Why is moving in together supposedly a death sentence for a relationship?

I do think your “Don’t pay half of 1/4 or 1/5” strategy is good–even though it doesn’t apply here.

Living together can be really good or really bad, depending on what you have to been begin with. It magnifies both the negatives and the positives of a relationship. It can foster intimacy and bonding, but if a basic compatibility isn’t there from the outset, it can just become a nightmare of incompatibility. Little things yu find mildly annoying about the person now will drive you out of your skull if you live with them. There’s no binary answer here, your potential success at cohabitation depends on the specific chemistry you’re starting out with.

If you’re going to move in with the guy, though, just move in with him alone, don’t cram in with him and a bunch of his dipshit friends. You’re going to need privacy. A dorm situation will be too chaotic to nurture a relationship that isn’t already strongly established.

The OP mentions an old saw: folks who move in together before getting married have a higher divorce rate. I wonder whether this is a classic confusion of correlation and causation.

At least traditionally in our country, folks who move in together before getting married are likely to be less religious than those who do not, or at least are likelier to be members of a religion that emphasizes sexual sins. Such religions are also pretty likely to frown on divorce. I wonder whether the “don’t move in together until you marry” folks are also more likely to endure a miserable marriage rather than ending it.

Because it makes very little sense to me that moving in together before marriage would cause divorce.

This is where we are the old people, though. We think the point of moving in together is to nurture a relationship. I don’t think that this is how the kids think of it these days. “Moving in” doesn’t mean “probably getting married” anymore. It means “I have to live with someone, might as well be the person I am sleeping with.” In cases like that, extra roommates are actually pretty good, because it keeps you from reflexively playing house and falling into married patterns before you are ready to.

I moved in with my husband after knowing him 5 months. I knew we would marry and we did 6 months later.
The problem is, imho, when you move in together, and rough patches come up, you can both just walk away.
If you marry, then live together, you try and work things out.

I’m seeing a red flag in moving in with his friends, as well.
First of all, you’re going to have to put up with him; next, his friend and friend’s spouse. If any conflicts come up, where will you stand? He has to deal with them, you have to deal with them, they have to deal with other and the two of you.
Doesn’t sound good, to me.
Do they own their own home? If not, what if they split up? Who will pick up the rent slack?

Best wishes,

Do you have it [thread=575165]on laserdisc[/thread]? Have you considered [thread=566677]painting your jeep in JP livery[/thread]? Have you considered going out with PSXer?

Lots of good advice here already. I’d say, if you want to start living with your boyfriend in your early twenties, be aware that people change A LOT in their twenties. You might end up marrying him, and you might not. Basically, don’t have kids with him or merge your finances (watch some Judge Judy episodes to see what else to NOT do). :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, my opinion on the actual question in the OP - I think when people start living together, the end results are based on their ideas when they go into it. Some people have no doubt that they will be getting married, and moving in together is the first step on that path. Other people are just taking it as it comes, and moving in together is more convenient or whatever. Neither attitude is wrong, as long as both people are going into it on the same page.

I’m going steady with his friend…

The thing that kills relationships in that kind of situatuion is that once you live together you get ALL of that other person, the good and the bad. All those little things they do that seem cute and quirky now suddenly become grounds for justifiable homicide when you can no longer get away from it. Make sure that you know everything you can about your SO before you make that kind of commitment so you know what parts you like and what parts you can live with and see if they outnumber the ones you can’t.

In the physical world or the theoretical one?

Go slow - you have all the time in the world. That doesn’t mean you can’t live together, just don’t straight into a domestic partnership. Have you lived alone yet? That is something you’ll want to do first, as well.

My husband and I went about everything backwards - we dated for a year, then moved in together. But, we had separate bedrooms for about a year (even though we shared a bed most nights, it helped to have our own space if we needed it). We split everything 50/50 and commingled NO money. That lasted for 3 years, until we bought the house.

We still have separate accounts, and bought a house with enough space for each of us to have our “room”. We finally got married and had a kid. We’re super happy now.

It can work, but it has to go slow.

You plan to move in with him and his FRIENDS? You are mad. Do not do this. Do not. Odds are good it will be a disaster and you will be looking around for somewhere to live within 6 months. Oh, it will be fun at first, but it simply isn’t going to work out for long, and if your name is on the lease, it will be a disaster…If you have to live together, do it as a couple. And if it doesn’t work out, have a plan B.

I’ve never understood buying a cow if you aren’t even sure you’ll like the milk.

and some are lactose intolerant

Conversly I know people from conservative Christian backgrounds who married when they were barely out of high school (often after a “formal courtship”) without even having sex let alone living together, had a kid or two, then got divorced before they were 30. Also despite viewing marriage as a civil contract instead of a sacrament atheists and agnostics have one of the lowest divorce rates of any “religious” group (granted this could just be because we’re less likely to marry to begin with).

Well, you’re not in a position to answer the question now. In August, you’ll have a much better idea of whether you’ll be compatible. You can’t predict what you’ll feel, find out or think 8 months from now.

I’d wait until August and then ask the question.

Yeah, I know of these things, and I think they make sense as well:

-Highly religious folk tend to get married at a younger age. Folks who get married when younger, all things considered, have a higher divorce rate than folks who wait until their mid-to-late-twenties to get married (no cite–I seem to recall hearing this).
-Atheists who see it as a civil or community matter are a lot more willing to have sex before marriage, and so they’re a lot more willing to wait to get married until they’re older and really prepared for marriage.

As I said, I’m not sure how to account for the higher divorce rates of folks who move in before marriage. I’m skeptical that there’s the causation there that’s usually implied when that correlation is brought up, and I was suggesting one alternate cause-and-effect relationship that might explain it.

A year or two ago there was some more study done on that conclusion that people who live together before marriage are more likely to get divorced. It turns out that it isn’t that simple; for instance, if the relationship is the FIRST one that has involved cohabitation, the divorce rate is no higher than for people who didn’t live together before marriage.

I personally wouldn’t share my digs with a boyfriend and his friends. As has been said several times before, that’s just begging for too much trouble.

Also, people really DO change a lot in their early twenties. You won’t be the same person at 25 that you were at 20, and he won’t be either. Fun as cohabitation can be and as much financial sense as it seems to make, I’d advise not doing it at your age.

Has a higher divorce rate for those who cohabitate first really been established as factual and statistically significant?
I think one factor which could affect divorce rates would be a cultural reluctance to/discouragement from divorce among more religious people. Just because they don’t get divorced doesn’t mean they’re happy or even faithful.

I also think that some people get married at the end of a relationship that has played itself out as an attempt to reinvigorate it. They sometimes think that getting married will heal things, but then find out it really does nothing at all.