No sex or relationship question is too embarrassing because it’s time to ask EmpowHer’s sexuality expert – Dr. Marty Klein, anything.
Dr. Klein, how do you feel about men and women living together before they are married?
Dr. Marty Klein:
How do I feel about people living together before they get married? Well, let me start with the science of it. The science of it is that there’s no data to suggest that people who live together before they get married have more marital success or less marital success than people who don’t live together before they get married.
I will tell you, though, as a marriage counselor, I am very nervous about people getting married if they don’t know each other really, really well. Now, there’s a lot of different ways to know somebody really, really well. One is living with them. Another is talking with them really honestly about a lot of different things over a long period of time.
So I would say that if you want to live with somebody, and they want to live with you, go ahead and do that. On the other hand, if you don’t want to do that, that’s okay, but you really want to get to know this other person, and that raises the issue of sex. Are you going to have sex if you don’t live together? It raises the issue of are you really clear with each other about what’s going to be important for you in a relationship?
For some people, having a neat and tidy house is very, very important. For other people, they don’t care one way or the other, and for other people, they really do care; they really don’t want a neat and tidy house. Another issue that relationships really have trouble with sometimes is who is going to do the housework? Are you really, really clear how you are going to divide up the housework if you don’t live together, and have you agreed on a definition of a clean bathroom?
There’s a lot of money spent in marriage counseling with people arguing about, “You call that a clean bathroom?” So if you are not going to live together, you really want to get clear on that before you spend all that money, buying a house and moving in together, or getting a little apartment and moving across town. You really want to get clear on, “You call that a clean bathroom,” or not.