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Living Together Before Marriage?

Living Together Before Marriage?



My boyfriend and I are having some conflict over the issue of moving in together before marriage. I don't want to until we're married. He says that he wouldn't feel comfortable committing to someone he hasn't lived with first. It still doesn't seem right to me, but what can I say to him? He seems to have a valid point.


Tell your boyfriend that' you do not feel comfortable committing to someone who is prepared to live with someone without committing.

An enduring marriage is based on commitment first, which brings comfortability—not the other way around. If the comfortability brings the commitment, it is not a real commitment. What will happen if your shared life hits an area of discomfort? Actually, it's not a question of "if," but of "when": there is not a single married couple that doesn't encounter some uncomfortable moments in their life together. Do you jump ship? Or do you work on it because you made a commitment to each other, and to G‑d, that you're going too make this relationship work?

In this, marriage is very much like Judaism itself: our Sages tell us that when G‑d asked the Jewish people if they would accept the Torah, the people of Israel responded, Naaseh v'nishmah, "We will do and we will comprehend." We pledged ourselves to both of two critical elements of a meaningful relationship: the commitment to do whatever it takes to maintain the relationship, and the creation of the comfort zone that comes through knowledge and appreciation of the other. But we understood that for the relationship to have a good chance of enduring, the "do" element must come first.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe used to say: Being too close when you're supposed to be apart, causes you to be apart when you're supposed to be close.

Rabbi Michoel Green serves as the director of Chabad of Westborough
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JDV via June 13, 2013

Living together? I have been married to the same person for 31 years and it has been no cake walk - believe me! To me, living together with no commitment is like having all the disadvantages of marriages with none of the advantages. Also, it seems that this young man is not sensitive to your feelings on this important matter. Red flag! Don't knock the old fashioned way of things that the people before you did on these matters. Remember, old is gold and the price of gold has skyrocketed! Reply

Alexandra A. Aventura, Fl June 7, 2011

I finally understand An ex-boyfriend once quoted the line about being close when we should be apart and this article really helped me make sense if it. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in a relationship that we get close too fast and we don't really know the person. Sometimes stepping back gives you time to decide whether or not two people are on the same page. When things move to quickly there is no time to learn about the small things and you could end up apart when you should be close. In a fast paced world we sometimes forget that we have our whole lives to meet our other half, so why not take the time to find the right person? Reply

pesach greenberg July 20, 2007

living together before marriage When does a "vaild" point" become vaild? Our perceptions of validity become based upon subjectiveness. What is best for me defines what "I" find valid. We tend to make life fit into our realities and not the otherway.
Livivng is totally different than existing. Living wholistically is the ideal validity of quality living. So many of us choose to exist by following the followers of society as did the German people when they devolved as history validates from WW2.
A couple cannot live before they enter mariiage with the total commitment to sanctity and the wholisictic opportunites that become presented upon that stage of living. Alas , we see that regardless of how many years people coose to "live together" it never fully become real untill they commit to marriage bonds and become married properly.

Moishe Neuer July 19, 2007

"Gut Gezogt". Well said.

I am a lawyer who has handled many divorces over the years. Almost all the spouses divorcing lived together before marriage, often for years.
I have seen statistics that confirm that marriages where the parties have cohabited before marriage are more likely to break up than when the parties have not lived together.So much for "try before you buy" in the marriage market!
As in so many other areas, the traditionalists have it right. Reply

Tom July 19, 2007

Old people's marriages Most of the older folks I knew had long and happy marriages. They didn't live together first. Most of my high school graduating class remained unmarried in their 30's at one of the reunions I attended. I spoke with 250 people over the 2-day event, and counted 5 with stable family lives.

It is my opinion that the change of morals on our society since the 60's has hurt, not helped family lives. It is also my opinion that an honest scholarly study done at a reputable university would show that to be true. And it is also my opinion that you would not get an honest study of that at a big-name university. It is too fashionable to be above the old-fashioned morality. No professor would touch it. Reply

Anonymous Pittsburgh, P.A> July 18, 2007

The Lubavitcher Rebbe is refferring to the most recent one. Rabbi Manis Freidman gave a great class about this, I would appericate if he can post an answer. Thank You Reply

Thomas Young Cuyahoga Falls, OH July 18, 2007

True Love Your answer to the question rings with truth. True love is a dedicated choice that begins with respect and obedience.
If we allow the ancient boundry stones to be moved we won't know where we stand. Reply

Chaya Rivka CA July 17, 2007

This is difficult, because in today's society, if you don't "shack up" before marriage, it's considered weird. I think it would be very awkward to live with someone when there is no real commitment. But, like one commentor said, they want to have their cake and eat it too. Reply

Horace Friedman Cherry Hill, NJ July 17, 2007

Amen!! Really great answer!
I was just wondering, when you said "The Lubavitcher Rebbe used to say..." , which of the Rebbes are you refering to? Reply

Sarah Michlin w bloomfielld , mi via July 16, 2007

don't give in I agree and I would like to take this a bit further. Pressure to do something you don't want to do from someone who "loves" you is questionable, at best. When a guy tells a girl "You would x if you loved me." The answer is "If you loved me you would not put pressure like this on me."
I think he is trying to have a cake and eat it too.
In addition to emotional factors also financially marrying is the creation of a partnership. Singles living together can split the rent, but what is fair? Half? One of you probably earns less than the other., Should you go proportional? Furniture? Is that chair hers or his? Who chooses? Who pays? Create and commit to the team, and then you each will look at each subsequent decision for the team, not just one of you. In addition,marriage gives each of you marital benifits at work, and legally that just can't be matched by ciivil union.
These are tangible rewards for making a comiitment when one is called for. Don't play house make one! Reply

Jonathan Jaquez Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic July 16, 2007

Purity Well, this point is uncomfortable. Tziniut, purity and abstention, brings good deeds and a Jew has to ensure that the purity of his girlfriend will be always under the approbation of G-d (And of course his own purity). This is not a joke, but if you want a good relationship endurable through the years, living together without getting married first is not so important. Reply

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