Raise your hand up in the air if you never lived with anyone before marriage and you just don't care! That's right, sister. I dedicate this post to all the ladies and gents out there who, like Adam and I, enjoyed their personal space so much pre-marriage that sharing it with another human being, including your S.O., was out of the question. Despite being outgoing, Adam and I reveled in our independence and "solitary" living, something that, I think, would cease to exist if we shacked up before we were ready. Sure, I get my breaks when he's on a business trip, as does he when I'm spending a night out with girlfriends; however, nothing is quite like having a place all to yourself, all of the time. I'm sure you can imagine that we did not take the concept of cohabitation lightly. It was our personal decision to wait after we were married to live together. Call us old-fashioned and say what you want, but I'm glad we did it the way we thought was best for us. To each his own! The following are some things we noticed as young adults involved in a serious, committed relationship pre and post-cohabitation.
Living with a S.O. has its challenges. Anyone can attest to that. Living with a spouse is very different from living with a friend or college roommate, and many couples have vastly different experiences than others do when they take the plunge. But lots of people didn't bat an eye before questioning our choice to wait. Others - close friends and even strangers - gave us a lot of crap. Why? I still have no idea to this day. I have never asked someone who lives with their S.O. why they made that decision. So if you are one of the people I mentioned above, here is my word of advice: before giving someone a hard time about their choice to live alone until marriage (or even well-meaning advice against it), please remember that those of us who respect and don't question your decision to live the way you want with whomever you want deserve the same respect in return.
I know that young couples like us who forego cohabitation before marriage are a rare breed nowadays, but I kid you not - sometimes we felt like aliens whenever we'd tell someone, "Actually, we're waiting until we're married to live together". I can't tell you how many eyes bulged and mouths dropped! Haha. Don't be mistaken - Adam and I are not easily offended, but since everyone has given us their two cents on the subject (and this blog is my outlet), I figured it would be funny to share some of the responses we often got!
"I don't know how you do it." Well, it takes patience and an appreciation for personal space. I'm not going to lie - there were days when I felt impatient and wanted to throw my hands up and say "To hell with this! Moving in together is so much more cost effective and simple". But I knew I wasn't ready. I was patient enough to wait until after marriage to move in with my S.O., and I appreciated my current solitary living situation at the time.
"I could never do it." *chants* Yes, you can! For real though - considering I'm not some alien with supernatural powers and I could do it, so can you. I honestly did not know how to respond to this one. All it takes is patience, really. By the way, I'm pretty sure waiting has worked for a lot of people (hi, grandparents!).
"We can't stand being apart." Good for you. Although I love Adam very much and thoroughly enjoyed his company, I did also enjoy my time alone. Plus, after being apart from each other, our time together was such a treat and we never took it for granted.
"But how can you possibly know who you're marrying if you don't move in together first?!" Spoiler: Adam never turned out to be the serial killer I was once afraid he could've been...yet). ;) In all seriousness though, I made sure I knew who I was marrying before I committed my entire life, future, etc to one person, so don't you worry my friend.
"It's so much more cost effective and convenient!" I get it. I understand why this would be enticing (and yes, I even considered it), but I decided I wasn't going to sacrifice my readiness to move in with someone just because I could have saved some $ or simply because it was more convenient. My alone time and personal space were priceless to me, and looking back, I'm glad I had them while I was a bachelorette.
"Nothing changed after we got married because we already lived together before. Everything was the same." Yet another reason why I chose otherwise - no explanation needed. Personally, I love enjoying this new and exciting stage in our lives as husband and wife.
"Once you're married, you can't move out as easily if you want to leave." Thanks, but I didn't go into marriage considering that I might divorce my husband because damnit! Why do you forget to take the clothes out of the dryer all the time?! I think the fate of a marriage usually weighs on more than roommate compatibility...?
...Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading these because sometimes I find myself still giggling about them! It's not a crime to ask or say these things to "pre-marriage cohabitation virgins" like us, because at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion. People are going to think what they want and give their advice when you don't ask for it, and that's totally fine! We didn't let it get to us. In fact, we know many of these things were said by loved ones who care about us and mean well. However, if you are guilty of saying one of these things, please keep in mind that we're entitled to our own opinion, too - and we feel we made the right decision! (Plus, as long as I keep the butcher knife under the bed just in case my husband does decide to reveal his serial killer alter ego, we're good).
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