“Call me old fashioned by why don’t you just live in sin?”, my mother actually said this to me several years ago while I was dating my husband. Funny right? My mother is the only person I know who has lived with a boyfriend and actually made it work. 18 years ago she and my now step-dad Byron began dating. It wasn’t long before Byron moved in with us and that was ok because he was a great guy and moving in seemed to be the normal thing to do, right? It wasn’t until 2 years ago they actually, officially tied the knot and got married. I have never known any other couple to live together before getting married and have the relationship actually work out in the long run. Think about it. How many people do you know that have been together that long or longer who started off their marriage by living together first? Yes, there are some exceptions out there, my parents being one of them.
When my husband Glenn and I began dating we took things very very slow. 1) We both had kids. 2) We were both recently divorced. 3) We didn’t want to screw this up. For those several reasons, and including religious and moral beliefs, we decided not to live together before marriage. I am an avid Dr. Laura fan and I have adopted her rule of the 2 year dating rule and the no shacking up rule. If you date someone for 2 years, you will experience a lot with this person. 2 sets of holidays with families, financial ups and downs, blended family issues, home repairs, and other normal daily life stresses. The kinds of stresses that can hurt a marriage if you haven’t dealt with them before with your significant other.
Dating is like a long job interview. How does this person deal with his family, his kids, his finances, his anger, his ex, his friends, etc. If you truly want to spend the rest of your life with this person, why would you jump right in and give him the job and hope for the best? That’s what you’re doing if you begin living together with this person while still dating. On the job training? You are managing your life and if you hire every yahoo that applies for the job, how successful do you think you will be?
During our time dating, I had some severe financial difficulties partially stemming from my previous divorce. Of course life would have been much easier, in theory, if we had just moved in together and only had one mortgage to pay and one set of bills to pay. My job even offered health insurance coverage to him and his kids IF we lived together! This is when my mom quoted the famous line from above that I swear I will print on a t-shirt one day and make millions from! But since we chose a different path, he and his kids would have to wait on that health coverage, and financial struggles would continue. Did we make it out of that mess? Sure. Did it prepare us for how to deal with future financial stresses? Absolutely!
Anything fabulous is worth waiting for. My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 years and tomorrow celebrate 3 years of marriage. I trust him completely and he still puts butterflies in my tummy! A good man is worth waiting for and if he waits for you…he’s a good man.