Does anyone NOT cohabit?


A non-Catholic friend was telling me about the wedding this weekend of one of our mutual non-Catholic friends. I asked where the couple was going for their honeymoon, and he said they weren’t going anywhere.

I said, “Oh, so I assume they were shacked up beforehand?”

“Of course!”

“What do you mean ‘Of course’?”

EVERYBODY nowadays lives together before marriage. You’d be a fool not to.”

“Why would you be a fool not to?”

“No one doesn’t live together anymore. This isn’t the 1940s.”

“Sure they do.”

“Name somebody that wasn’t like from India or somewhere.”

“I don’t know many people who haven’t cohabitated, but I know a few–people who were good Christians.”

“Oh, please! ‘Good Christians’! Like you’d know.”

“Most of the major Christian churches consider sex outside of marriage immoral.”

“It’s not immoral!”

And on and on and on.


I’m almost eighteen and I have a boyfriend and we believe that premarital sex and that sort of thing is gravely immoral. I don’t intend to cohabit until I’m married and I know with the grace of God that I can make good on my promise.


i don’t know about the conversation and the insult trading, but neither of my 4 kids, all married within the last 15 years “shacked up” first with spouse or anyone else, although many of their friends have or are. Half the engaged couples in our marriage prep and adult confirmation classes are living together, they all receive personal pastoral counselling on that topic and are told the score. What is far more common here is a civil marriage of 2 Catholics, esp. if one partner is in the military, which may or may not be convalidated somewhere down the road, because they don’t want to wait for the marriage prep process.


I don’t :slight_smile: and won’t! I like living by myself while single… on top of the fact that it is wrong of course before you are married. Keep up the good conversation, it challenges peoples notions that everyone accepts it!


Well, Daily Bread, I think he may just like arguing. Last week he was insisting there was no verse in the Bible that prohibited homosexual behavior.

I cited the usual verses that discuss that and told him that if you approach the Bible with an issue and already have your mind made up in advance, nothing you read will change your opinion. Then I said you should instead approach it with an open mind, letting the objective and self-evident truth speak to you.

But he didn’t feel any of the verses were self-evident. He said if the Bible was self-evident and clear and easy to understand there’d be no reason for churches to exist. I explained about the Sacraments, the community of believers, Tradition and the Magisterium, etc., but I think it fell on deaf ears. He says he doesn’t see how an educated, intelligent adult could be a Catholic.


Only a few very committed Christians don’t at least have sex before marriage. The majority cohabit. Then you always have a few foreigners and special cases.

The price for chastity can be very high. Virgins, even women, are often perceived as unattractive and socially stigmatised. They are also often regarded as infantile, which is a terrible blow to a teenager. The collective price we as a society pay for sexual immorality is higher still, but chaste couples are not insulated from problems like dysfunctional schools and expanding welfare rolls. They pay the price of immorality as well as the price of fighting it.


My husband & I were dating for over 3 years before we got married and we didn’t live together.

I know LOTS of Catholics who didn’t live together before they got married.

Your only friend only says “NOONE” does because she doesn’t hang out with good religious people, if she did, she would know (as I do) LOTS of people who don’t.


The funny thing is, I have a very jaundiced view of marriage, in that few people I know have marriages that I feel envious of. Most married couples I know seem unhappy at certain levels. The wives are insecure and demanding, and order their wimpy husbands around, trying to keep them from having contact with male friends. The men are beaten down and cowardly and accept this state of affairs because they’re terrified of getting their regular supply of sex cut off.

The only couples I know who have really good marriages are those who didn’t cohabit.

I am so tired of hearing people insist they have to cohabit before marriage because they “have to see if [they’re] sexually compatable first.”


Maybe the ten commandments would be good to show him.

He says he doesn’t see how an educated, intelligent adult could be a Catholic.

Sounds like he has a lack of mutual respect for you. You need to give him a warning or things will spiral downwards quickly and you’ll never have the chance to explain the faith in a respectful manner.


To me, the people who regard sex as the be-all, end-all that precedes and exceedes and supercedes marriage, who make “doing it” their prime value, are just not emotionally deep enough. They regard the marriage certificate as a sex license, at best.

The people who take time to learn one another, to worship one another’s souls and personalities, so to speak, before doing so with their bodies, tend to have deeper, more meaningful relationships.

Both groups are married, technically speaking, but the latter are playing on quite a different level. It’s like the difference between a kid pounding out “Chopsticks” and Van Cliburn.

Man, this really makes me want to read up on the Theology of the Body. what very little of it I’ve heard has been mind-blowing.


Well, Mark A, I haven’t been 100% respectful with him in our discussions and arguments. He said that between birth and the age of 17 or 18 his various relatives had him join and baptized into the Lutheran, Baptist, and Mormon churches. Later he read the Koran and it convinced him that any Trinitarian concepts of God were polytheistic. He believes Jesus was a great prophet, but wasn’t God. He holds the relativistic belief that Joseph Smith (whom I described as “an over-sexed teenager”) and Mohammad were great prophets as well.

Now he describes himself as a Gnostic, reveres the Knights Templars, and belongs to several Masonic lodges.

The other day he ran to the defense of the Jehovah’s Witnesses when I described that group as a cult. He calls the Catholic Church the biggest cult ever in existence. Yet he drove me to and attended my confirmation a few years back and we often go on road trips to photograph Catholic churches. He said he’d maybe consider becoming a Catholic if the Church brought back priestesses “like the church had originally,” or if the Pope called for a new Crusade to the Holy Land.

I think he’s just obsessed with medievalism, yet the other day he was complaining because the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris was built on the ruins of a temple to the goddess Diana. He believes it’s inevitable that Islam will take over the world and all the great churches will be torn down or their spires will be replaces with domes. He said it can’t be avoided–that Islam is just too orderly and systematic not to win.

I tell him I just don’t think he knows what he really believes. I sacrifice much of my moral authority in discussions with him because I’m not, generally speaking, a nice person. He tends to be nicer to people than I am, and that’s something I really struggle with. He has a great respect for all people which I sadly lack. So unfortunately I am for him the face of Catholicism.


Didn’t cohabit. Glad I didn’t.

You can tell your friend divorce rates are higher among cohabitating couples. Not that he’d listen, from the sound of things, but maybe he’ll think about it in spite of himself. :slight_smile:


How about this…I’m an engaged college student and I don’t cohabit, nor do I personally know any cohabiting couples! (And my friends include another engaged couple, along with several other ‘serious’ dating ones.)

Cohabitation, while most of our culture raves about what a ‘great’ idea it is, actually increases the likelihood of divorce.

Chastity is the way to go! My fiance and I are very excited to make our home together the right way–after we’re married! There’s just a whole new level of intimacy that is opened when you live with your beloved, and we can’t wait for the experience, whatever ups and downs it might include.

Definitely read up on the theology of the body. My first recommendation is Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners…then move on to Karol Wojtyla’s (JPII’s) Love and Responsibility. Fantastic stuff! :smiley:


Rach620, I think Malcolm McLean brought up a good point:" They are also often regarded as infantile, which is a terrible blow to a teenager."

I was never interested in having sex as a teenager, and many of my friends were really freaked out about this. Some I’d not see for years, and then I’d see them again and they’d ask if I was still a virgin. Some even suggested they could fix me up with a prostitute. I told them that clearly this was a much more pressing matter to them than it was to me. And many still don’t understand.


The key is finding a community of others who *won’t *regard you as infantile for taking a stand when it comes to chastity. Yeah, it’s tough being a teenager (or really any person trying to have a pure relationship these days). Those who don’t go with the flow are looked on as ‘weird,’ ‘prudish,’ infantile, whatever.

But it’s not like that ever stops, once you aren’t a teenager any more. The entirety of Catholic sexual ethics is extremely counter-cultural, from being against premarital sex and cohabitation, to finding masturbation and contraception immoral. It doesn’t ever get easier, so the only way to make it easier on ourselves is to find others–a Catholic subculture, if you will–in which the theology of the body is the cherished norm.


Totally agree.

Hubby and I used to do marriage prep. The majority of the couples we worked with lived together and some even had children. (from that relationship or a previous relationship)

Find like minded people to spend time with. —KCT


Yeah, in my RCIA class there was a couple that was about to get married. The guy was Catholic, the gal wasn’t, so she was preparing to join. They were careful not to mention they were cohabitating, because she wanted a big wedding in an historic church, but they made the mistake of filling out the same address on their forms. The RCIA director had to take them aside and tell them if they didn’t separate for the months leading up to the wedding, then the church wouldn’t play ball.

I had some friends who were in a similar situation. They had been living together for years, and the guy called his girlfriend his “wife” and her kid his “son,” adding, “Well, we’re practically married anyway.” I told her that wasn’t true until he acted like a man and gave her his name.

Well, the priest they talked to said they couldn’t live together, and so they got angry like spoiled children and went off and got hitched by a Justice of the Peace.


My question is why does anyone have to know? You’re supposed to evangelize and set examples and all, but if it’s causing this much strife just don’t say anything. When I was in high school my friends and I never advertised our virginity. It was a bit of a mystery to all. The only ones who suspected were our boyfriends.


My morals were how I found an amazing boyfriend:blush:

I don’t understand the whole thing about “sexual compatibility”. I think that you would probably learn what you like from each other and that your first time would be extremely special. Not that I know from experience, these are just my thoughts.

I never let someone hug me if I don’t know them extremely well, do you really think I’m going to give myself to someone I wouldn’t trust with my life?

There are amazing people out there, you just have to find them. I found mine in the form of a long distance best friend and am open to where God takes the two of us, whether or not we end up together.


And mine helped me weed out quite a few bad ones.

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