Living Together: Why Something Sensible is So Damaging


Living together to “test drive” the relationship SEEMS to make sense. And yet research is now coming out that instead of helping couples, it actually works against their future relationship.

In this article, we’re going to provide for you a few thoughts on this subject. We’ll then provide a link to another article, which you can read in its entirety on this subject.

In a question/answer column written in a past magazine issue of Today’s Christian Woman, Dr Leslie Parrot responds to a young woman. She was struggling with the concept of “true love waits.” She believes she’s found the man she wants to marry.

Here’s the reply Dr Parrot gives:

“I recently counseled a couple. They were sincere churchgoers in their early thirties and had been dating for several months at the time. They both entered the relationship wanting to wait until marriage to have sex. But in the heat of passion, just two months into their relationship, they had intercourse. ‘We felt guilty at first,’ she confided. ‘But over the last three months we were sexually active, we felt more in love with each other than ever.’

“Yet despite feeling ‘more in love,’ this couple eventually fell apart. That’s because their relationship wasn’t strong enough. It couldn’t handle the weight of expectations and needs associated with sex.

“I know you’re thrilled to have found ‘Mr. Right,’ but let me caution you. Sex changes everything. Sexual intercourse draws us into the profound mystery of a ‘one-flesh’ reality. It’s meant to bond us in a deep and wonderful way. But there’s a hitch. Sex outside the lifelong covenant of permanence and fidelity sets up expectations. It also creates needs that almost always dismantle the relationship.

Premarital Sex Doesn’t Test Love

“As missionary and author Walter Trobisch said, ‘Sex is not a test of love. It is precisely the very thing one wants to test that is destroyed by the testing.’ I know it’s tempting to believe love sanctifies sex. But it’s just not true. The problem with using sex as a means to increased intimacy before marriage is that it soon becomes a substitute for emotional intimacy. Couples who put their sexuality on fast forward short-circuit the normal progression of linking hearts and souls.

“Research shows the emotional bonding required for lasting love is most likely to move slowly and systematically through stages. For a relationship to achieve its full potential, it requires emotional vulnerability. It also needs countless private memories. Having sex too soon keeps those things from developing. It creates an illusion of intimacy that fades with the fires of passion.

“‘There is so much use of the body as a substitute for psychological intimacy,’ says psychologist Rollo May. ‘It’s much easier to jump in bed with someone than it is to share your fears and anxieties.’ Don’t delude yourself into thinking that sex brings you closer together in any lasting or meaningful way. It doesn’t. So don’t lose your resolve to hold out for sex until you’re married.”

There’s a High Price to Be Paid

No matter how much sense something may seem to make to us, if it goes against God’s principles, we will pay a high price for disobedience. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12) The type of death in this situation could be the death of a relationship. It can also include the death of a dream and values that are important.

On this same subject here’s a link to a Smart Marriages web site article, which might further explain this point:


Here is something put together by Charles Pope, titled, “Cohabitor Vows.” I hope you will prayerfully consider what is said here if you’re wondering if you should continue living together outside of marriage:

Plus, three other articles that you may benefit from reading from other web sites are:

COHABITATION Is Bad for Men, Worse for Women and Horrible for Children

4 LIES Culture Tells Us About Living Together Before Marriage


Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International compiled this blog.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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4 responses to “Living Together: Why Something Sensible is So Damaging

  1. (BOTSWANA)  Me and my boyfriend are preparing for marraige and we are living together. We are not having sex because we know the results. We chose to live togrether because he is my prayer partner. Is it wrong to live together while preparing for marriage?

    1. (US) Yes, Bonolo I believe it’s not right. Because living together is something special you are taking away from the marriage before its time. You are setting yourself in a place where temptation can set in at any time. And if you really ask God to reveal and expose to YOU TWO your true intentions and uncover anything that is not of Him that’s making you two live together, you may quickly realize that the prayer partner reason is more of a justification. I think it would be better for you two to be prayer partners from living seperately. You will have a chance to have an emotional connection, without the illusion of marriage. Once you do get married, it will all fall together, and you can continue from there. Hang in there, I know its hard, I’ve been with my now fiance for 6 years, got engaged about 2 months ago. It gets hard but God’s grace is sufficient, to get you through it.

  2. I’m feeling the consequences of living together before marriage. Everything in this article is absolutely true. I wish I would have known. It’s a very painful experience.

  3. Is there something wrong with living together after you decide to reunite after a divorce? Should you re- marry and then live together?