Uncle Caveman handed down quite a bit to us modern men, but we're not above committing. We move in with our girlfriends, we get married and sometimes, in our most committed of moments, you can even catch us watching Food Network with our wives.
But I've always been a bit suspect of exactly how committed couples really are when they move in together before getting married. Sure, marriage isn't the goal for everyone, and that's fine, but for those who do plan on co-registering at Crate & Barrel someday, moving in together long before that happens clouds the issue. It's true that sometimes moving in together before marriage is like saying, "Hey, let's start our long future now, and work out the small details of living together along the way." That's great. And it's practical. But in other instances it's simply like saying, "Wanna split rent?"
My wife and I never lived together. I think we knew we were going to get married from about the point when our relationship began to get serious. We also knew that in order for our marriage to be special, it had to start off special. It can't just be the two of you, roommates and lovers, standing in the frozen food section of the grocery store, when one of you asks, "Hey, want to get hitched?" I think, when marriages begin that way, these couples have to wonder: "What's the point?" And you know what? I bet, in some of those cases, there isn't a point. For my wife and me, we were separate, then ‑- BOOM! ‑- together. And I think that sudden change helps us appreciate being together, even today. Our decision to commit to one another was special; it bound us to each other for the long haul.
After our honeymoon, I carried my wife over the threshold: into our new lives and our new roles. For the first eight months or so, we'd find ourselves sitting on the couch in our pajamas thinking, "I can't believe you don't have to catch a cab home now." It's still pretty fun living together. And yes, it still feels pretty special.