I've been cohabiting with my partner for a long time. Ten years this year, in fact. I won't bore you with the details, but we are made for each other. He is my best friend, and I his. Contrary to a recent Huff Post article, I don't think he's about to run off as soon as he finds someone more suitable.
"Living together is no guarantee of commitment. A study by Pollard and Harris found that 41% of cohabiting men were not 'completely committed' to their live-in girlfriends."
Forty one percent?! What the study fails to mention, is that these arses would probably be no more committed to you if you married them and handcuffed them to the sofa. If you can't tell whether your live-in boyfriend is 'completely committed', then I suggest you put your GHDs in your suitcase and bugger off.
Living with someone before you marry them isn't a bad idea. In fact, it's a bloody good one. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd like to marry a man who, it turns out after the honeymoon, has got the world's largest collection of Beanie Babies, or wants to take you to every Nickelback gig he can get tickets for.
Similarly, I'd want to know that my partner is prepared to relinquish all extra storage space in the house for my expanding yarn stash and knitting supplies, before I'd consider walking down the isle in my knitted wedding dress.
Finding the person you're supposed to spend the rest of your life with doesn't work like it does in fairy tales. If you marry everyone that you think might make you happy, you'll spend a fortune on divorce lawyers, and be eternally miserable.
It's not about statistics, it's common sense. As much as you need to learn how the other half lives, you need to know how you'll feel with someone else all up yo' face. You might think you have that head over heels kinda love, but until you've agreed on the right fabric softener, and which Star Trek is actually the best (it's Next Generation, by the way), you won't really know.
Your routine and your habits will change, but here's the secret - you won't mind at all.
If the main point of all the studies mentioned in the Ten Things article is that men stay married because they are legally obliged to, then you can keep it. You are NOT a mobile phone contract, and he shouldn't be waiting for an upgrade at the end.
"Cohabiting relationships often last a lot longer than they should because constraints such as mortgages, cats, and Ikea sofas... make cohabiting relationships more complicated to terminate."
Let me tell you this, ladies and gentlemen. When my partner and I get married, I will continue my obsession with Ikea, and will try even harder to convince him to let me have a cat, so in actuality, any of these complications are still present in a marriage, only now you need a solicitor to decide who gets to keep the Lövbacken side table.
I'm sorry, dear reader, if you have been scorned by That Pillock You Wasted 3 Years Of Your Life With, but picking out your wedding cake before you get to know someone is a bad idea. I mean really get to know them. With the average wedding costing something like £12000, repaying that loan will leave a bitter taste in your mouth once you've found out he only eats organic broccoli and wont watch Homes under the Hammer with you.
Yes, Beyonce knows you should put a ring on it, but she made sure she knew whether Jay Z was a cat or dog person first.