If you’re in a long-term relationship, you’ve probably thought about shacking up with your mate. If you aren’t yet in a serious relationship, this will definitely be a topic of conversation that comes up–and one that you’ll need to be prepared for. There are certainly both pros and cons to living together before marriage. Living together can change a relationship for the good and bad. So it will be your responsibility to make an informed decision as to whether or not it is the best choice for you. Here’s what every couple should consider before signing a lease……

1. Getting to Know Each Other Beforehand (PRO)

One of the best advantages to living together before marriage is getting the chance to see how things will work in the marriage – sort of like a ‘sneak peak’ behind the scenes. You get the chance to see whether or not you and your partner are truly compatible, whether you do well together living under the same roof and what sort of conflicts or disputes might arise. It’s a great way to foresee the future a bit. Who knows; you could be absolute opposites and a divorce waiting to happen. Or, you could be the perfect couple – living together before marriage will give you a nice idea of which one it will be.

2. It Might Not Work Out (CON)

With getting to know each other, you’ve got to keep in the back of your mind that it could not work out. Your boyfriend or girlfriend could be a completely slob and you can’t handle it – at all. At least, this way, you’ll know before you commit to each other in front of the alter. Most cohabitations are quite short-lived; they typically last for about a year or a little more and then are transformed into marriages or dissolve.

3. You Get Used to Each Others Habits (PRO)

Living together before marriage also gives you a level of comfort that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You know the other person and the different personality quirks and you’re a bit more prepared for when you do marry. Living together with someone allows you to see deeply inside their own world and you may find things you never knew existed before living together. Depending upon what those things are, living together before marriage could determine the actual course of the marriage!

4. You Lose the Excitement of ‘Being Married'(CON)

Another disadvantage of living together before marriage is that you lose the excitement and thrill the ‘honeymoon’ will bring. When you have already lived with someone and gotten to know their actions and habits, the time after the wedding will not be as exciting. However, this is not always a bad thing. If losing the excitement before you’re even married frightens you, you may not want to live together before marriage.

5. Financial Relief (PRO)

If you’ve been footing the bill solo for an apartment or house for a while, going splitsies on rent can be pretty amazing. Not only would you be sharing rent, but you’d split also all living costs as well! The days of your own grocery and cable bills will be long gone, and saving up for a down payment on a house or car can seem much more attainable when you have someone to share the financial pressure. This can be especially important if you feel you’ve been spending almost all your days at his house anyway (or vice-versa) and are sick of living out of that special “drawer” he gave you last year.

6. Families Can Get Separated (CON)

Many times, a couple who lives together before becoming married can upset their families or friends who have strict religious beliefs. If these families or friends are the soon-to-be bride or groom’s parents, this can create a rift in the family which can be difficult to repair. However, some families are fine with a situation like this. Think of how your family or your partner’s family would feel about the situation before doing anything and decide how it will affect the family relationship.