This Wednesday is the two year anniversary of my first date with my boyfriend.  It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve dated for this long.  I know it’s cheesy, but sometimes I feel like we just started dating.  I absolutely adore my boyfriend and I’m happy we are celebrating two wonderful (sarcastic “long”) years together.
 
Of course being in a relationship, we’ve had “The Talk.” Every couple knows about “The Talk.”  This is a discussion about “where’s our relationship going?” “do you see marriage/children in our future?” and oh the dreaded  questions (at least to me) about living together.
  
Yes there’s the idea of living with someone to spend more time together or for financial or practical reasons, but to me cohabitating is a lot more than that.  My beliefs do not stem from religion or the fairytale fantasy to be swept off my feet and taken care of.  I actually lived with my first boyfriend.  It didn’t end well and left a bad impression, but that’s not my main reason for not diving so quickly into shacking up either. 
 
Last month, I saw a story on the Today Show about “shacking up” before marriage.  Approximately 70% of couples in the U.S. live together; however, the segment focused on the fact that people who live together before getting married experience a lower quality of satisfaction and even contemplate splitting up or divorce after marriage.
 
The report revealed research suggesting that cohabitation in itself can result in lousier marriages, but the reasons why couples move-in together could also impact the relationship quality. In a study, more than 60 percent of participants ranked spending more time together as the number-one reason for moving in. This was followed by 19 percent who stated sound financial reasons for cohabitating.
 
The result that placed a shocking 3rd and has me the most concerned is that 14% reported wanting to test out the relationship before marriage.  These respondents also reported that they were more likely than others to score high on measures of negative communication and report lower confidence in the quality and stability of their relationships.
 
I’m amazed when I talk to people about cohabitating.  Many peope think that testing out a relationship before making a life-long committment is important to having a successful marriage.  I’ve heard this statement so many times from my friends…”Don’t you want to know if you can live with the person before marrying him.”  Maybe I’m naive, but I feel that I know in myself that I’m in it for the long-haul. I believe that moving in together to test out a relationship is doomed for failure from the beginning.  I don’t want to feel like someone is testing me to see if we will work.  I believe all couples need to work together to make it work.  To me, living together provides too easy of an out.  Marriage is also an easy out as well–50% of marriages end in divorce.  So it all can be a crap shoot.
 
Anyway, I don’t feel I have to explain my relationship to anyone.  I just thought that this was an interesting topic to blog about.  I’m confident in my relationship, but I want to know what you think. So weigh-in and post a comment.  Whatever happens in my relationship with my boyfriend happens for a reason whether it’s good or bad.  But it won’t happen because someone told us it should happen a certain way or it’s what everyone else is doing.  Whatever our relationship holds in our future is something we will determine together, between the two of us.

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