area where communication is particularly important is in regards to intimacy. Engaged couples who choose to live together before marriage may find themselves facing new challenges when it comes to physical intimacy. It's important for partners to discuss their expectations around sex and sexual activity before moving in together.

Another area where communication is crucial is around household chores and work practices. Just like regular married adults, differences in how partners approach housework or manage their time at work can cause tension if not addressed early on in the relationship.

It's also important for partners to communicate about their past experiences with relationships and living situations. Understanding each other's backgrounds can help prevent misunderstandings and build empathy.

While living together before marriage can be a positive experience, it's important to acknowledge that it can also increase the risk of divorce. Studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who do not.

However, this does not mean that living together before marriage is inherently bad for relationships. Rather, it highlights the importance of being intentional about the decision to live together and taking steps to build a strong foundation for the future.

One way to do this is by using the time living together as an opportunity for preparation. Engaged couples can use this time to work on building communication skills, practicing conflict resolution, and establishing shared goals for their future.

It's also important for partners to be aware of any differences in age or areas of experience that may impact their relationship. For example, a woman who has already lived on her own may have different expectations around household chores or finances than a man who has never lived away from home.

By addressing these differences early on in the relationship and working through them with open communication, engaged couples can set themselves up for success in their future marriage.

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Making the Decision to Live Together as an Engaged Couple

Deciding whether or not to live together before marriage is a significant decision that requires careful thought and consideration. While some couples may choose to live together for practical reasons such as saving money or testing compatibility, others may see it as a natural progression towards their end goal of marriage.

It's important to remember that living together is not just about sharing a home and having sex. It's also about commitment, growth, and building a fulfilling life together. So before making the decision to move in with your partner, here are some things you should consider:

1. Your Thought Process

Before making any big decisions, it's essential to understand why you want to live together. Is it because you think it will save money? Or do you see it as a chance for growth and building a stronger relationship? Understanding your motivation behind this decision can help you make an informed choice.

2. Job Stability

Living together means sharing expenses, which can be beneficial if both partners have stable jobs. However, if one partner loses their job or has an unstable income source, it could put undue stress on the relationship.

3. Long-Term Goals

Are both partners on the same page regarding long-term goals? Do they share similar values and beliefs when it comes to marriage and family? These are crucial questions that need answering before deciding to live together.

4. Surveying Your Relationship

It's always good practice to survey your relationship before taking any significant steps forward. Are there any underlying issues that need addressing first? Are both partners ready for this level of commitment?

5. The Degree of Commitment

Cohabitation should never be seen as an alternative to marriage but rather as a stepping stone towards it. Both partners should understand the level of commitment involved in living together and what it means for their future.

6. The Advantages & Disadvantages

There are pros and cons to living together before marriage. While it can be an opportunity for growth and building a stronger relationship, it can also lead to complacency and lack of commitment.

7. The Pastoral Issues

If you're considering living together before marriage, it's essential to seek pastoral guidance. A priest or counselor can help navigate the complexities involved in cohabitation and provide valuable insights into the challenges that may arise.

In conclusion, deciding whether or not to live together as an engaged couple is a significant decision that requires careful thought and consideration. It's important to understand your motivation behind this decision, survey your relationship, consider job stability, long-term goals, and seek pastoral guidance.

Ultimately, cohabitation should never be seen as an alternative to marriage but rather as a stepping stone towards it. By making an informed decision based on these factors, couples can build a strong foundation for their future together.

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