You can’t test run a married home without the marriage commitment. If you do – you will be merely testing for failure.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

What is it?

Living together, also known as cohabitation, is when two people in a romantic relationship move in together and experience a sexual relationship. The couple are not married and, unlike marriage, their status is not currently recognised in law.

Why do some people live together? Is it a good idea?

Isn’t it a test run before actually getting married?

You can’t test run a married home without the marriage commitment. There is an inbuilt lack of commitment emotionally, sexually and materially which means a test run is flawed from the start. Marriage, in contrast involves a positive commitment that enables the relationship to flourish.


Isn’t it basically being married without the paperwork and an expensive party?

There is an inherent sense of security in marriage because it is clear what the undertakings and expectations are from both parties – the vows made in public express a commitment that is whole-hearted, exclusive and life-long. Contrast this with living together in which no public and legally binding promises have been made. As a result, the two people involved often have different expectations of the relationship and its future. There is often an imbalance of commitment, where one may think they are in it for life whilst the other wants to keep it vague.

Quite often [1] living together relationships end up dissolving without proceeding to marriage. The lack of paperwork and public declaration of the relationship means a lack of protection when the relationship ends.


Isn’t it easy to start and easy to finish?

Is living together the easy option that it seems to be? Sadly, studies [2] show that such relationships are quite unstable (much more so than marriage).  Break ups are painful and more so when you have been sexually committed and living together. The result is often heartache and regret. Naturally women in these types of relationships sometimes find themselves pregnant. If the relationship does not go on to marriage, then mother and child are left in an intrinsically insecure situation. If the relationship breaks up, there is no easy way to raise a child alone and no easy way for a child to live with the fact that their parents have separated. Alternatively, a woman may find that she has waited too long to have children and be unable to do so in a new relationship. These consequences remind us of the wisdom of God’s intention that sex and raising children are to be experienced within, and only within, marriage.