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Marriage Vs Cohabitation: 11 IMPORTANT Differences People Fail To Notice

Sooner or later, you must have asked yourself if you really want to marry or not.

“I don’t think marriage is for me.”

I have thought of it a thousand times as well. There is nothing wrong with it. We all have asked this question to ourselves. Sometimes, even more than once! Getting married to someone is undoubtedly the biggest decision of your life. It changes the entire course of it, but so does love. I am one of those people who strongly believe that we don’t need to essentially marry someone in order to be with them. My best friend, on the other hand, has a very strong opinion about marriage. According to her, we can’t be with someone in the long run without getting married. And you know what – we are both correct.

Suggested read: 15 sure signs you shouldn’t be living with your boyfriend anymore

Marriage is not like oxygen. You don’t need it to survive. Consider marriage as a kind of tangy food or a lavish cuisine. It completely depends on you if you want to taste it or not. If you think you need it in order to survive, then probably you are right because no one else in this world can know you more than yourself. If you think you can enjoy the beauty of life without tasting it, chances are that you are not going to regret it as well. Marriage vs. cohabitation – this is one such debate that has no end to it. But before you make your mind and decide which one is for you, start by learning the differences between the two of them.

No. I am not going to talk about the legal differences here. If you are reading this, chances are that you must have already Googled Marriage vs cohabitation a few times and read all those the legitimate differences between them. You are not able to decide if you want to marry someone – and it is completely fine. Just know what sets these two crucial topics apart from each other.

1. The motives are different


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

It might come as a shock, but sometimes, the mere intention of moving-in with something is not to convert that arrangement into something as long-lasting as marriage. Too often, people move-in because they are fond of each other and not because they have marriage in mind.

Yes, there are a lot of people out there who think moving-in or having a live-in relationship with their partner would result in marriage some day, but you can’t be so sure about life. If you think moving in is a step or a milestone and your aim is to marry that person, give them subtle hints. Let them know the idea you have for your life. It will make things clear for both of you.

2. The legality of it

There is a huge legal difference between marriage and cohabitation. There are different laws for the each of them, which varies by country or state. From finances to even the degree of an assault, the parameter to measure everything is quite different.

3. The ability to have a choice


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The mere ability to choose and have a live-in relationship with your partner is what makes it so different. There are plenty of countries out there, in which it is not legitimate to have a live-in relationship with someone. Though, there is also a reverse side to it. The fabric of our society has been compromised to such an extent that we have made rules for people regarding something as precious as love.

There are a lot of countries and states out there in which same-sex marriage is not allowed. In such a scenario, cohabitation is as important as marriage. The ability to have a choice varies from one person to another. Not everyone has a choice to live-in with their partner. At the same time, not everyone has a choice to marry either. This is so ironic and embarrassing, both at the same time.

4. Of family and friends

The way your friends and family perceive marriage and cohabitation is entirely different. Ever since we were kids, we were told that one day, we are supposed to marry. A lot of people have a strong judgmental approach when it comes to cohabitation. If you have a live-in relationship with someone for a very long time, chances are that you are going to be judged.

“When are you getting married?”

“When are you asking her the big question?”

People will ask you questions like these as if they are an unwanted third wheel in your relationship.

5. No financial involvement


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Cohabitation has its own perks as well, which makes it so effortless. You are not supposed to involve your finances. You can have your own bank balance and assets without the worry of losing them. Even if you fall out of love and decide to go separate ways, you don’t need to give away a significant part of your finances (unlike a divorce).

Suggested read: 10 common problems faced by couples living together before marriage

6. The emotional stability

Being with someone you love is quite a miracle in itself, but there is just something about marriage that gives us an emotional stability. People do end years of companionship. Yes, the divorce rate is increasing at a drastic pace every day. Nevertheless, after getting married to someone, you will attain a better emotional stability. You know your partner has made a vow to you. You get to know about the importance of your relationship only after you tie the knot.

7. The ease of coming out of it

couple disagreement_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pinterest

Marriage might give you an emotional stability, but it can’t give you the ease of coming out of it without any hassle. Too often we stay in a marriage for several reasons. There are a lot of people out there who get emotionally and physically abused by their partner and get cheated on constantly. Though, you can have an unfortunate experience in cohabitation as well, but it has been observed that one can easily come out of it and start their life in an easier way. When it comes to marriage, it is not that easy to just give up and move on.

8. Not having any social obligation

Marriage comes with a lot of social obligations. You need to be answerable to a lot of people, but most significantly, you need to answerable to your significant other for a lot of things. You have to be with your partner in a certain way while following several unwritten norms of society. Cohabitation also comes with some unsaid rules, but it will let you mend them according to your own will. You can make your own rules on the go without being judged by anyone at all.

9. Having kids


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Only you and your partner can take this decision. Though, when it comes to cohabitation, having a kid is quite a task. From the legal aspect of it to the emotional one, it can get quite complicated at times. If you think you want to have kids and be with your partner in the long run, then marriage might be a better option for you. Though, don’t marry someone because you want to have kids. It should be your decision. You can marry someone and not have kids as well. As long as the two of you are on the same page, nothing else should matter.

10. The whole perception of it

As much as we try to assume that cohabitation and marriage are the two different sides of the same coin, they are not. They are two different coins. Yes, we stay together with someone out of love. It is the most important thing that links the two of these choices together, but it is so much more than that. The entire idea of cohabitation is drastically different than marriage and vice versa. Marriage vs cohabitation is an argument that will never end. Only you can choose what you want, without letting anyone else judge you for your choices.

Suggested read: 9 brutal truths about living with someone that nobody tells you

11. Freedom

couple in love_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Marriage should never confine you. Instead, it should give you wings to fly. You should be allowed to make your own choices after getting married. But very often, the space one gets in marriage isn’t comparable to  the freedom that cohabitation gives. You don’t have to measure the two of them regarding how easy it can be to move out of a relationship. Even without thinking something as drastic as a separation or divorce, cohabitation gives a sense of effortless freedom.

You can maintain your individual space in a marriage as well, but when it comes to cohabitation, you don’t even have to try.  You love your partner and that is why you have chosen to stay with them.

You are not afraid to make a drastic move or walk an extra mile to get your chance of happiness. You can be a rebel or a storyteller. You can be both. You can stay single as long as you want. You can be in a live-in relationship with your best friend. You can marry your childhood crush. The world is full of endless opportunities and you can be anything. You can do anything. As long as you are not letting your relationship define you, the sky is the limit. You can even fly if you want to.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Marriage Vs Cohabitation: 11 IMPORTANT Differences People Fail To Notice
In the ever-raging war of marriage vs cohabitation, who wins?
Bhavya Kaushik

Bhavya Kaushik

A national bestselling author, Bhavya believes that too often the stories we write paint the reality we try to escape from. Bhavya believes in breaking the stereotypes and trying new things because life is too short to let it stay boring. With his love for verse, he can be found avidly blogging about life, love and everything that covers in between. He lives his life by the motto, 'I'm the story of my own journey.' "I don't write stories. I write characters."