When the topic of male/female differences arises, the cliché factory is hard pressed to keep up. Men are from Mars—women are from Venus. Men won’t ask for directions. Women speak twice as much as men. Guys use love to get sex—gals use sex to get love. Guys marry hoping she won’t change—gals marry hoping he will change. And on it goes. Some have factual roots. Others are easy fodder for MythBusters. However, when cohabitation is being considered, separating fact from fiction is critical. One confirmed fact is men and women approach living together differently.
Meg Jay, in a NY Times article, wrote, “Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment.”1That may not seem like a significant bump in the road, but the findings of the National Marriage Project is a sinkhole. They list ten reasons why men won’t commit. (Basically, why living with a guy usually fails to lead him to the altar.)
The top 5 were:
- Men can get sex without the ring.
- Men enjoy the social benefits of a wife without the ring—sex partner, lowered expenses, housekeeping
- Men want to avoid divorce to protect their finances/assets.
- Men want to wait until they are older to have kids.
- Men fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.2
Wow! In any other setting, the guy would be run out of town. Why do we play dumb here?
The bottom line is there are far better ways to spend the 18 – 22 months you’ll lose when the live-in relationship fails. Oddly enough, you and God have the same goal; a strong stable marriage. Will you trust Him enough to do it His way? When you look at all the facts, you’ll find that God’s plan is still the best.
1Meg Jay, “The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage,” April, 14, 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-downside-of-cohabiting-before-marriage.html?_r=5&pagewanted=all& , (June, 9, 2014)
2Mike and Harriet McManus, “Living Together; Myths, Risks, and Answers, (New York: Howard Books, 2008), 21.