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    “I Think I’ve Found ‘The One.’ Is It Okay to Move in Together?”

    I’m pretty sure that the guy I’m with now is The One. I’ve been with him for a year. And when I graduate high school, he wants to marry me. The question I have is…is it okay to move in with him before we get married to get all the jitters and butterflies out of the way or should I wait until after I marry him?

    Hey girl! This is such a great question and I thank you for trusting me with the answer.

    Living together before marriage has become such a norm in our culture today that hardly anyone blinks an eyelid when considering it. But that’s the worldly way of proceeding in a relationship and certainly not the right way.

    I understand that you feel he’s “The One” and you’re going to live together eventually, so why not now? But even if all goes according to plan, it still wouldn’t have been God’s way. And don’t you want to do it His way?

    You write that living together before marriage will “get all the jitters and butterflies out of the way.” But you’re supposed to get the jitters and butterflies! It comes with getting married and beginning a life together. It’s part of the fun and the transition into marriage, and it’s a great feeling worth waiting for.

    You see, my concerns with cohabitation are these:

    1. People who live together before marriage tend to have premarital sex. I know, you probably don’t plan on that, but it’s more likely to happen when two people who are attracted to each other live together. You’re there together at night, getting cozy on a couch, blah, blah, blah…need I say more?
    2. Couples who cohabit often delay marriage. They feel like they’re already living together, so what more could marriage offer except a more solid commitment? And after living together and maybe experiencing some of the realities that come with sharing a home, some individuals have a harder time following through with the marriage step.
    3. Silly arguments about toothpaste in the sink may lead to a breakup. Really!
    4. And what if you two do break up? I know, I know…you’re not going to break up. But what if you do? There’s the whole messy scenario of having to pack up and leave. And go where? Living together complicates everything. And a breakup after living together would be so much harder to deal with than if you were just courting.

    What you need to know about someone can be realized outside of living together, and bad habits that are hidden during date nights are usually not worth divorcing over. So don’t assume that you can figure out what a person is really like by living with him. A person is kind and considerate all the time. He’s clean all the time. He’s helpful, hardworking and responsible all the time. If you don’t learn these things about a person outside of living with him, then you’re not learning about him.

    So, here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Be sure that he’s The One! I’m guessing you’re in the courting stage of your relationship. You’re “pretty sure” he’s The One, so turn that “pretty sure” into a “sure” and get to know your beau as well as you can. And let him get to know you. Share your likes and dislikes, wishes, dreams and how you see your future together. How many children are you planning to have? Are you both going to work? And so on. All of these questions should be discussed now. And having conversations now will open up those lines of communication needed in a marriage.
    2. Meet with your priest or pastor. No, not to discuss the wedding date, but to have some guidance in your discussions. He will give you a rounded idea of what a Christian marriage is all about. And this will prepare you so much more than living together will.
    3. Pray for God’s guidance. And pray for patience. If you want to enter a Christian marriage, then pray that you really have found The One and that the two of you enter into it with dignity, patience and composure.
    4. Read your Bible. There’s so much written in the New Testament about Christian marriage. And this should guide you and your beau during your courtship.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

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