By Kimberly Orozco |Contributing Writer|
Moving in together before marriage is an increasing trend in the United States, making couples now face the question of when moving in, is the right time.
Pre-marriage cohabitation can either strengthen a relationship or deteriorate it if it’s not the right time.
According to marriage expert Sheri Stritof, only 50 percent of most heterosexual couples that live together before marriage actually get married.
“I personally think moving in together before marriage has become the norm because we have strayed away from ideologies that deemed it to be wrong. Now it’s almost necessary to know what the other is like behind closed doors because maybe his/her habits might be deal breakers for you,” said student Erika Sandoval.
Understanding the pros and cons to living together is important before taking any step toward it.
Some pros can be stronger bonds through more self-disclosure, taking the next step in the relationship and sharing financial responsibilities.
Some cons can be learning your partner isn’t as great as you thought, facing difficult conversations or pressure to get married.
“Moving in with my ex-boyfriend really taught me that we both had different values and goals in life. Soon after moving in, we began to realize we had not disclosed as much information about each other as we had thought and should have before cohabitating,” said Karina Mendoza, age 21.
According to Stanley, Rhoades and Markman, researchers and authors behind Sliding versus deciding: Inertia and the Premarital Cohabitation Effect, cohabitation is often deemed as a strong predictor of marriage.
Alicia Estrada, who has been married for two years said: “we decided to move in before our engagement but upon moving in we found that we truly had a strong connection and two months into moving in together, he popped the question and soon after I became Mrs. Estrada. Moving in was the best decision we made.”
According to Psychology Today, in general, usually non-engaged cohabitators without plans for marriage have the most doubts about their relationship.
Having a conversation on what each partner’s expectations are for the future of the relationship can ultimately benefit the couple and make the decision to moving in a lot simpler.
Before moving in together, the couple must analyze their relationship and identify key factors to whether moving in is a smart decision and whether they are truly ready for it.
Some factors you should look out for include: constantly spending more time at their place than yours, having a bulk of clothing at their place, having zero pressure to rushing things, etc. It’s not just about saving money, there must be a shared sense of expectations the relationship.
“Moving in with your significant other is a huge step, but if you’re doing it because you genuinely care for each other and both feel ready for it, then you should just do it,” said Jeanette Silva, experienced cohabitator.