Debate This: Should You Live Together Before Marriage?

For many women, moving in with a serious boyfriend is not merely a stepping stone in the evolution of a relationship, it’s a practical way to both give the mundane realities of marriage a test-run and deal with the exorbitant expenses of modern living. When it comes to co-habiting with a significant other, we’ve come a long way since that old chestnut about not buying the cow when you could get the milk for free.

Or have we? Some research shows that living together before marriage actually increases the already stacked odds that the union will end in divorce. It might seem old-fashioned, but there are plenty of progressive, independent women opting to hold off on living with their dudes until after “I do.” Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for ensuring a marriage succeeds. I talked to two women with opposing views about whether co-habitating with a partner was good or bad for the long-term health of a relationship.