In summary you need to be very careful before making the decision to shack up! I find that the fantasy of shacking up is not always the reality. Let’s take a look at the men first. He imagines going out with the guys just as much but having the added bonus of the cute girlfriend waiting up for him. The idea of her cleaning, cooking and sharing expenses is very appealing too. Now the ladies typically have a different vision. They see themselves spending more time together. They look forward to sharing furniture, favorite TV shows and soon a puppy. They may see this as 1 step closer to getting that diamond ring. Now not everyone has these exact fantasies but the point is to be sure you are both on the same page. Moving in together when you are not convinced that this is the person you are going to marry can lead to disaster. The emotional attachment along with the shared belongings (especially that new puppy) makes it harder to walk away from a relationship that was never quite right.
I have done both folks! I moved in with my first husband within one year of dating. We shacked up for years while all our friends were getting married. So we moved forward with our wedding, bought a home together, had a beautiful baby boy and landed in divorce court just after his first birthday. The second time around was different. His house sold just 2 weeks prior to our scheduled trip to Vegas. The ring was purchased and we were both sure of our commitment to each other. We had another child who just turned 3 and life is still happy!
Research shows that 8 out of 10 couples who live together before marriage end up breaking up or eventually divorced. Sure there are many cases, especially in second relationships where it works. Both agree that marriage is not of interest and they share the same vision for the relationship. The biggest mistake is believing that shacking up will fix a challenged relationship. Fix it first and I can assure you everyone will be much happier!