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Trial Run

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suitsJust coming back from lunch with two male colleagues and I must say my head is still reeling. I can’t believe how little I know about the male psyche. I always thought I was a master. Well, not anymore!

The issue that started this downward spiral was really a rather simple one. It was a rather light conversation over our lunch as I hadn’t seen the guys in quite some time due to busy workloads and demanding managers. I had been looking forward to spending time with them as I wanted a refreshing break in an otherwise hectic day.

Sitting down to lunch, we got discussing each other’s lives and what developments had happened since we last spoke. One of the guys has been in a long term relationship for some years now and he mentioned that his girlfriend’s friends were all getting married. As is the way of these things, I then made a joke implying he was soon to follow as the girl would start hinting soon enough.

Shockingly his response wasn’t what I expected. I expected him to make the age-old joke of women and their body clock. Or maybe say he wasn’t ready for marriage as he is quite young still. Or even maybe suggest a holiday to take her mind off the topic. What I got instead was a response that sent my mind into free fall. His response? ‘We haven’t even lived together yet!’

Maybe I’m the one that’s been living under a rock. Since when is it a necessity to live with someone before you can marry them? Am I missing something here?

I have some friends that are married and some that are getting married this summer. None of them – and I mean zero – have lived with their partners before taking their marriage vows. One, who has been married for a few years now and recently had her first child, was with her husband for many years before they got married. In that time, they did not live together and were still very happy. Happy enough to get married and start a family.

It seemed as though I was on another planet as the other colleague, who is married, turned around and agreed that a couple MUST live together before getting married. WHY? Is it written somewhere and no one has sent me a memo yet? Their rationale is that you have to have a trial marriage before the actual marriage. Someone must be playing a trick on me – a cruel one at that!

This concept of trying before you buy seems to be ingrained in some aspects of our society. When buying my flat, I didn’t say to the estate agents ‘Oh wait, I have to live in it first to make sure we’re compatible’ before buying. You can get to know someone’s habits before taking the plunge into marriage. I do agree that living with someone is very different to just dating but isn’t that the fun of married life? Getting to explore all aspects of the other person in a way you hadn’t before?

I’m curious as to what you all think on this issue. Am I simply off my rockers for thinking living together is not a pre-requisite for marriage? I for one do not believe in living with someone just to simulate what it would be like when – IF – we do decide to go down that route.

What are your thoughts? Would you or wouldn’t you?

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