Olivia J. Scott Senior Writer, Woman to Woman Blog Talk
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Couples may date for days, weeks, months or years before moving in together. Living together can be a powerful way to strengthen your relationship and deepen your commitment to each other. Sharing space is also a way to test readiness for engagement or marriage, since it reveals the level of commitment and willingness to compromise. Because cohabiting is a major step for couples, it is important to date long enough to know each other well before moving under the same roof.
Date Long Enough to Develop a Healthy Relationship
The more you date the greater your chance of accurately assessing whether your relationship is healthy and strong enough to withstand the challenges of cohabiting. Spending more time together during the dating period fosters closeness and helps create a solid foundation for the relationship. This is why choosing the right time to move in is crucial, and because the commitment and higher expectation can place stress on even a happy relationship, noted Laura Drucker, in her “Huffington Post” article, “Cohabitation? 5 Questions to Ask Before Moving in Together.”
Date Until There is Trust and Commitment
Sharing feelings, desires, and even secrets help build intimacy and deepens trust in each other. One way of building intimacy and trust is by doing run trials. This is where you take turns living for short periods at each other’s home. It gives you a chance to see the living habits of each other, says Psychologist Craig Malkin, Ph.D., “8 Steps You Should Take Before Living With Your Partner.” With a clear commitment, unmarried couples can do as well as people who get married before making a home together, Malkin assured.
Wait Until you Know you Are Compatible
Having fun together, making each other feel good about them self, sharing similar background, interests, and goals, and sharing a mutual desire to commit are positive signs of compatibility. However, couples should avoid using cohabitation to determine if they are good for each other, warns Dr. Bill Maier, in his article, Dr. Maier on Cohabitation: “Is Living Together A Good Test for Marital Compatibility.” Living together to ‘test drive’ the relationship increases the chance for domestic violence, sexual affairs, and divorce if the couple eventually gets married, says Maier.
Cohabiting Too Soon Can Ruin Your Relationship
Couples should carefully assess their long-term commitment to each other, encourages Galena H. Kline, et al, in the article “Timing Is Everything: Pre-Engagement Cohabitation and Increased Risk for Poor Marital Outcomes,” published in the Journal of Family Psychology.” Kline further stated that merging space prematurely can ruin the chances for engagement or marriage. To the very least, date until you know each other well enough, show a clear commitment towards moving in, and are in agreement with the reasons and terms of living together.
Do you have a different or similar view on this topic? What about an experience you are willing to share? Tell us by commenting below.
Huffington Post: Laura Drucker, Cohabitation? 5 Questions to Ask Before Moving in Together http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/cohabitation-moving-in-together_n_1819270.html
Psychology Today: Craig Malkin, Ph.D., 8 Steps You Should Take Before Living With Your Partner http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/romance-redux/201108/8-steps-you-should-take-living-your-partner
Focus On The Family: Dr. Maier on Cohabitation: “Is Living Together A Good Test For Marital Compatibility.”
Journal of Family Psychology: Galena H. Kline, et al, Timing Is Everything: Pre-Engagement Cohabitation and Increased Risk for Poor Marital Outcomes, http://cyber.gwc.cccd.edu/faculty/sisonio/timing.pdf
PsychCentral: Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S, What You Need to Know Before Living Together
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Original Article Slug: How Lone\g Should A Couple Date Before Moving in Together