As people age and mature, the idea of marriage starts to become more prominent. For many, especially within the Black community, marriage symbolizes not only a commitment but also a huge milestone. Yet, in the journey towards tying the knot, one significant consideration often arises: Should you move in with your partner before deciding to get married?

Living together before marriage was once a taboo subject, but it’s now more common and accepted. Moving in with your partner is a major step that signifies a progression in the relationship. It allows couples to get to know each other deeply, revealing habits, quirks, and lifestyles that might not be apparent otherwise.

The Pros and Cons of Moving In Together


  • Deeper Understanding: Living together offers a clearer picture of your partner’s day-to-day life, helping you understand their habits and routines more intimately.
  • Increased Commitment: Sharing a space often requires a higher level of commitment, creating a deeper bond and greater investment in the relationship.
  • Economic Benefits: With high living costs, cohabiting can provide financial relief by sharing expenses, which can also test how well you manage finances together.
  • Health Benefits: Research suggests that living together can boost health and well-being, similar to the benefits seen in married couples.


  • Potential for Complacency: There’s a risk that cohabiting might reduce the urgency or desire to marry if that is the desired end goal for the relationship. Complacency can lead to a prolonged, indefinite phase of living together without progressing to marriage.
  • Increased Complexity in Breakups: If the relationship ends, separating can be more complicated due to intertwined lives, shared leases and mutual use of belongings.
  • Different Expectations: Partners might have varying expectations from cohabitation, which can lead to conflicts if not communicated clearly beforehand.

Research Insights

A study from the University of Denver by psychologists Galena Rhoades and Scott Stanley highlights that the timing and reasons for moving in together matter significantly. They found that couples who lived together before getting engaged had a 34% higher chance of their marriage ending compared to those who waited until after engagement or marriage. The risk was particularly high for those who “slid” into cohabitation without deliberate planning and discussion.

Another study by the Pew Research Center reveals that while most Americans find cohabitation acceptable, married adults report higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust compared to those who are cohabiting. Married individuals are more likely to feel very satisfied with aspects of their relationship, such as communication and the division of household chores.

Factors to Consider Before Moving In

Before you decide to move in together, it’s essential to reflect on several factors to ensure this step strengthens your relationship rather than complicating it. One crucial factor is your motivation for wanting to live together. Partners who move in together because of financial convenience or to test their relationship may be less satisfied in the long run. This can potentially lead to issues down the road. It’s essential to move in together because of a genuine desire to spend more time with your partner and progress the relationship, rather than out of fear or convenience.

Making the Decision

Before moving in, ensure that both partners are on the same page regarding the meaning and future implications of this step. Discuss your long-term goals and what cohabitation means to each of you. As Rhoades suggests, couples should talk openly about their intentions regarding marriage and where they see the relationship heading.

Deciding whether to move in together before marriage is a deeply personal choice that requires careful consideration and open communication. Remember, the journey to marriage is unique for every couple, and what matters most is that both partners feel confident and committed to the path they choose.