I feel like my entire life this summer has been surrounded by relationships. I know seven people who have gotten engaged within the last month or so. I've been invited to a few weddings. And I have been in my own relationship this entire time.
After having an impromptu conversation with my boyfriend about getting engaged/moving in together, I was bothered and a little saddened by a few things he said. I will admit, the constant engagement frenzy I have been around recently may have gotten to my head a little bit. So, I went onto a women's forum app, explained the situation and left a poll for people to take. I basically said I was a little sad that my boyfriend wanted to live with me before getting engaged to see how we would be in the same house, asked if I was overreacting and stated that I actually would prefer to live together after getting engaged and making a commitment.
Almost 1,500 votes and 300+ comments later, this is what I got:
"Marriage is just a piece of paper."
"You need to live with someone before you get engaged so you can leave if it doesn't work out or they are too hard to live with."
"A relationship is easier to get out of than a marriage."
I'm sorry, what? Majority of these comments were calling me nuts for being extremely hesitant about moving in with my boyfriend before getting engaged. All of them made it seem like if there was some type of flaw with the way either of us lived, it was worth breaking up over. More comments said I was blowing things out of proportion and called me pathetic for wanting a ring so bad.
Sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned girl. I want a ring before a home, because I refuse to be the type of girl who lets a man get the milk without buying the cow ie, having all the benefits of a marriage without the commitment. Relationships are not something you throw away because one person constantly leaves the toilet seat up or forgets to grab a new gallon of milk instead of putting back the empty one. It's downright PATHETIC that people break up over these things. No apologies here, honey, because I know what I am worth and the answer is the commitment.
Admittedly, trying to rush my amazing boyfriend into an engagement is not something I should do, and I have decided to put that out of my mind, at least until I graduate. I know that if I discuss everything at length with him, a compromise will be made because we truly care about each other and our feelings. He has talked about our future enough to where I am confident a ring will be in the mix, and I owe it to him to be patient. What I do not owe anyone is a change of morals.
Riddle me this. The divorce rate has doubled within the last 50 years or so. You know what else has? Cohabitation. It is statistically proven that couples are TWICE AS LIKELY to get a divorce if they choose to live together before marriage. Look it up and thousands upon thousands of research studies show the same result: there is no clear advantage to living together before getting married. It actually puts you in a worse place and comes with more risks of unhappiness.
Back in the day, living together before marriage was frowned upon and very rare. You know what was also rare back in the day? DIVORCE. People today treat relationships and marriage like something that can be ended over the most trivial problems and I'm not even sorry, but it is absolutely sick. If you love someone enough to take vows, you should love them through all of their quirks too.
I get that people want to make sure they are compatible, but the truth is, there is nobody out there that you will not argue with over the struggles of living together. My family didn't put me up for adoption when they constantly had to remind me to turn off the lights or take the trash out. Why? Because that is what unconditional love is. What you have to ask yourself is do you love this person enough to get through the arguments, accept their quirks and overcome the hard times because they are worth it to you.
So, to all the women on the forum app calling ME nuts, enjoy the children you have out of wedlock, the "piece of paper" you will never get because you gave a guy the milk without the cow and the divorces you will likely statistically endure if you do get married. I may be old-fashioned, but I am also smart and will likely be happier because of it. Sorry not sorry.