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This is a topic that everyone has an opinion on, should you shack up before getting married? Some say if you do you’re doomed – why would he want to buy the cow when he can get the milk for free? Others say that shacking is like taking marriage for a test drive.

This latter group thinks that living together will tell you whether or not you can get along with that person once married. They think by living together you may be able to find out what your mate is really like, how they live, how they handle stress, are the two of you able to be that close for that long together? Well that group is wrong.

In this situation what you are trying out is living together which is a long way from being married. When you’re living together there is no real commitment. Anyone can leave at anytime and the both of you know this. The effort to work on conflict resolution skills is not the same as it is when married. With marriage there is a difference, you’re with that person for the long haul so normally there is a stronger commitment to making it work. Studies even show that divorce rates are higher for those couples that lived together before being married. The exception is couples that live together while engaged but you get my drift right?

So when your boyfriend/girlfriend gives you the story about why you should shack up, remember to just say, “NO” (if marriage is your ultimate goal)!

For more love, relationship, and family insight, go to BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com.

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