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Cohabitation: Is Living Together Before Being Married Wise To Do

cohabitation couple living together painting heart shape

Two people meet, they get to know each other, become a couple, and one day somebody comes up with the bright idea of moving in together. It sounds great to them and they figure why not. They get to be with each other more, get a better idea if this is a person they may want to marry, and many times it can be helpful financially. So what’s all the fuss about? Why does question still seem to be a big issue? Well I think there are two ways to look at this. There is the non-spiritual perspective and the spiritual perspective. Those two perspectives won’t completely line up but here is my take on if you should live together before getting married with both perspectives in mind.

Non-Spiritual Perspective

HELL YES! Plain and simple it only makes sense to get a better idea of the person you may consider spending your life with. We all know very well that you can learn a lot more living together than you can when your significant other just spends a weekend at your place. People have discovered some disgusting habits and unbearable behavior after they started living with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Unfortunately people aren’t always keeping it real, and it takes living together to get the reality check you will need before you walk down that aisle. With that said, please understand that I do believe there are some risks involved. If you move in together too soon than people can get too comfortable in the relationship. If a woman is living with a man and providing wife benefits then realize you are taking the chance of decreasing his willingness to take it a step further. He already has all he wants without the higher level of commitment so he may feel it isn’t necessary to worry about marriage even though it is what you are truly hoping and waiting for. Also there is the risk of getting tied to somebody financially that you no longer want to be with. I have seen countless couples who came to recognize this was not the relationship for them but they found themselves stuck due to lease agreements, shared accounts, or simply the financial dependency they created by living together. That is not a situation you want to be in and should make you take pause when moving too quickly to live together.

Spiritual Perspective

Well according to many churches and believers in the Bible the answer is you should not live together. You should not be shacking up and it is wrong spiritually. The thing is I can’t seem to find that Bible verse. I have done my research and I have yet to find anything that specifically says living together is a sin or wrong before GOD. I looked around the internet and I can only find examples such as I found on this Christian site that still doesn’t provide scripture that specifically speaks against living together.  What the church has done is made the assumption (a very fair one) that sexual relations will be involved in living together. So for those that are concerned with living in sin, the issue is not really your residence it’s that you are having sex before being married. Many times you find people who are engaged in sex relations because they have accepted it as part of the program. Yet they are torn on whether they should live together. Do you see how this is a little off? I am not here to condemn anybody I just want to help show that the positions of the Bible on certain issues are not always being accurately presented. So if doing wrong in the eyes of GOD is your concern, and you somehow can pull off living together without having any sex, then the case could be made that you are not doing anything wrong. On the flip side the case can be made why it is not best to take this step spiritually. You can read some valid arguments for that on “Living Together Without Sex”. You have to be honest with yourself about your situation. You know what boundaries you and your significant other can handle and will struggle with. In my opinion, just understand that worrying about living together in regards to sin when you are already having sex is defeating the purpose in not living together for spiritual reasons.

Personally I wouldn’t suggest living together unless you are already engaged. That decreases the chances of getting stuck with somebody you no longer want to be with, or a person getting too comfortable in the relationship. If you have a spiritual base and you are confused about if this is right before GOD then don’t simply rely on what I or your church has to say. Take the time to talk to GOD yourself and find out what he has to say. Read the bible for yourself, do some praying, and learn to trust your spirit. I can give you my input for days, but who knows better than me or you what you can truly handle and is best for you…GOD. Regardless of if you are non-spiritual or spiritual you have to learn to not follow what everyone else thinks is right or wrong. Many times we know what’s best even when we don’t want to fully embrace it. The choice of living together will come down to your personal beliefs. Just be aware of the good and bad associated with whichever choice you make.

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37 thoughts on “Cohabitation: Is Living Together Before Being Married Wise To Do”

  1. Thank you again for taking the time out to answer this question. Going to trust God in his decision in how he  leads me. Many time we know b/c of a lack of knowledge ! thank u again ..

  2. Guest

    Actually, to contribute to the non-spiritual, studies have shown that people who move in together before marriage are more likely to get a divorce.

    1. That is a great piece of information that I was unaware of. Thank you very much and after I find one of those studies I am going to add a side note to the article stating this fact. I really appreciate your contribution : )

      1. lrngrnd

        I’m reading The meaning of Marriage, and in it it says:
        “If you are reasonably well educated, with decent income, come from an intact family and are religious, and marry after twenty five without having a baby first, your chances of divorce are low.”
        Very interesting!! And seems very true as well.

  3. Quishastarr13

    Spoken like a true God loving person!!

  4. Joelle Paule

    We are thinking the same Stephan. Yep that is exactly what I believe in from both point of views non-spiritual more so! Thank you and I’m sharing this ASAP…

  5. Well the Bible says in
     Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
    So to keep the bed pure would mean not to defile it by “sleeping” w/ someone who isnt your spouse. So they are going to sleep in separate beds or rooms??? And it says in
    1 Corinthians 7:8-9 “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
    The bottom line.. Everyone isnt as sensitive to sin as the next. I know that God has made a way of escape and for someone to set up residence in the devils lair and then try to resist temptation is stupid and crazy. But if someone isnt trying to resist temptation, then thats a totally different story and most people arent. They dont care about Gods rules or why he put them in place. People do what they think is right instead of what God thinks is right. People dont want to do it Gods way because it involves trusting him 100%. And people dont want to do that, they want some form of control. If you were to get married and then live w/ that person, you are trusting God to keep your relationship even with the ups & downs and he will work it out and youre going to be able to bear what ever comes with Gods help. But people want to be test marriage out first and able to leave if they dont like it. Someone cant possibly listen to their own spirit for guidance if their spirit isnt and wasnt intuned w/ God 100% in the first place…

    1. To address the first half of your comment, in my opinion those scriptures you pointed out are still talking about sex not actually sleeping in the same bed. Is it likely that sleeping in the same bed will eventually lead to sex, most would say yes. So I understand your position but it is still based on the assumption that sex will occur. If there is no sex then I see no violation, but I could be wrong……As for the second half of your comment, I do agree with you. People are afraid to hand all trust over to GOD and we seek to hold on to as much control as possible. You made great points but we should not in any way twist the words of GOD if we are using them to present a position. Saying “living together” before marriage is a sin is in my opinion a misrepresentation of the word. From all I have read and maybe I am missing some things, the sin is the sex before the marriage. So to put it in context I do not think 2 virgins living together is committing a sin based on what I have read. They are still honoring GOD by abstaining from sex. Yes the living together is a risky move and will make abstaining much harder, but if they manage to wait until they are married then I do not see how they have done anything wrong based on what the Bible states.

  6. Mosesjustmoses

    This is a very heated debate. I will say that LIVING together prior to marriage is a bad idea, on both accounts. Statistically, couples that “Shack-up” are more likely to get divorced than those who don’t live together. In addition, having to share financial obligations and responsibilities with another person you’re not COMMITTED to is not easily done. I did it, very early. Several times. never married any of those I lived with. Typically the man will agree to show he is true, and argue that his presence is enough and marriage is a way of the government to get in his life, or whatever…. (Why buy the cow when I get free milk?) I also have several friends that went as far as buying houses together. PURE DISASTER. Some couples do it as financial convenience, but there’s issues as well. That’s the Non-Spiritual view.

    As Far as Spiritual, living together is shunned upon. No matter if there is no sex. How can all the outsiders know that? If a couple are professing Christians, they are giving the IMPRESSION that the two are as “Man and Wife. The bible doesn’t talk about living together, but does talk about the appearances we give the non-believers.

    That gives strong support to taking our time before committing to marriage. If you spend time with a person, there should be clear evidence if the other has habits that you would not agree with. Well, not habits, but practices or involved in practices or activities. By taking time I mean over 2 years. If I can’t be around your friends, or see you at your place with your friends, it’s an issue with me. If I cannot HAND CARRY flowers to your place of work, I want to know why because the excuse I’m a private person will not cut it. each person should know the others financial views, religious and political views. I don’t need to live with a woman to know I want to commit. I’ll be the king of kings and say that I met, got to know over a long period of time (2yrs) and fell deeply in love with before we even had sex. Of course, I was dating at the time, but all the CHAFF got thrown aside as I saw what I had. We never lived together. The point is that living together only puts the 2 in an unhealthy environment. I had a pastor tell me that “I should go on a vacation with this lady becuase I might find out her bad habits, like leaving the bathroom in a black stinking cloud! Of course his point was to get to know the woman.

    Let’s bring this to home; More women are single parents… …Tyrone is errrrrrythang you want.. Got dat job, body, funny, can put it down like a champ…. And the two decide to move in, and in the 2 years Tyrone and you been together, yall decided to rent a nice house, the kids have a little more room.  But Tyrone messes up, then who gonna help with the $3K rent (I live in DC, so don’t get wrapped up on the $3K rent!)? I’m a protective man by nature, so what does the woman have to protect her and her children?

    Stephan, great post as usual~!!!!!!

    1. Joelle Paule

      Great comment Moses! Love reading your views because obviously you know these things more than us youngsters out here.
       Never lived with a man either and do not think I will do such a thing. Put a ring on it and then I can come live with you. Actually the most time I did in the same house with a man was a week LOL after 5 days I was already like ok I need to go home, I’ve seen you enough this week LOL 

      1. Moses

        Thanks Joelle,
        So 1 week and he got kicked to the curb?! I will side with you and say that I’m glad you didn’t invest a lot, $$$$$ and emotionally (I hope) before realizing it wasn’t for you. I’m sure you will find a man thatll make a great roommate, companion, soulmate, friend, lover, and spouse. Just when you are cool in great in your own world along will come a guy and just mess things up and you won’t be able to get him out of your mind, and you’ll know….

        1. Joelle Paule

          Oh No we didn’t live together, I was on my spring break and I went to spend the week with him. After 5 days I was tired of seeing him lol so I went back to my city faster, and earlier than expected. I hope I will find that man like you say, it starts with myself and when I find myself he will just join the ride. You are so right…

          1. Mosesjustmoses

             You hit it on the head. can’t be said better. it starts with you. I’m assuming you’re still deciding what’s best for you, and  you know what you want, and are going about that. I applaud that because you’re not letting anyone define you. You define you.

    2. 305Diva

      Wow! I love how u broken it all the way down.

    3. A Woman Who Believes in LOVE

      WOW! Very well said and very true! I’m so glad this came from a man’s perspective. As a woman, I believe living together before marriage is not a good thing. If you love me, want to have a life together, then what’s wrong with taking it to the next step? Eventually, someone will want more from the relationship. Usually, it’s the woman but not in all cases. I have a big issue with a woman acting as a wife and not married to her man. You have the potential to be emotionally and spirtually broken if things don’t go in the direction that you had hoped. Lets be honest, if a woman is living with a man, she is hoping one day to be married to that man. I don’t care what a woman may say, over time, she will want and expect more. Especially if that woman is performing wifely duties. People living together for financial reasons is an EXCUSE…PERIOD! If you know your with the person you want to be with for life, then get married. Woman, please know your value and your worth.

      1. Mosesjustmoses

        Good Afternoon, and Thank You for the kind words. Your statement on living together for $$$$ is an excuse is 100% accurate. Additionally, sometimes the opposite is true for 1 of the party (well, for me). When I lived alone, I always had crammed fridge, fly gear in my wardrobe, saved a grip, traveled, partied (which is very expensive BTW) and so forth. Rent, $1000.00 for an apartment in NY.  When I decided to live with a woman, my $$$$$$ just dropped! LOL. Of course, it was about being together, but IMHO, i don’t agree with living together anymore.

  7. A Woman Who Believes in LOVE

    I really loved this article and that it has come from a male perspective. I do think that women are more willing to settle for living together and not being a wife. That’s a potential for serious damage long term for the man and the woman. Most women want a man to be their husband. I believe the cycle of having babies without the commitment of marriage is unsettling. I know a man who has six kids with different women who says he desires to be married. Yet he’s living with a woman whom he has two kids with and has made no effort to marry her. Could the real issue be a “COMMITMENT ISSUE”? Here is the big issue — a woman is so willing to give all of herself, demonstrate her willingness to commit, and never becoming the wife to the man she’s playing house with. Ladies, your value, know your worth.

    1. In many cases it is not a “commitment issue” it is simply that the man doesn’t desire committing to that specific woman. In the meantime he may carry own with a relationship but he doesn’t feel she is “the one”

      1. A Woman Who Believes in LOVE

        I completely agree with you 100%. Thank you for your response.

      2. Nttell

        BINGO! And this is why I will wait until marriage before ever doing this again.  Over and out! 🙂

  8. Personaly, for me living together before marriage is the best Way to get to know your partner much more before you both start to share your own house.

    Take a look at the divorce Rate those days, if someone is seriously wondering why, “not living together before marriage” or “marrying after 4 Weeks” are just two of the main reasons.

    You can’t tell if you both fit for living together if you didn’t try before. Both may start to become comfortable, stuck in their comfortzone, beeing angry and sad about eachother, breaking up afterwards. That’s it.

    On the other hand, if a men starts to marry his girlfriend he should propaply spend AT LEAST a few Years (iam not talking about 3 Years on that. 6 Years tends to be a good amount) together with her.

    Many people just tend to marry too early. They belief that a few months or one Year is a huge amount of time together with their partner – The truth is, they don’t even know each other.


  9. Numokeji

    I also just read this and I love it. Nice to see a man going indept bout issues. Suffice me to say commitment to one anoda has to do wit maturity not of age but of the mind. Trust and love then follows aswell as compromise and patience. Therefore whether engaged or not both parties really hve to knw what they r doing or getting into bcos when sex gets involved it entangles them and the mind. Pregnacies could result without them wanting it and this could become an issue or it couldn’t and it also becomes an issue so Yes spiritually n not spiritually every individual has to be matured in Mind to understand what they are doing n heading for.

  10. Ms. Q

    I’ve recently been reading your articles. They have been very informative and helpful. I respect and appreciate the male perspective. Just wanted to bring clarity on the spiritual standpoint because I know you were saying you didn’t see in the bible where it said people should not live together. You are absolutely right. The thing is, the bible says people should marry if they have no control or cannot refrain from having sex, rather than burn(go to hell). 1stCorinthians 7:9 On the other hand, like you said, there isn’t a scripture that says people should not live together, however, there is a scripture that says you should not let your good be evil spoken of. Romans 14:16. In other words, some people are living together not having sex, but it will look like something different from the outside looking in. And the truth of the matter is, as my Pastor has even shared with me, it does not matter how saved you are on any given day. If you live with a person, see them everyday, sleep in the same bed, there is nothing that will stop you two from having sex b/c its human nature. 

    1. I completely understand where you are coming from Ms Q. Yes the bible says “people should marry if they have no control or cannot refrain from having sex” but that does not mean cohabitation is “sin”. I believe the church does more damage by not presenting this accurately and specifically. In some cases it’s as if more emphasis is put on living together then it is being put on having sex before marriage. In regards to Romans 14:16 we have to understand that when you take a sound byte instead of looking at the whole context we can easily change what was truly being said. No matter what you do in life people can claim it is evil and wrong. Jesus had those who accused him of that and we all know he was nothing but good. Look at the lines before after 16. Tell me if you still feel it holds the exact same meaning now (it may or may not but it will likely open up other thoughts). I understand how it is being interpreted and I understand how cohabitation is risky business. I do not believe it is fair to say that nobody can pull it off without having sex. I don’t believe people “need” to live together first but I also feel that calling it a “sin” is inaccurate. Saying that the bible “says” you should not live together is also not accurate. So it is better that we present things truthfully because when we don’t we do more damage to how people view the source.

      1. rastee

        You re so loaded Steph! I must say i really admire your objectivity on this topic. No bias stance at all! Thank you.

  11. Miss God

    It should be enough for us that the Bible said we should abstain from all appearance of evil; and that if our ryt hand wil cause us to sin we should cut it off; that if what wil do wil cause others to sin, we should desist, not necessarily because its wrong; we don not exactly expect everythg to bne spelt iut 4 us, do we? The fear of God is d beginning of wisdom; a word is enough for the wise…wisdom is PROFITABLE to direct…

  12. In my opinion, “Higher level commitment” does not require “marriage”. That is the false ideology of religion/spirituality. It only takes two people who are committed to each other consciously and desire to be together and who are compatibly yoked. The spirituality/god/labor contract marriage thing is a farce and should never be the primary option. If you want to live with a man or woman, and other, then do what makes you feel happy with that person. A persons relationship should not be dictated by the government or a religious institution – period. The creation of theology is the reason why women/men, because often time it is the “woman” who forces a man into marriage, are thrown into contractual obligation, not for ‘love’ and communion, for the “wedding”, but to be subjected to patriarchal domination & control, the end result or matriarchal control for that matter. Theology is a primitive ideology that needs to be thrown in the garbage literally. Knowing what I know now, I will never ever get married again, it does not benefit me.

  13. Tori

    I am the type of person that may need my own space because I like having my me time from time to time. Me and my fiance were off and on for almost 3 years we haven’t had sex and we do not live together at the moment. We have had conversations about it. Even though you have known some one for a long time u still
    do not know how they really are until u actually live with them in my opinion.

    I think a men and or women that is patient enough to let things fall in place are smart people relationships or marriages are not easy at all.

  14. YVONNE

    You said that you could not find out where in the word of god did it say not to live together..look
    at the beginning when god made adam after he made adam he said that it was not good for him to be alone so god made eve,eve was never adams girlfriend but his wife,God gave Adam a wife in the garden from the moment god form eve she was his wife..not a woman adam shackled up with in the garden!

  15. shay

    However, as Christians we are supposed to be a living witness through our lifestyle. You are a walking witness to non believers. I’m in a Relationship and I have many young girls who are not saved that I mentor. They ask me all the time….why don’t you live with your man? They would roll their eyes and say “yeah right” if I told them I live with my man but we are not having sex. For someone who is recently saved, hearing a message like would not only be confusing but Also seemingly a pass to continue sinning.

  16. I appreciate the 2 perspectives you've given! It allows an honest choice.

  17. Kay C. Chan

    Bottom line, to the young & old, when two people are “dating” , this is the time that you get to KNOW each other. I don’t have to SEE you to figure out some things about you. And if I’m not sure, this is an excellent time to have. a “courageous” conversation and lay some things on the line, if there is a disagreement. I actually have conversation starters that are designed for dates, etc. This is when we get to practice trusting God to guide us and reveal to us, without the pressure of living together or married, so that we can figure stuff out!

    I digress!
    I’m drained… I actually just had this “debate” with a guy I was dating… SMH… anyway… GOD LUCK in your future relationships!!

  18. Jenny M

    As a Christian woman this is something I struggle with. I was in a horrible marriage for 8 years in which the kids and I went through a lot of physical, spiritual and terror-type of abuse. I did cohabitate with him for about a year before marriage and once we said those vows it was like a switch was flipped. Even with all that being said, I’d still rather cohabitate for a good amount of time before marriage again…if Id ever go there.

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