Articles:My friend is in high school and she is always getting into bad relationships with college guys who don't respect her. Now a guy wants her to leave her mom and third stepfather, and move in with him. What can I do?
Media:Sex - When are you ready?
Stick by your wise womanly intuitions, and DO NOT move in with this guy or have sleep-overs. It robs a couple of the uniqueness of marriage. If he loves you, he won't pressure you to do that stuff. You're in high school, so marriage should be at least five years down the road for you. There's no rush for this. You will not miss out on love of you don't shack up with a guy. You'll only miss out on love if you lower your standards.
You mentioned that he said you shouldn't base your relationship on statistics. That's right. We should base it on wisdom, smart decisions, and the will of God. Moving in together is a poor decision that goes against the will of God. That's definitely not something to base a relationship on. Besides, do you know anyone on earth whose relationship is "based on statistics?" No, but I know lots of people who use statistics to make wise choices.
For example, what if I said, "99% of the people who jump off the building will die. But, I can't base everything on statistics, so I'll go for it." You see, the real reason he has contempt for the research you told him about is because it undermines what he wants: a live-in seventeen-year-old girlfriend. So, he's just insulting your intelligence by telling you that your point was irrelevant. The fact is, he doesn't care about your divorce rate. All he's thinking of is what he wants today. You have a good head on your shoulders, and you have the wisdom to consider your future. Don't let him endanger that.
In today’s culture, cohabitation has become so commonplace that some even question the common sense of those who jump into marriage without first testing each other’s compatibility. As the logic goes, “Who would buy a car without first test-driving it?” The obvious problem with such a question is that a person is not a something that you can return to the used-car lot if you aren’t satisfied with its performance. But underneath such an irreverent question is an understandable fear. Many young couples today have witnessed the painful separation of their own parents, and have no desire to relive that experience in their own relationships. Many are understandably hesitant about the seriousness of a marriage commitment, and this is partly a good thing. It is not something to be taken lightly.
But the question is this: Does cohabitation assist a couple in making a wise marriage decision, or hinder their ability to do so? Those who live together prior to marriage typically don’t foresee how much more difficult they are making their own lives if their relationship doesn’t work out. Just imagine how much more difficult it would be to break up with your boyfriend if half of his apartment was filled with your furniture. Consider how much harder it would be to leave him if you had nowhere else to go. You don’t want to move back in with mom, and you don’t want the hassle of moving all your stuff again. All too often, cohabiting couples who have rocky relationships stay together because they already feel emotionally, financially, and physically married. If such relationships do end, the separation can be just as painful as a divorce. Because cohabitation isn’t exactly a fruitful season of marital discernment and preparation, it has earned the less-than-noble nickname, “shacking up.”
You can't make bad decisions in your relationship because you feel bad for what happened to his dad. He must learn to trust, and he'll never learn that essential quality of a father and husband if you give in to him. If you're afraid that he'll leave you if you do not shack up with him, then how deeply does he really love you? When a man can not stand on his own, then when he finds a girl, he will be using the woman for security (and other things). Marriage will not be a gift of self, but a hostage situation, where one spouse is expected to meet all the emotional needs of the other. Besides, if you're in a long-distance relationship, this often causes the couple to have a romanticized image of the relationship, since you may lack the day-to-day interaction that grounds relationships in reality.
I remember reading about a young dating couple who was at a restaurant eating dinner. Across the room, they saw an elderly married couple who had not said a single word to each other the entire meal. As the young couple was leaving their table and walking past the older pair, they felt a kind of pity for them because it seemed like there was no communication between them. Just as the young couple passed their table, they noticed why they had been so quiet: they were playing footsie with each other under the table! They had said everything that there was so say. They knew their love for each other, and they had peace in that silence.
Now, do you think their marriage lasted so long because they shacked up before marriage? I doubt it. They knew each other, built a solid friendship, and then stepped with confidence into the great sacrament of marriage. When we flip this process up-side-down, and move in together to get to know each other, and then hope for marriage later, it's like building a pyramid up-side-down. Take your time to build love, because love is patient. If he loves you, then he'll be patient, too.
In the meantime, check out our library articles on cohabitation here.