Mr. Fenway and I live together. You’ve probably figured that out by now. My parents were totally supportive of this (in fact they wondered why we didn’t move in together when my lease was up after Mr. Fenway and I had been dating for a mere 3 months). Mr. Fenway’s parents are a bit more conservative (Ok, a lot more conservative, which is definitely not a bad thing, just a different thing from my parents) but they eventually accepted the fact that we were going to move in together after about an year and half of dating and never told us anything about not approving. I think every couple is different, and that living together before marriage is a really personal choice and obviously is not for everyone.
That said, in my opinion, living together was definitely a good idea for us. It has helped us to work out our roles in the relationship a lot better. Even when Mr. Fenway was visiting me most every night when I lived on my own, it was different. He didn’t help with the trash because it wasn’t “his place,” and other minor things like that. When we first moved together, Mr. Fenway moved in to the one bedroom I had been renting by myself. I think this was harder than if we had moved someplace new. I had my things there and fought against giving anything up. After all, my stuff was “nicer” than Mr. Fenway’s (at least according to me, probably not according to an objective observer). Ok, honestly, I still have problems looking at things as “ours” and not “mine” or “his.” (Plates and pots and pans are mine, tools are mine, TV and dresser in bedroom are his, etc.). But now we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and luckily they seem to complement each other. We also work hard to keep things “fair” and divvy up our daily tasks. For example I like to cook so I prepare dinners and Mr. Fenway handles doing the dishes and any clean up. He will also frequently keep me company while I am prepping dinner (and will help prep some parts of dinner too sometimes) so it’s nice to have that time to talk.
When it comes to the wedding, and particularly wedding planning, this relationship that we have developed over the past four years has really come in handy. We are able to divide up tasks based on our interests and already have a system in place for discussions on responsibility. Wedding planning has been more stressful than we imagined it would be at times, and having the communication system and sharing of responsibilities already in place has helped us out tremendously. I don’t think we would have already had this system in place if we had not been living together and learned how to discuss things and communicate well what was and was not working for us.
I can’t say it has been perfect and there haven’t been arguments about who is doing more, but I think it is so much better than if we didn’t have that base. Living together has helped us to know what we do well together and what we are better at apart, and those skills have been directly transferable to our wedding planning.
Did you find that any skills you acquired before getting engaged helped you with the wedding planning process?