Man Talk: Will cohabiting affect your chances of becoming wife?
Posted Saturday, March 9 2013 at 00:00
When you move in with him before you are officially one, how does this affect your relationship from his side?
In System Development, there is what they call a “User Acceptance Test” (UAT). Basically, you make a prototype of the final system and then check to confirm that it meets the mutually agreed-upon requirements before rolling it out in a live environment. But that is in another life.
I would, however, like to look at cohabiting in the same light- you are simply simulating marriage and, depending on how the two of you handle living together during this phase, a decision can be made on whether to or not to get married.
Obviously, there are many benefits that will come with this, for example, cost-cutting through sharing bills. But also, there are some negative effects! For instance, you can get bored of seeing each other all the time, personal space issues will come up, and just because you stay with someone, doesn’t guarantee that you will find out everything about them. If you have lived in a school dormitory before, you will understand this.
There are many more important things to settle in a relationship besides living habits and household chores. If you really want to marry someone, make sure that you know that the relationship is solid.
You do not have to live with someone to achieve these. Actually, if you have these characteristics in your relationship, your partner leaving the toilet seat up or leaving unwashed dishes on the floor is not going to be a deep regret in your marriage.
Compared to what is actually important in committed relationships, living together is the absolute last thing you really have to worry about.
I’m all for a little cohabiting. Then, you get to see the nasty habits, the hidden issues come to surface... Some people you just cannot spend an extended period of time with. It is a good UAT like that technical fella put it. Then, you at least know what you are buying into before writing the cheque.
Cohabiting is okay. I think there is nothing wrong with it. Whether you have put a ring on it or not, the decision to live with another person is made lucidly knowing that nothing is guaranteed. I believe such a decision is arrived at after some thought.
So, yes, a girl can change a man’s life especially when she takes up the aspects of homemaking that a man is not keen about; like cooking or reminding the poor sod that he’s got to hit the shower before he hits the bed. Surely, that is a good thing for a guy. The downside is when he realises late that what the sages said was not a lie; a girl will come with as many good things as negative things. He cannot win them all. The faster he gets it that every woman in the world is like that and that if this is about finding a life mate, the better for everyone. Whether he wants to marry her or just live with her for 60 years, the choice is his.
This cohabiting subject is confusing. First of all, I do not entirely agree with the notion that a man will love the girl less and invest little in their future if he is already getting some and she is playing “wife” even before she gets there.
However, I am also not blind to the “if I am getting some from you, then what more could I possibly want?” notion. So, it is a confusing situation for me. Thing is I am a Christian who believes in love and commitment. I know that I do not need a ring or the ceremony for me to take the person I love seriously. But then, it is a big deal, especially for girls.
So on this one, I think it is a personality thing. I know people who cohabited and are currently in happy marriages, and those who did not and their marriages are “sucky”.
Benjie, the liberal: 27, single and around
Eugene Mugisha: 28, “the dating guru”
Andrew, just Andrew: 29, In a relationship
Jamie, the realist: 35, married, with two children