As you have certainly surmised from our most recent entry, Josh and I are shacking up. If you can call 2 years into a 30 year mortgage shacking up.
When we first moved in together it was mainly for financial reasons. The person who had introduced us, my roommate, had shown herself to be the Hydra that she is and moved out to her own place after two months leaving me financially screwed. We're talking couldn't afford Wal-mart lightbulbs screwed. We were spending alternate weeks at each other's places anyway so we decided that it was silly to keep paying rent on two places.
But even in the cold hard light of facts, that two could live cheaper than one, Josh and I were very much in love with each other at that point, and I had a good feeling that we would get married some day. So after a mere six months we merged. Then after a year and half, when our apartment complex went from college-student-inhabited-rundown to just plain ghetto, we took the dive from Apartment Depot to Home Depot.
Through it all we have put each other first and relied on our love to get us through. That was what inspired lone wolf Josh to sacrafice his bachelor pad after a mere year of living on his own. That is what made me repeat ad nauseum "If you don't want to sell your stock to make the down payment don't. It's your decision and I don't want you to regret it."
Where am I going with all this? There are a lot of people who point to statistics to show that living together doesn't work. I've always been more irritated by these "facts" than scared by them. But today's Wayne and Tamara dealt with a young woman who was scared by these numbers. I like their response. I like Wayne and Tamara. They have a way of cutting through the bullshit. Which is what I think these numbers are. It makes me sad to think that these oft quoted studies may scare someone away from what I maintain is a much greater learning experience than dating ever could be.
Recently we were visiting Josh's dad who has been recently widowed after nearly 30 years of marriage. (This visit was prior to our engagement.) We were discussing our tight financial situation, how Josh hates his current job, how i'm without health insurance. I, the eternal optimist, depression and anxiety not withstanding, reassured Josh that it would all work out, that we would take care of each other and our families would help if we needed it. His dad then said what I think sums up our relationship: "You two are going to be fine, because you are working as a team, for the good of the other."
That's why living together has worked for us. And with that mindset it can work for others. So stick that in your conservative numbers pipe and smoke it!