You need to really know each other first prior to deciding on marriage. One way to do so, is living with each other first. I lived with my husband for 7 years prior to us getting married. We've now been married 7 years this July... So it's working for us at least.
It not only allows the couple to test if the whole marriage idea will work out, but it provides a way for the couple to become even more united. True colors are seen in people when they are in the environment that most suits, allows them to be comfortable, and allows them the freedom to act as they please. In most cases it’s the person’s home. The couple can get an insight of how the other acts in their own home and towards their own belongings. Are they clean and organized? Or are the lazy and messy? Would you be willing to marry someone you have to persistently keep cleaning after?
I love my girlfriend more than anyone in the world but I need to know that if I spend every day with her that I will be able to do that and remain the calm collected person I try to be around her. I believe in commitment and not because of a holy book but because I think that people are meant to have one lover and because that is only one, it means you have to make the right decision the first time. Divorce is a painful process and I wouldn't want to experience that nor put anyone through it because I made the wrong decision. I deserve to make sure I made the right decision before it's too late.
Yes I think it's a good idea for people to really understand and know each other before getting married. By living with someone you get a real taste of what it will be like being so close to another person. It's hard for people to hide their unsavory personality traits for extended periods, so when live with them for months at a time you get to see a side you may have never known. I think most people can fake or hide their true self for maybe 3 months or so, and then the real person is revealed. Now, I'm no relationship expert, but if you cannot live with someone peacefully, you probably shouldn't marry them.
When a couple decides to cohabitate before getting married, they learn more about each other than dating and living separately could ever teach them. Sometimes being in love really isn't enough; sometimes couples who really care about each other simply cannot live in the same house. When people live together, they learn how the other person is at their most intimate moments. Learning about your partner's truly private lifestyle should not be put off until married.
I believe that people who have lived together prior to marriage get along better because they have gotten to know one another, including their habits, good and bad, and their likes and dislikes. The period that would usually be spent getting used to each other in the first months or year of marriage has already been experienced by living together prior to marriage. It also gives the couple the opportunity to get to know their partners' parents and family, if possible, in a home situation.
While up to the preferences of the individual couple, I think it is important that many of them live together before getting married. This helps you understand your partner and their personality/idiosyncrasies. This will help determine if you are a good match, before you are married.
Aside from guidelines outlined in religious text, why else is there any problem with this? Cohabitation is one of the ultimate trials of a relationship and it can make or break a relationship. You learn to live with your significant other, you grow with them each day and you resolve conflicts. Waiting until you are married to live together essentially is "forcing?" A person to get along with another because, hey, they're married. It is similar to not paying your credit card bill until you receive a warning from the bank, why not take care of the issues while they are still fresh instead of placing yourself in a situation in which you are in between a rock and a hard place?
How can you tell your children to not have sex before marriage or without commitment when you are doing it in front of them? I think with the teen pregnancy rate as high as it is, parents need to set good examples. Don't just "try out relationships" and drag your kids along for the ride. Teach them commitment, self discipline and caution with regards to family and the opposite sex. If you feel this is who you want to be with for the rest of your life, marry her and then move your kids into a house together.
If you really need to "test drive" someone to see if their living habits are going to drastically change your feelings for them, I think you have to work on your ability to commit. If you love someone, you are willing to work through any problem with them. And I don't believe there's anything you can learn from living with someone that you can't somehow learn by dating them. Ask each other questions! Get to know one another! Learn the little things (are you a morning/night person, how do you like to do laundry, etc.) in addition o the big things (religion, do you want kids, etc.) and you'll be fine. You can use their family and friends as resources too. Frankly, living together without being married can just get too messy. I believe that a couple should be able to figure out, based on their conduct and feelings toward one another, if marriage would work. If they aren't sure, they probably aren't ready to be that close in any case. And if they are sure, why not just wait until marriage?
I have seen plenty of couples out there who apparently felt they wanted to start off their lives together, without the benefit of marriage. Not many have worked out. In fact, of the 12 or so I know, only one couple is still together. I'll admit that there is a certain amount of my belief in the Bible that might weigh into this. But, at some point, even setting that aside wouldn't change my opinion. When I was younger, my belief would have been that all couples who were living together should marry, so they could put things right. These days, my opinion would be that they should separate and go through a proper courtship, before deciding if they should spend the rest of their lives together. Living in a home together, prior to marriage, doesn't prove that they are compatible. You can only really prove you are committed and really care about one another by deciding to act on faith and marry the other person first.
Couples should not live together before marriage, because there is no real commitment there and, therefore, living together as a "trial" is not really a fair measurement. Couples should wait for marriage to live together and to have sexual relations, because this is the way marriage was intended. To do so prior to or outside of marriage, takes away some of the respect and sanctity of marriage and the marriage relationship.
If two people live together before marriage it ruins the sanctity behind marriage, the point of waiting for marriage. Marriage is hear as a boundary that should be respeccted for the good of all involved. If someone can get everything they want without committing, they will not bother to commit and will eventualy leave.