Honestly speaking, my answer is no. To me, your partner will marry you if that's what they want to do. I don't think the status of your living arrangements determine that per say. Living together won't make that choice for them, faster or slower. Now there are men who make excuses once you move in together to prolong the process of getting married, but that's up to you as a woman to tolerate those excuses or simply move on. If a man wants to marry you, he will marry you.
Ladies, we've pretty much all had the teachings of "Why would a man buy milk when he has the cow at home?"..... Or something along those lines. But even in this overkilled analogy, the man has first decided that he wants milk. Now how he gets it, that's another process. Now a days, couples are cohabitating for various reasons and it has nothing to do with religious or other traditional reasonings. The most common factors that I hear and know of myself personally are that, it saves the couple a lot of money living together, one partner is always over the other partner's home/apartment so they may as well move-in together or they both work in a similar area and again, saving money, cuts down transportation costs.
I honestly believe that people in relationships should be upfront about their expectations. Don't beat around the bush in the beginning of the relationship to appease your partner because you will always be left disappointed. If you expect marriage eventually, say that in the beginning. Don't wait til your partner moves in to have that kind of conversation. Listen to your gut, if your gut tells you that your man is prolonging the process to marriage, more than likely he is. I'm a firm believer of speaking my mind when needed, and having a conversation about a lifelong commitment to anybody is reason enough to speak your mind.
Marriage is a serious thing although in today's society we'll toss around a marriage like it's a Spalding basketball. Living together is what you make it with whom you make living together with. Women in the older generations lived with their parents until they tied the knot. Today, we don't live with our parents in our late twenties, mid-thirties and so forth, so our reality is different from our older generations, including shacking up together as they would call it. Biblically and bluntly, shacking up is not advised and I'm most definitely guilty of that, however I don't think God is going to send me to hell for living with my boyfriend.
I've known many of success stories from couples living together and getting married and I've also heard many of horror stories where the engaged couple lived together and they met the real person they were living with and called the wedding off. I'm one of those persons who believe in living together before getting married because I need to see my man's flaws and all and decide for myself, if that's something I can deal with once we get married or not. So again go with your gut feelings and be honest about your marital expectations upfront. A real man will be honest and let you know his marital plans or lack thereof or a man that's still playing games and bs'ing around, will give you the run arounds and make excuses that prolongs the marriage process.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your thoughts in the comments.