Marriage vs. Cohabitation

There’s an interesting debate on whether folks are opting to live together as supposed to getting married and why. This generation is entirely more relaxed and unbothered by the expectations and or traditions of their families. Why and what changed?

After speaking with some friends and family members, I then spoke with coworkers and random members at neighboring churches and what I discovered was not only surprising, but it was clear across the board that we’re a nation struggling to find love, stability, financial security and freedom.

So it was no surprise that more women wanted to be married, but not for the reasons you may think and not necessarily in the traditional sense. Younger women desired goals and had plans for their careers and living with a potential mate was more appealing than actually getting married right away. It appeared more financial than emotional because being secure was their primary focus.

Some women seemed more traditional, stating their faith would have them wait for marriage. Living with a potential soul mate would weaken their chances of having a solid foundation going into a marriage. A good, God-fearing, faithful man with a strong understanding of his faith will provide financial security for a good, God-fearing woman equally as devote in her faith. I found it interesting that these women when asked if they were sexually active, some admitted they were. Some were ashamed but felt like they were weak. Others were certainly more forthcoming and said if they didn’t, they feared they’d lose their grip on their potential mate. I appreciated their honesty.

As for the men I spoke to, some were more concerned about their finances, and the thought of marriage gave them anxieties. They were worried about getting divorced and losing everything they worked so hard to achieve. Others couldn’t imagine settling down with one woman because it seemed too permanent. Typical LOL.

Some men want to get married but have concerns. They claimed a good woman is hard to find. These men want to find a woman without children because they don’t want the added drama of a baby daddy or daddy’s. A few wanted a good woman that could cook, clean, raise their kids, and be focused on their family. These men didn’t want a career-oriented woman. They wanted a simple woman with old-fashioned values that wasn’t concerned with advancing more than raising a family and being a great wife.

Funnier still, the elders I spoke with were more open-minded than some of the younger folks on the topic of marriage vs. cohabitation. Having lived through more than she cares to remember, Mrs. C said she wished she’d lived with her first husband and father of her sons first; she wouldn’t have married him. She said he was messy, lazy and didn’t respect her or her family. She spoke highly of her second husband and father of her daughters and said he was a wonderful man that allowed her freedoms she never imagined, and she got a degree in education because of him. “God rest his soul, he believed in me.”

The expectations were different back then and what we valued was the root of it, but the notion of living with your boyfriend was not an option, and you’d be labeled a not so nice girl, and you never wanted that label back then. Mrs. C laughed and added that woman have so many choices now and no courage to make them.

We all have our reasons for what we choose for ourselves and why. We even make decisions based on necessities and somehow we manage to find an emotional connection along the way. So why are we even debating about Marriage vs. Cohabitation? Because there will always be rules and expectations to make us question what we do and why. We connect and create moments that change how we see everything around us. When you add someone special to the mix, together you find your truths and define the moments to come. Whether or not marriage or cohabitation is best for you, one thing is certain, being with the one you love however you want to be with them, is yours to decide. No judgment!

Photo Provided By:  Jazzy Photography

 

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