How do You Make the Most of Living Together Before (or Instead of) Getting Married?


Younger couples are more inclined to set a move-in date before one that involves walking down the aisle. There can be many reasons for making this decision, but is it a good idea? Emily Dunn shared her experience with us and asked relationship expert Gabrielle Anna for some useful tips.

The first place my husband and I lived together was his dorm room. The second wasn’t much better. We lived in a small apartment on the side of a mountain with baseboard heating that didn’t really work and a bathroom that had one outlet – which was attached to the single lightbulb over the mirror. Eighteen and just out of the comfort of home, it was definitely a challenge for us to adjust. I recall plenty of arguments that involved me wanting to lock myself in the bathroom but fearing I’d get claustrophobic. In order to avoid the desire to make myself hyperventilate, I made myself a bulletin board and declared one of the walls in our bedroom as mine.

Create a Space for Each of You That’s Completely Your Own

“To make the most of living together prior to marriage definitely takes compromise on both parts,” relationship experts Gabrielle Anna said. “There should definitely be a space for each of you that’s completely your own if that’s available to you, and make the rest of the space comfortable for both of you. This is a good trial time to see if you’ll be able to live together.”

Making sure you have some time or space that is entirely your own is incredibly important. Even if you only have a section of the living space, or the bedroom, or the bathroom that is yours – use it to your advantage. Make sure you have something to look at that reminds you of who you are and why you made the decision to live together in the first place.

Don’t Forget to Schedule Some Time for Yourself

Also managing your time as an individual and not just as a couple is very important. Remember, just because you are living together does not mean you have to spend every waking moment together. Schedule time in for your girlfriends – have a girls’ night at your place, or invite some couples over. The more pressure you put on your relationship to be “perfect”, the more you set yourself up for failure. Living together is a big commitment, even if you don’t have the license to go along with it.


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