Nov 23, 2008

Shacking Up

I was watching an episode of the Michael Baisden show last night and the topic up for discussion was shacking up. Due to my upbringing I always viewed shacking up in a negative light. As I got older I believed that living together before marriage wasn't wise...playing house, prematurely combining assets blurred the lines to me...what was the point of marriage? At 24, I have come to change my view on the topic and after last night's episode I feel even more solidifed in my beliefs.

Living together before marriage, or shacking up, is not only necessary...but an extremely crucial step any couple should consider BEFORE marriage...before an engagement...before deciding to make a life together. You will never know someone until you live with them...or travel with them...spend day to day time with them in varying situations to see how they react. When you live together you get to know someone inside and out...their pros, cons and all the stuff in the middle.

I think you should date for a while, feel comfortable with the person you're with and make sure that you love them and accept them for who they are. Living together isn't going to be some magic wand. It doesn't change habits, traits or problems you have with them. If anything, the constant close proximity can drive a weaker relationship apart.

Living together is a step to take when a relationship has maxed out in the regular dating stage...when you feel like it could possibly lead to marriage (not like tomorrow...but you're 100% sure you're not wasting your time and this is someone you want to take it further with). I don't think you should live together just to save money (maybe a reason if you're in New York or LA), keep a watchful eye on your significant other (stalking isn't cute) nor should you do it to try and be a control freak and take over their lives.

My biggest issue with the discussion last night was the fact that as black people we tend to cling to religion as a way of validating every action we make or hesitate on. Saying that you don't want to shack up because "the bible says so" while you have 4 kids by 3 different guys isn't valid to me... "I don't believe need more people!"

On top of that there's nothing more beautiful, peaceful and wonderful than living alone! Personal space is fantastic...definitely the business! I find it hard to believe that anyone is excited to give up their personal space...especially for something that doesn't have long term potential.
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