These questions are coming up more often in my world now that I’m engaged. “But how will you marry someone you’ve never lived with??”
“Don’t you need to test drive before you buy?”
“I would never buy something I didn’t try on.”
These questions clearly point to sex as well as moving in together. I’m fairly used to them because we’ve been pretty vocal on our decisions to not move in together or have sex until we are married. I’ll admit it’s clearly not normal or expected in the 21st century to date from 10th grade to after college with these lifestyle choices. For the majority of our friends and family, these are not choices that they identify with, and it doesn’t make us any less close them. We are used to being the odd “men” out on this one.
But this question of my need to test drive my future husband has really got me like:
Here are three of many reasons needing a “test-drive marriage” is a total myth:
- I’m Not Divorcing Someone Over Idiosyncrasies
The big fear is this- You don’t move in with someone, marry them, and then find out life-altering annoyances. If you didn’t live with your significant other, how could you ever know the truth about how they live? The reality about this fear is nobody asking this really takes the time to consider that they’re essentially deciding to break up with someone over annoyances. You definitely shouldn’t marry anyone, move in with someone, or even date someone you’re willing to break up with because they snore, leave their stuff around the house, or miss the laundry basket on a daily basis. Now imagine you’re married. Are you going to want to divorce someone because of small, weird, annoying habits? These things can be worked on and even changed over time. You have a lifetime to both evolve.
- It’s Possible To Know Someone Without Sharing A Home With Them
You know your best friend, your cousin, or your co-worker like the back of your hand. You most likely don’t live with them. You know right now whether or not you would want to live with them based on your years together. Often, couples claim move in together to experiment whether or not living together will work. I know plenty of couples who decided to move in together who aren’t even close to envisioning themselves getting married (which is fine- marriage comes or doesn’t come at different times for everyone), so I know people usually aren’t moving in together to truly test if marriage is their next step together. Hopefully it does end up that way, though! Point being, I don’t think moving in together is really as intentional for marriage as we may first think it is. It often makes sense financially or is viewed as the next logical step of a serious relationship. Once again, not usually for truly testing the marriage waters. Usually, you already know when you choose to move in with someone whether you want to live with them. See how that makes sense?
You can travel with someone, date them a long time, or spend plenty of quality time together to find out your other’s weird tendencies. You may even surprise yourself and fall in love with some of the odd things they do in the process.
- Don’t Get Married If You’re Having Major FOMO Issues
Here’s my favorite uncomfortable FAQ from people I’ve just met: “But how will you know if the sex is good??” The fear-scenario here is that you’ll be madly in love, get married, walk on clouds..then *find out they’re bad in the bedroom* I have to laugh at this because for people who have intentionally waited for sex until marriage, we honestly don’t have anything to compare our experiences to and are learning at the same time as our significant others. It’s literally the best sex they’ve ever had. I think it’s really awesome there are couples on that journey together in a new marriage. I’m positive that there are ups and downs to this journey just like anyone else’s in any stage of life. But there doesn’t have to be FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). If you’re hyperventilating at the idea that marrying someone (or dating someone seriously) means no sex with anyone else, don’t commit! You’re not ready! And that’s okay! You should only marry or commit to someone if you won’t be up at night thinking about all the good sex floating around the universe while you’re ball-and-chained to a man or woman you desperately love who just can’t satisfy you.
It doesn’t have to be your outlook that sex and living together is only for marriage. It definitely isn’t everyone’s view. But, think twice before considering someone else ignorant, naive, or set up for failure for marrying without these milestones coming first.
Pro-tip: Group trips, conferences, and retreats are really great ways to learn how someone lives without living with them.