After I finished laughing at this letter to the New York Post about the horrible sin of living together before marriage, I started thinking about cohabitation, and how, while it's not a sin, it's often a really bad idea.
I'm not trying to put on my judgment pants and hold myself out as an example of moral superiority and good relationship decisions and I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do. In some cases, living separately is impractical or expensive and in most places here in the good old U S of A, gay people can't even get married. And it's not always a bad idea; I'm sure you and your super hot European soccer player boyfriend of 16 years have cohabited peacefully and perfectly, eating lentils and hosting lively dinner parties with your besties Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and your other friends who cohabit and you all throw your heads back and laugh and laugh at how happy you are with your decisions. I don't doubt that happiness in "living in sin" type arrangements isn't possible or common; I just need to point out something that wasn't pointed out to me before I moved in with my now-ex boyfriend (and the boyfriend before that; I guess I'm just really bad at learning): it can go terribly, terribly wrong. It's all fun and sex on the bathroom floor and hilarious trips to the grocery store when you first move in together, but getting out is a completely different story.
If the relationship goes sour, you can end up being mercilessly kicked out of your home or uncomfortable in your home until you can find a suitable replacement place to live. Even if your ex boyfriend isn't an asshole and doesn't mind if you stay until you find a new place, the awkwardness of a post-breakup apartment is unparalleled and undesirable. I once spent several weeks couch surfing and toting a heavy blue duffel bag to and from work every day to avoid the fresh hell of walking through the door of his condo and seeing my stuff piled near the door, ready for me to move it at a moment's notice.
I've also faced a similar situation from the other end and had to ask someone to move out of an apartment for which I'm the sole leaseholder, and that maneuver also feels about as good as putting your heart through a spin cycle. All of the furniture was mine, the cat was mine, the dishes were mine. We'd lived together for long enough that whatever crap was his had integrated itself into my crap, and thus I'm still finding crap of his in the weirdest, most unexpected places. In the tupperware shoe box under my bed that I rarely open? Check. In my laundry? Check. In the side pockets of the suitcase that we used the last time we visited his parents in Miami? Check.
Readers, I implore you: Don't do what Donna Don't did. Or, at least before you do it, think long and hard. Moving sucks enough as it is, and when you combine it with breaking up, you get a shit sundae.