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Relationship Advice

Mindset: Cohabitation and Marriage

There’s a talk thread on Yelp about Cohabitation. Marla S made a good point, which I think is good to bear in mind if one aspires to cohabitate and marry.

The gist of it is: when you are living together, you’re thinking about I: “Can I live with this person?” But for a healthy marriage, you need to be intent on adapting your life to your relationship with your partner: you need to be thinking about we: “Can we realize our common dreams?” There’s a difference that should be considered when moving from cohabitation to marriage.

It is the difference in mind-set, I think, moving from being a self-centered adult to a founding member of a new family, that gets you in practice for being a parent.

I think a lot of people must get tripped up, since becoming an adult is about moving from dependency to being independent, and being married and starting a family is about moving from independence to interdependence. (And then having kids adds never getting enough sleep, changing diapers and the occasional trip to the emergency room.)  It takes a lot of character building and revision, just when you thought you had it all figured out . . . a lot of folks I know seem content to stay at “adult” and are reluctant to venture much further.

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