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Shackin’ Up: A Smart Plan or Bad Idea

Shacking; an ole school term for couples who live together or co-habitat. Couples start knowing each other on a closer, more personal level when they live together, which prepares them for a married lifestyle. For starters, you learn what your partner likes and dislikes, although this isn't always easy. There is a lot to discover about your partner and from your partner; the only way to do this successfully is to move in together. For example, does he like broccoli, female mud wrestling, sleeping with the windows open? Maybe he likes to spend the whole weekend on the couch watching basketball! Believe it or not, it's little details like these that can often make or break a relationship. Second, you learn what kind of bad habits you and your partner have and whether you can get rid of them.

Shacking takes away the charm of marriage and turns it into a compromise if children are involved. Couples that move in together to try out if they can have a happy married life end up in a broken relationship which leaves a long-lasting effect on their life's. The growing trend of living together is wrong because according to various surveys and research reports the cohabitant couples are most likely not interested in marrying each other and even if they do there is a high rate of separation, sexual abuse and mental torture not only for the couple but for the children as well. How would a parent stop his/her daughter from living in with another guy if they have practiced the same act? Children of cohabitant couples have a high tendency of indulging in immoral activities in their young teenage and suffer from physical violence. The people who move in together before marriage are also expected to have extramarital affairs and are not good at commitments. Most importantly it is a religious sin and is an act if practiced pushes God's blessing away from you. It is a physical attraction that leads to instability in life; even many satisfied live in partners end up in the torturing break ups and a constant feeling of fear and resentment.

Some say shacking is not wrong, what is the big deal if two people want to live together and share their expenses and responsibilities? The younger generation of today finds 'living together' a very attractive package, one gets to enjoy all the desires without any legality. There is no risk of divorce, many justify it by claiming that moving in together before marriage gives them an opportunity to know each other more closely and decide whether to get involved in a legal relationship or not. With the rapid increase in modernization this trend has been now accepted as a culture in many parts of the United State.

Living in together before marriage for the new generation is like a roller coaster ride for free! Whereas they don't see the side effects of availing this package, the cons are enough for the critics to justify their criticism on living in together. Though many couples prefer moving in together rather than getting into a serious marital relationship which shows the level of commitment they share, and the sacred relation of marriage they are scared to get involved in. The more a couple is sexually active before marriage the greater they have a chance to get divorced, because they get over with all the temptation and craze as much as they prolong their living together time period.

But only about 5 % of people living together end up getting married. Therefore at least some people learn things about relationship that helps them avoid bad relationship. Testing the relationship before tying the knot really ensure a better marriage in the long run. Now, I’d like to concentrate on advantages of shacking. Living together before marriage is a good way for people to find out whether they would be compatible marriage partners. Knowing the partner is not the same as living with him or her. Dating just from time to time, partners are on their best behavior, they avoid confrontation because they are eager to have someone love them and insecure in the temporary relationship. Moreover, this super nice behavior may partly account for the radical changes in behavior, personality and attitudes (almost always for worse) that sometimes occurs shortly after marriage. Shacking up with somebody is a total different experience. People can get the full picture about who they are. If both partners are not ready yet for marriage but want a steady partner, living together offers obvious advantages. It can be real life learning experience of loving and adjusting on equal terms with another person. It is just one of many possible “tests” for a potential partner. The best predictor of good marriage is a long, relatively smooth relationship, in which wide variety of problems and successes are experienced. Living together measures the couple’s strengths and weaknesses in such areas as; communication, personality, expectations, leisure activities, conflict resolutions, financial management, parenting etc… Shacking provides a great opportunity for couples to get to know each other better, learn communication, decision-making, prepare for marriage and prevent future problems.

Living together helps people distinguish between being “in love” and being in a good relationship. We must remember that love brings out the best and something worse as well. Cohabitating partners learned that though they love each other very much, there are times when they can’t stand each other. The key to any relationship is compromise and communication. Living together is the only way to get to know the other person. It is important to know how the other person handles their finances, how they deal with crisis, how messy are they? You truly cannot get a really feel for that unless you are with that person for longer than a date or weekend together.

Many of media reports about study exaggerate the link between shacking and divorce. The study found some small differences (%) in the rate of divorce. But the reports did not draw the conclusion that living together before marriage was the cause of the relationship ending. According to sociologist William Moster it may not be the experience of cohabiting but the people who live together before marriage have different values than couples who do not. Maybe more people living together before marriage would reduce the divorce rate. Shacking is much more accepted by this generation. I believe that our education generation is trying not to make the mistakes of previous generations of marrying someone they hardly know.

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2011 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that moving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce. But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages and more likely to divorce than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the shacking effect.

Researchers originally attributed the shacking effect to selection, or the idea that cohabiters were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As shacking has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in shacking itself.

One of the advantages of living together before marriage is getting to know a person that you might marry with. It is important for a person to know almost everything about the other person that he / she is going to get marry with. However, it can't be accomplished without living together for a while before getting married. People need to know how a person is handling his / her life from all aspects such as behavior, mental, financial and others before a person decides to get married with. This cannot be completed in a few days; therefore, it is important to live together for a while before deciding whether to get married or now. Also, learning about a person's abilities to satisfy your expectations is something important to know before getting married. Different people have different expectations that could be satisfied by different people. They are such as some husbands expect their wives to dress in certain ways or the vice versa, or some wives expect their husbands to work while the wives want to take care of the kids. To learn if one can fulfill other's expectations, once again they need to live together before getting married. On the other hand, there are disadvantages in living together before marriage. In the past Living together before marriage was considered taboo and in most religions living together before marriage is considered a sin. Lately many couples started living together before marriage. Sometimes when these couples live together before marriage, they are violating their religious and family values and in some religions and cultures there are punishments for this act. These issues sometimes cause problems between unmarried couples and their relationships fall apart. However, sometimes these issues are avoidable by getting family approval and forbidding things that are prohibited between an unmarried couple in some religions and cultures. Another disadvantage of living together before marriage is parenting problems. Sometimes unmarried couples are likely to have unwanted pregnancy or children, and if their relationship doesn’t work well their child would become a victim between child's parents' unsuccessful relationship. There is a lot of dispute between some unmarried couples over who should take care of the child and similar things.

Now a day it is the trend among the people that they move in before marriage. Either love or attachment plays a vital role in it. But the main concept of men and women living together before marriage is considered as a sin in some religions, or most religions. But as the world is making progress so are the minds of people, changing according with the time. Now an individual before even engagement or marriage moves in and then tries to understand the other person. Sometimes, this is the reason and sometimes it is not depending on the thinking and mentality of people.

What about someone who says that marriage is just a piece of paper and that it is fine for couples to live together? That generally comes from someone who does not want to commit, and could be associated with insecurity as well. It also may come from someone who does not want to commit, but at the same time desires to be sexually fulfilled, (self-indulgence). A person like that is more consumed with lustful desires than they are with love. Love is a commitment, it is not something you choose to turn off and on like a light switch, nor does love seek its own satisfaction. You can give and receive love, but love does not sit around with a catcher’s mitt waiting to inwardly absorb from others, that is selfishness. A lust based relationship is not healthy or love based, the foundation of those kinds of relationships are already skewed. When the sex fails, the relationship fails because there is nothing left of the relationship. There is no love in lust, there is no foundation of friendship to fall back on, and no relational bonds outside of the physical intimacy. A lust based relationship is like building a house on quicksand, like selfishness, it will implode inward on itself.

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