Living Together Vs Marriage: Tips for When You Want More

woman sitting on couch man playing the guitar

Living with someone is like being offered only half the cookie when you want all of it – your appetite craves the whole cookie, so you don’t feel quite satisfied. You may be in a committed relationship, but the fact that either one of you can call it ‘quits’ without much ruckus (discounting the emotions, of course) makes it feel unstable. When you share the same household without the contract of marriage, you may find yourself tolerating things that maybe you wouldn’t if it were “forever and ever.”

Regardless of the justifications you give to yourself about not being married – it’s just too complicated, it’s not worth it, we’re fine the way it is – they are only excuses. Underneath this rationale is a significant fear that at any time, the relationship can just collapse.

If you’re living with a “runner,” the fear that the relationship will disintegrate has probably already hit home – hard! It can be impossible to tell your partner how you feel when you hear comments like, “I don’t have to be here, ya know!” This only breeds mistrust and an entire floor of eggshells to walk on.

Seriously, who wants to walk on eggshells?

Here are a few tips to try when you want more from your relationship:

  1. Remind your partner that it’s not just a “house” that you two live in, but also a “home.”
  2. Stay focused on what you ultimately want, which is to be married.
  3. Talk about drawing up a will. If something happened to you – you would want your loved one to be secure. Make sure your partner feels the same way.
  4. Be firm that veiled threats are off limits! It is not fair to you, it’s not fair to him, and it’s not fair to the relationship.

All relationships go through periods of struggle that include a little pushing and a little pulling. All relationships are difficult to maintain when an underlying insecurity issue is present, and one feels that the rug can be pulled out from underneath them at any time. Note: Keep in mind that if your partner is going to run out on you, it will happen whether or not you are legally married.

Marriage is a business contract. It’s a piece of paper that ensures security, and appropriate division of property. Make sure that you truly want this. If you two are at opposite ends of the fence on it, then either accept it and live with it, or tell your significant other that it’s just not good enough for you. Realize that it must be what you want, and not an ultimatum (as in “marry me or we call it quits”) just to get your way. Sometimes love alone isn’t enough to keep a relationship together.

If you are not getting what you want from cohabiting with your significant other without the marriage contract, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not. In five or ten years, your mate could run out on you and there you will be, sitting there mad as hell that you “wasted” all those years wanting something that didn’t materialize. Or you may find yourself relieved that you didn’t marry this person. Ultimately, it’s your decision, so don’t pin it on anyone else.

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