We see it on TV all the time now, but in prior decades moving in together without being married used to be rare. Indeed, as a society, it was shocking. However, as moving in together has become the norm, can that actually hurt one’s future marriage?
The moving in trend
From 2008 to 2018, the Office for National Statistics found that the trend in couples moving in together had increased by 25.8 percent. This data shows that dating couples moving in together has become the new trend. And, that is not all that surprising given the economic downturn that was kicked off in 2008, combined with cost-of-living explosion seen throughout the U.S.
So, can moving in together hurt one’s future marriage?
According to experts, yes. This is not to say that moving in together is always detrimental to one’s future marriage, though. According to those experts, the reason why moving in together can hurt a future marriage is that many couples are doing so for purely pragmatic and practical (i.e., financial) considerations and not discussing their future wants and needs. But, once a couple entwines their life together, the next natural step is marriage, regardless of whether the couple actually should get married.
How to keep the move-in from hurting the marriage
Luckily, for those thinking about moving in together, the solution to ensuring that it does not hurt a later marriage (cause a divorce later) is rather simple: talk about the future. Ask questions, like does one want kids? If so, how many kids and how soon? Does one even want to get married? Where does each partner want to be in five years? Of course, depending on one’s priorities, these questions are not exhaustive, and couples should think about what they truly want from life. The key though: be open, honest and non-judgmental. This conversation can (and should) change the direction of the couple to either move in the right direction for each partner or ending things before they get any deeper.
What if it is too late?
For Media, Pennsylvania, couples that have already moved in together without having this conversation. It is not too late. Have it now. For those already engaged, it is also not too late. Again, have it now. And, finally, for those already married, have that conversation now. The point is not to find a reason to break up. Instead, the point is to make sure that partners are on the same page. Hopefully, at the end of the conversation, couples can build the life together they both want, but if not, and a divorce is needed, can an attorney.