When Should You Shift In With A Man?

By Slade Shaw
Author of Why Men Pull Away

Learn exactly what pushes men to leave…and how to NEVER feel abandoned or rejected

Why Men Pull Away…and What Makes Them STAY In Love

When Should You Shift In With a Man?

In today’s no-rules dating game, where there is little social pressure to abstain from sex before marriage, cohabitation has become the name of the game.

The U.S. Census estimates that 70% of couples live together before marrying, and many are choosing cohabitation as an alternative to marriage.

And why not? Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have done it.

Besides, advocates say, commitment is a personal choice that doesn’t need the state’s sanction to be any more valid.

When it comes to relationships and advice, should we be listening to the statistics or should we be following our heart? Or should it be a combination of both?

Are they right? We can’t all be Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, but we can understand how living together affects our chances of living happily-ever-after as a married couple.

First of all, the facts. Although many cohabiting couples believe that living together is a necessary “test run” before marriage, it actually increases their chances of divorcing if they do get married.

Studies even suggest that couples who lived together before getting married feel less satisfied in their marriage and have more negative patterns of communication.

The National Marriage Project published a comprehensive report that addresses the question, “Should We Live Together?”

The report pulls together research from multiple sources to put an end to the myth that living together before the wedding helps your chances of a happy marriage in the long run.

Although addressed to young adults, those of us who are outside its age range should heed its advice.

No matter how much we may think that living together will take our relationship to the next level, it is statistically more likely to damage our relationship in the long term.

One reason may be that men and women view cohabitation differently.

In an article by Cox News Service, Terri Jo Ryan quotes Scott M. Stanley, author of The Power of Commitment:

“Studies show that women consistently misinterpret the meaning of living together…

She’s thinking, ‘We’re on the right track, this is going somewhere’ and he’s thinking, ‘I get to sleep with you every night and I get a clean place to live. Hey, it’s working for me.’”

Ouch.

But here’s the good news…

Like all generalizations, there are exceptions to the rule.

Some couples can live together and later marry with no negative consequences at all.

Other factors may influence the likelihood of a happily committed marriage more than whether or not you lived together beforehand (such as whether you share the same faith, or whether one of you is from a broken home, etc.).

The research cited above is mum on the topic of whether or not couples who have decided to live together permanently suffer the same negative effects as couples who eventually marry.

One fact remains: social pressure does make leaving a marriage a lot harder than leaving a relationship where you were living together.

It says a lot about a man’s degree of commitment when he is willing to tie his financial future to yours by publicly declaring the two of you a couple.

Men today are very much aware of the negative financial impact of divorce, and some may prefer to avoid marriage altogether rather than run the risk.

Every one of us will have our own individual experience of living with a man.

For some, the experience will begin as a grand adventure and end in boredom as what was once special gradually becomes commonplace, and memories of exhilarating dates are replaced by memories of endless nights in front of the television with a takeaway.

Dating is a beautiful period in a relationship that shouldn’t be rushed through when you can still savor the pleasures of single life while also enjoying the pleasures of coupledom.

Whether or not you do decide to live with a man before marriage, do your homework first.

Discuss with your partner how responsibilities will be divided, how you’ll deal with the need for private time, what you’ll do when you’re angry at one another, and what will happen if you do decide to split up.

Simply talking about these issues openly can give you a much better understanding of how compatible you’ll be as roommates.

Discuss what this might mean for the relationship. Is your living arrangement simply a matter of financial convenience, or is it a step toward greater commitment?

I don’t want you to turn this into a marriage proposal, but I want to make sure that you and your man are both on the same page in terms of understanding what living together actually means.

A discussion is best to avoid misunderstandings and heartbreak.

And if it is seen as a road-test for something more permanent, great! It’s a great way of learning more about each other (the good and the bad).

As an aside, if you are looking for greater commitment or want to understand his quirks and peculiarities, check out Why Men Pull Away – it’s a great guide to help you be the girl that finally ‘gets’ him and enables him to open up to you!

And don’t take the statistics too seriously…

When it comes to relationships and advice, if you know the statistics, challenge them to work differently for you and your relationship!

If we let the high divorce rate affect us, none of us would have the courage to get married and defy the odds.

Here’s to happily ever after!

Learn the easy step-by-step method to using “Intrigue Questions” to make him choose to be with you forever.

Why Men Pull Away

5 Comments on "When Should You Shift In With A Man?"

  1. I’d be dubious about “statistics” claiming that co-habitation prior to marrying or engagement damages chances of a happy married life. I think it’s important to test the waters before making such a huge commitment…. ESPECIALLY for younger people. Statistics can be very misleading: “studies” can be biased, and it could well be that the particular demographics of people who marry without having lived together first also happen to be populations who are less likely to divorce, rather than its being cause-effect!

  2. Wow I so think this subject should be written about more often!!! It is such a critical and ignored turning point issue for women. We have been brainwashed and made to feel we somehow HAVE to disrespect ourselves or our need for full secure commitment, to try to convince a man through living together, that we are good enough. It is not true. What is true are the stats you cited. But I believe the stats stem from the fact that most if not almost all, people who live together choose that BECAUSE they already have doubts, communication problems etc in the relationship. So often it is not the best couples with the best chances, who choose living together. Anyway, bravo for the subject…let’s hear some more. Women, you are amazing and beautiful. Women set the standard and call men to be their best selves…let’s practice immense self-respect and love and have fulfilling lives…Hugs, Tiffany

  3. Hi everyone, regardless of what the statistics say, the choice to live together or not before getting married – or tying the knot or not – is ultimately yours. What matters is that you are making an INFORMED decision that will benefit both you and your man. Otherwise, getting married before living together doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t split up (as divorce figures will say).

  4. Call me old fashioned or of high expectations– I met my ex husband ten years ago — we dated two years before we married. During this time he begged me to live with him and I refused repeatedly — our relationship never changed from it. We married and lived happy for two years then he decided we needed to divorce . We did divorce and for four years dsted off and on until this past year and he asked me to marry him again. Fortunately I have grown and have a different frame of mind from my last time with him (from researching my errors and of course dating other men) — needless to say this time around is much better for us both and the live continues to grow and appreciation of each other.
    Thank you for the blogs and information you continue to share with us.

  5. I do not agree. I met my husband when I was 20 years old and we moved in together within the first 6 months of knowing each other. We got along perfectly. He was such a good man and provider in every way. We finally tied the knot (got married) when I turned 31 (when we had kids). He and I were together faithfully for a total of 32 years. We only just divorced last year.

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