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Why I’m Not Living With My Boyfriend

By: Bethany Beal

Today marks seven months since my boyfriend and I went out on our first day. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. The warm weather, the butterflies in my stomach, the nervous anticipation, the cute restaurant, and the amazing conversations. David and I have had some amazing conversations since that first date.

Surprisingly enough, living together has never been one of them.

We’ve never discussed it. It’s just one of those things that neither of us would even consider as a good option for our relationship.

Trust me, it’s not because of a lack of feelings or lack of excitement. The two of us are crazy about each other. His hazel eyes, strong arms, amazing heart, and godly leadership make me count down the minutes until I get to see him each day.

I really like this guy and seriously anticipate the future.

So what’s the deal? If I like him so much and he likes me so much, why don’t we give this thing a test drive? Why don’t we move in together for a few months to see if we are truly compatible? Why don’t we live together and see if we satisfy the other sexually?

I’ve been thinking about those questions, considering possible answers, and really pondered my reasoning for my stance. My answers aren’t mind-blowing, but they’ve helped me and shaped my perspectives.

Instead of viewing relationships, love, and romance through a narrow “I need to know if this person will make me truly happy?” lense, let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

Relationships, in our modern culture, have become so extremely shallow.

Most relationships are built on a foundation of feelings. If the feelings are hot, the relationship is strong. If the feelings are not hot, the relationships is weak. Love is based off what the other person can do for me.

True love and lasting commitment are rarely seen long term.

Instead of living together and giving marriage a “trial run,” David and I are working on building good character that will carry us through the difficult times. Instead of relying on our feelings, we want to work on being faithful and committed no matter what.

Here are some of the perspectives that David and I continue to work on in our relationship. These are the reasons that we choose not to live together.

5 Reasons You Don’t’ Need to Live With Your Boyfriend  

1. Marriage is about commitment (not about performance).

When you really stop and think about it, marriage is about committing your life to someone for good, for bad, for better, for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. In that case, why do we need a test drive? Even if marriage gets super hard (which it will at times), you’re in it for the long haul. You want your husband to know that you will love him no matter what. He shouldn’t have to earn your love through his performance. Marriage isn’t about performing or being “good enough” to keep the other person around. It’s about a man and a woman committing until death do them part.

And the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. Mark 10:8-9

2. Marriage is about working through the hard times.

What good would marriage vows be if they were tossed out the window as soon as times get hard? They’d be good for nothing. Sadly, this is the kind of society many of us live in. We view marriage as needing to be easy. If love doesn’t come easily, it must not be true love. That is simply crazy. Everything in life takes work. Hard work. Why should marriage be any different? If you want an amazing job, you expect to work hard for it. If you want to be good at a sport, you work hard. If you want awesome grades, you work hard to get them. Don’t ever go into marriage with the idea that you can just “quit” when it gets hard. Good marriages take hard work. Be willing to put the hard work in.

3. Marriage is about loving sacrificially.

Marriage is not about 50/50. He gives 50 and I give 50. No. Marriage is about 100/100. You give 100% of your love because it’s a choice you make. Your love shouldn’t be based on how well he is loving you. That’s not true love, that’s an exchange. “You do this for me, I’ll do this for you!” Jesus is the perfect example of true agape (self-sacrificing) love. He chooses to love us completely unconditionally. Don’t put conditions on your love. Choose to love 100%.

True love is an action, not an emotional feeling. -Love Defined   

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – John 4:9-12

4. Marriage is about relying on God’s strength.

If marriage were left up to us, we’d fail every single time. We can’t love fully without Christ’s love pouring out of us. Marriage is made up of two sinful people in desperate need of God’s love. Instead of relying on your own strength to do all the loving, cry out to God and ask Him for help. Humble yourself before Him and ask Him to make His strength perfect in your weakness.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

5. Marriage is about reflecting God’s great love towards us.

Way too often marriage becomes about our happiness, our satisfaction, our romance, our sexual desires, and our future. It’s really not about that though. Marriage is ultimately about reflecting Christ’s amazing unfailing love towards His bride (all believers) and reflecting the depth of intimacy He desires to have with each and every one of us. When a couple gets married, they are entering into a covenant (a promise that cannot be broken). When a person accepts Jesus as Savior, they enter into a covenant that can never be broken. Marriage is ultimately designed to reflect so much more than just two people getting together. It’s about Christ and His great love for us.

Marriage, as lovely as it is, is only a picture of something greater. It’s an earthly representation of something much grander. God placed the institution of marriage on the wall of this world as a representation of the gospel. – Love Defined

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:31–32)

Considering a different approach to marriage.

Those five reasons are some of the main reasons that David and I don’t live together. Our relationship is about so much more than our happiness and our satisfaction. Living together doesn’t make any sense in the context of how and why God created marriage.

When you learn to keep the big picture for marriage in view, it completely changes your perspective.

What about you?

What do you think about living together before marriage?

How would you defend your answer from a Biblical perspective?

Dav and Bethany

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41 Responses to Why I’m Not Living With My Boyfriend

  1. Shanae B says:

    Great post! There is definitely a severe lack of commitment these days especially in marriage. There was a guy awhile back that wanted us to get to know each other by living together and I didn’t go along with it. Glad I stuck to it! I’d add not living together keeps us from being tempted to break sexual purity also! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Veronica says:

    I absolutely loved this Bethany!! I definitely will never consider living with my boyfriend before marriage, and an article like this really reinforced exactly why. Love is about a lot more than feelings and what the other person does for you; it truly is about committed, lasting love that sees beyond how the other person can make you happy.

  3. d_lovesdogs says:

    Thanks so much Bethany! I wouldn’t live with my boyfriend because it would cause him and I to fall into sin. I think you can show agape love while you are not living with the guy, but instead showing agape love throughout the relationship process in our normal lives. If he can show agape love in the regular day to day things and I can do the same, then I think it will work in marriage. I am also learning that our satisfaction doesn’t come from a guy, sexual actions, etc…, but that it only comes from God. So living with my boyfriend would cause more hurt and heartache in our lives than it would satisfy us.

  4. Paige says:

    Amen, Sister! Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

  5. 666 says:

    Y’all are insane.

  6. Lyudmila says:

    Thank you for this article! Great advice and built on a firm foundation of glorifying God. I too think that it is best and most God glorifying if we don’t live with our boyfriends before marriage. This helps us avoid great temptation and not be so dependant on each other, but look to God for our satisfaction above all. ☺️

  7. Serving God says:

    Thank you for the post. It’s Biblically wrong to live together before marriage. We are to live our life like Christ in our life. I am dealing with a big hick up about a gentleman. I’m seeking God. We can try to do things on our own but if we are His Child then we are to obey Him & follow Him no matter how much the world sees we are peculiar to them. For God to be proud is what matters most.

  8. Liz says:

    Thank you for your post. Amen! Not pleasing to God to live together before marriage. What is best to do when both you & a guy you talk to have both been hurt from doors God has closed. The guy is possibly contacting you & has possibly seen another gal twice when you didn’t know about another gal, because a friend thinks he is, but he hasn’t said anything. I don’t know if it’s true & the guy hasn’t said anything about another gal he might or might not be seeing. You don’t want to be rude. Hard these day’s to find godly guy’s. I don’t want the gal he sees to not have the guy. I want God’s Will & plan for my life.

  9. Nola says:

    No where in the Bible does it say that the man has to be a leader in a dating relationship, and marriage is about working together and putting the person before yourself and trusting the other person.

  10. Nola says:

    And about the guy being the leader in marriage: the Bible says for husbands to love their wives and it also says that love always trusts. So that means that the guy should trust his wife enough and trust that she hears from god enough to sometimes go with what she thinks is best even if he doesn’t agree.

  11. Tamara says:

    The best decision I made was to live with my ex boyfriend while we were engaged. He (and his mother) thought that they “had me” and took me for granted. Before that, they were treating me with dignity, respect and love. Then they showed they true faces, that they are the center of the world, whereas my potential father-in-low, brother-in-low and I were people just to be used and controlled. I also found out that my fiancee did some very immoral things, for which nobody knows except his mom.

    Luckily, I left, broke up the engagement, took a break from dating, met my special other, lived with him for one year, got married and have a wonderful relationship with him and my in-lows.

    Two lessons:
    – you never marry one man. You marry him and his familly. It depends solely on him if that family will treat you. He sets the boundries.
    – you will never know how a man will treat you and what he really thinks of you until he has an illusion that he has you forever. He will pretend until marriage if you do not live together beforehand. If you move in together, the masks fall very quickly.

    Be careful, you are God’s daughter, not stupid to rush into things.

  12. Ruby Lichtenwalter says:

    I’m a younger girl(13), and I think this could be helpful for me in the future. I knew even before I read this article that it was immoral to live with someone before marriage. But this has opened my eyes to all the scary things that can happen when you live with someone before marriage.

    • Jason Garrick Shirtz says:

      Honest answer?

      The list of “Scary things” that can happen to you when you live with someone before marriage, is pretty much the same list as “scary things” that can happen to you when you live with someone you are married to; with a divorce becoming a necessary component for separation if things go very, very wrong.

      This article makes a pretty good case for “save yourself for marriage” in Christian terms, what it fails to do, is talk about the necessary screening process to get rid of bad matches during the dating/courtship phase.

      If you look around this website, and talk to some other Christians (male and female) a bit you will hear a lot of talk about how important the selection process in courtship is, and how it should take years to do. You will also likely note that there are horror stories abound of couples who are “unequally yoked” and should not have gotten married to each other.

      So my advice here is: “sure if you want to wait till marriage, fine. Do that. But if you do, be very, very careful with who you marry as being “married” will not protect you from them if they are emotionally or physically abusive, or otherwise unsuited for you as a life-long companion.”

      That’s the thing about marriage. Unless you get a divorced or widowed, you only get to do it once. Which means you need to be rather careful like about who you get married to, because all the advice here about “commitment” and “Working it out through good times and bad” assumes you picked a person to marry who’s not some kind of crazed-wife beater.

      • Agreed. I don’t think anyone is advocating rushing into marriage blindly.

        • Jason Garrick Shirtz says:

          Yeah, no one is advocating blindly rushing into marriage here. My problem though, is that it’s not really giving a full toolkit for how to prepare for a Christian marriage IMO. I think it would be appropriate for there to be a more serious discussion on the practicals on how to do so beyond “have faith” and “commit to the Lord”

          Cause ah. I dunno. Seems like most of the advice here is on how to be prepared for the Jesus end of “A marriage is between a man, a woman and Jesus” and not enough of it is on the “between a man and a woman” part.

          Even just linking to an article on the more practical nitty-gritty of balancing a marriage in technical terms, I think would have been a very appropriate way to expand on the advice given in this article.

          • IknowGodIs . says:

            I believe this website is an excellent peer to peer contact point. “Girl Defined.” It isn’t a knowledge base, nor do they claim to know everything. IMO, it’s the author’s experience and opinion. If we were all in a live group in the same room, there would be open dialogue and old-timers like me might offer motherly Titus 2 teaching. That could take place down here in the comments.

            Do you have done links to share?

  13. Jeanna Kaye says:

    Statistically speaking, those who live together before marriage have a 33% higher divorce rate. Google it.

  14. Fatou jane ceesay says:

    I believe you perfectly right is not even biblical. You can live together and still be hypocrite with one another it doesn’t guarantee knowing each other better.But instead God’s way done in love and sincerity is always the best and prevails

  15. alice says:

    I completely agree with your 5 statements about marriage, especially that it’s a commitment to each other even through the toughest times, but I don’t really understand why it means you shouldn’t live together before marriage.

    • GirlDefined says:

      Hey Alice, the goal of this article was to show you the bigger purpose and picture for relationships and marriage. When you understand God’s bigger picture, living together doesn’t make sense. If you’re willing to commit, work through the hard times, love sacrificially etc etc. Why would you need to live together before? You wouldn’t. You would just commit and than get married 🙂

  16. Ann Mathews says:

    Yes absolutely amazing truths presented in the most beautiful way.

  17. katiehippie says:

    Well, I dated a guy for 6 years, never lived together and he turned out to be a horrible person. I was married to him for 22 years and he was emotionally abusive (sometimes physically). I wish we had lived together first and I would have gotten to know what he really was before getting married.
    7 months is barely enough time to get to know someone and I don’t advise anyone to take dating or marriage advice from someone who has never been married.

    • Shanae B says:

      You just never asked important questions. Or thought, felt, or saw past infatuation and/or not wanting to be alone.

      • katiehippie says:

        Yes, I should have lived with him and worked out the important questions before I got married. If I had had a real education about relationships rather than a religious one, that would have helped out so much. Some problems are dealbreakers and it’s better to know about those before you commit to a life long relationship. You can’t just get married and hope that you can work things out in the marriage.

        • You are so right that often religious educations tend to overlook the hard questions because they make us uncomfortable. I’m so sorry that you weren’t equipped to know how to truly get to know a man, and I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Even when a man and a woman are living together, it is quite possible (easy even) to maintain a facade until marriage actually happens. I’m not saying that it is anyone’s fault that that happened, simply that you can’t know living together would have stopped it,

        • Shanae B says:

          You’re right about how you can’t just get married and hope it works. Yet you’re the one who needs an education. You don’t seem to have realistically learned from the situation. There are many ways outside of living together (especially now days) to find out if a relationship with someone would be positive or negative.

          • katiehippie says:

            Yeah. Tell me exactly how I feel. I’m married now and lived with my husband about 10 months before we got married. Guess how things are going? Great. We’ve never had a fight because we actually talk to each other and communicate. I’m not saying we will never have a fight but I think some good groundwork has been laid for us to continue communicating and be able to work through things. The only thing I’m angry about is the stupid things I was taught by religion that kept me in a bad situation far longer than I should have stayed. So I learned to dump that thinking and choose using all the tools at my disposal.

          • Shanae B says:

            Communication is extremely important! 100 % agreement between two humans isn’t possible (at least not for long). If you really feel that way about “religion” stay off of groups like this and don’t comment on them. What was your agenda anyway?

          • katiehippie says:

            Everyone you don’t agree with has an agenda? I just don’t think someone should give advice about something they know nothing about.

          • Shanae B says:

            Why, you guilty? You totally know about authentic advice in such matters as well.

  18. Cathy says:

    How can you actually work through the hard times if you never actually experience them? I’m talking about the day to day grating annoyances husbands and wives are known for. The thousandth time you ask him to pick up his socks. The hundredth time he has no idea what he wants to eat for dinner. Walking in on him in the bathroom with the door open. Your mileage will vary, but there are a lot of things you don’t learn until you live together.

    The problem arises in the secular world when people think marriage will magically fix existing problems. It doesn’t. It just makes it harder to break up.

    • IknowGodIs . says:

      Does the secular world believe that marriage magically fixes existing problems? In my opinion, on the contrary. The world seeks to satisfy the flesh. Many in the secular world try to blend what Believers long for through Christ (two joined as one) with all the things of the world. Because social moral code does not always line up with with the Holy Spirit, in marriage outside of Yeshua as Lord, it is difficult to navigate obedience to two masters.

      Here, the author is not offering her reasonings to the world but to other Christ-centered believers and to those who are seeking Him for their future. Not every church goer has made Messiah Yeshua Lord. Surrendering to the Lord places His standard above our own. That standard in relationships that involve two bodies becoming one flesh is faithful marriage.

      How can one work through hard times? Together! I’ve been married for 29 years. We dated for a total of six months before we married. He still does things that annoy me, and I him (though much less on my part, of course-ha ha.) Setting manageable expectations and boundaries BEFORE marriage turns the key. They key itself is created by a husband and a wife (bride and groom) whose standard is to focus and seek the Lord FIRST on all things. Arguments only happen when that standard is violated. Has our marriage been perfect? No. But we made up our minds that vowing to the Lord was serious business! (Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.) We choose every day to love the Lord more than self. Divorce was discussed before marriage and agreed upon as never an option. We vowed that our desire would be for one another and to flee youthful lust. We vowed to stand and watch the enemy flee. When times have been tough, we’ve resolved to turn our focus from circumstances to the Lord’s will, each offering repentance worthy before Him, and to refocus eyes and hearts upon the Lord. When times have been really tough, to remember that His grace is sufficient, even if everything else is falling apart. The most amazing and instant transitions/healings have taken place when our resolve has been on the Lord.

      Forgiveness. That’s what it takes. Christ has forgiven our transgressions and cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Are we better than the Lord not to do the same in our relationship with our spouse?

      Living together. Married. If divorce or going each a separate way is an option, growing together may not happen.
      (The exception is in one party being unfaithful, violating the binding contract, then refusing to repent. Because of the hardness of the heart of the offender, divorce exists.)

      One cannot compare secular to Faith in the Redeemer. What the world does, the world does on its own.

  19. katiehippie says:

    Leaving the good belief behind has made my life better. If god exists, he stands by and lets people suffer horribly for no reason. For what? If he wants you in heaven, what is the point of this life. Your god is wicked and evil. If he has a plan, it’s a bad one. You’d think an omnipotent being could come up with something better.

    • IknowGodIs . says:

      The god of this world that encourages one and all to do whatever pleases the flesh, he’s not my god; he is, however, the driving force that seeks to kill, steal, and destroy and the one who feeds the darkness in man’s hearts, the one who stands by laughing at the suffering he instigates.

      My God is the One who saw your pain and suffered as each tear flowed from your eyes, the One who wept for you, hurting when you hurt. He’s the One who was (and is) waiting patiently for you to fully trust Him knowing that all things would work together for your good as you sought to live for His purpose. He’s the One who gave you wisdom to know when enough was enough, and who gave you hope for the future. He’s the One who loved you enough to let you walk away.

      He’s the One who made man in His image and from whom man was given power to choose his own path. Some men still seek to do what is right in His sight, while others seek to hurt and harm, heeding the lies and lusting after their own needs and desires. My Savior is not a genie in a bottle that grants wishes. He doesn’t swoop in like Superman. If He took away free will, man’s love, trust, faith, worship, and adoration would be worthless. This life is fleeting. It’s brief like a burning candle. Temporary. Eternity, that’s forever. The choices we make now, that’s all we have. He sent Yeshua to pay the price for all of our wrong choices that worship self over Him. As we yield to Him, choosing to forgive even those who don’t deserve it, I’ve witnessed Him right every wrong.

      Seeing how hurt you are by the past, I ask, again, why you read the article? What brought you to this website? What encouraged you to invest yourself in being a part of the discussion? Are you searching for places to complain against the Creator, to discourage those who are encouraged by Faith in Christ? Or is it that, as angry as you are, you know that God was there with you. That wicked man who hurt you, in his own free will, made a choice that he was more important than you. Ultimately, he made the choice that he was more important than God. (May the Lord have mercy upon him, for without mercy, he is surely doomed.)

      Somewhere deep inside, there’s child-like faith that has the answers and knows the truth. I hope you seek to hear that voice again. I see you as an intelligent and loving woman. You have so much to offer and wisdom to share. May He bring you complete healing and allow you to feel His deep love for you, His unending mercy, and His overwhelming grace. God bless you, precious woman. ❤️

      • katiehippie says:

        If you could hear how creepy and manipulative you sound. You think you are being kind and loving but all it is targeting people when they are down. Your god is not worthy of worship. I don’t complain against a god that doesn’t exist, I complain against the followers that try to tell me that bad things happen for good. If your god created everything, then he created all the bad things and allows them to happen. I could never go back to believing because I know what nonsense it is. There’s no child-like faith deep inside, I’ve grown up and put childish things behind me. I can offer my wisdom without the god nonsense. I’ve been much happier without the god nonsense. I think the reason I occasionally post on things like this is because I’m angry that so much of my life has been wasted on believing things that aren’t true. That I didn’t use my brain to really think about it and allowed myself to be brainwashed and waste time on something that had no use.

        • IknowGodIs . says:

          It might behoove you to stay away from websites that are known for their God “nonsense.” My words were directed only at you, not other people. You aren’t down, are you? It was my understanding that life for you is great, now that you chose to deny the deity of Christ. Your argument against my love for you, therefore, is flawed. How could I possibly be “targeting people when they are down”? You’re not. My words shared truth with you alone, and I do not take back one word. You have your own mind. I would not desire to manipulate you. What good would that do? None. It would not be genuine.

          What you had before looked to circumstances as proof of who God is. You want a god over whom you have power and control. If you cannot have that, you choose not to believe at all. One day, that will change for you. You may not even remember our conversation here. One day, before you draw your last breath, you will see and know the truth. As hard as you kick against it, He will reveal Himself to you. Every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord in due time. Your day will come while there is still time to produce fruit worthy of repentance. My hope for you remains.

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