Engagement Ring vs. Key Ring
I was watching an episode from one of my favorite TV shows when something happened that befuddled me. In the very short scene, one character is confiding in another about his decision to ask his girlfriend to move in with him. The response from the other character is “I guess moving in with her is the next logical step.”
What?! When did moving in with someone become the next logical step?
I was at a meeting recently where this very topic was being discussed. A marketing research company did a study about cohabitation and why it’s on the rise. To summarize a two-day overview, it’s because people have a fear of the unknown. Will the marriage last or will it end in divorce? So the mentality is, let’s live together to see if it works out first.
From a certain standpoint, it could make sense. Playing house before getting married could indicate how well you mesh together. Except there’s one problem with this scenario and that problem is that cohabitation gives you a false sense of commitment. In reality, there is no commitment here. The minute the relationship goes south, it’s time to end it and move on. The test drive is over.
Yes, the test drive. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “we’re going to test drive the marriage.” News flash. That’s what dating is for. Please stop disrespecting yourself and others by comparing yourselves to a chunk of metal that has no thoughts or feelings. Taking something for a test drive indicates that someone will thoroughly test the product first and only then make a decision as to whether or not they like it, and if they don’t, they will try something else. You are not made out of metal and wiring that someone can check under the hood, kick the tires and take you for a joy ride. You have feelings, emotions, thoughts and aspirations.
And if you think that moving in with someone will increase the likelihood of engagement or actually getting married, think again. The New York Times (and many others) has reported on this frequently. And they write that moving in together actually just postpones marriage indefinitely, results in a less satisfied marriage and increases the likelihood of divorce. They also write that couples that live together are more likely to have kids than to get married.
So why are people still doing this? Because it’s turned into the “logical” thing to do because they fear failure. Well guess what? You have no idea if living with someone is going to work out either. Don’t substitute an engagement ring for a key ring. If your dream is to be married, then you deserve someone who wants to marry you, not someone who wants drag you along on a never ending test drive.