Saturday, February 14, 2009

Living Together Before Marriage

I'm always intrigued that people think it's better to live together as a prelude to marriage than it is to just get married. I know the arguments--the three major ones, at least. The first one goes something like, "It's much better to pay for a moving truck than it is to pay for a lawyer." Aside from the Scriptural, theological and moral arguments--and rest assured, I know plenty of those--there's a good reason not to go the living together route. Living together gives you an automatic out. Living together is not a real commitment. When you're free to go at any time, you don't face a true test because you don't have to face a true test. When the first sign of struggle or of hardship approaches, it's too easy to walk out the door without a look back. True commitment is signing on for the long haul, knowing that the hardship is coming, and resolving to stick it out "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health". Rather than expecting to pay for the moving truck, why not expect the best and make it work without the moving truck or the lawyer?

The second argument has to do with sex. "Don't you want to know if you're compatible?" Tell me something. Does one of you have Tab A? Does the other have Slot A? Poof! You're compatible. Your preferences are negotiable, and part of the marriage relationship is learning what you like and how you work together. Trial and error, experimentation and hard work will go a long way to helping you learn to make your partner happy and helping your partner learn to make you happy. That's not just true about sex, but it is true about sex.

And the third argument is that living together is the best way to get to know someone on the way to getting married. If that were true, no one would ever have gotten married in the first place. If you do it right, getting to know someone takes a lifetime. You only start in dating. The rest of it is done in marriage. And sure, you want to know before you get married what a person is truly like. But if you think you'll get that from living together, you're wrong. What you get in living together is a skewed picture, the doctored picture that's been touched up so you don't' see the blemishes. And when you do see the blemishes when you're living together, it's all over.

You want a trial? Commit a crime. You want a test? Go to college. You want a real relationship? Find someone of the opposite sex who loves you, who cares about you, and who is willing to stick with you no matter what. Then marry them.

Happy Valentines Day. Go love somebody.


Tim Kuehn said...

Love your closing paragraph!

revalkorn said...

Thanks, Tim. I'm a hoot.

Orianna Laun said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I love your last paragraph! I'll definately be sharing this one with friends and family!

revalkorn said...

Feel free to share.