Why some women still refuse to move in with their partners before marriage

An illustration
An illustration
  • Pamela, 30, efused to move in with he now-husband before marriage after witnessing her father break her mother's heart.
  • Anelisa, 24, fears moving in with a partner before marriage will compromise the value of the relationship.
  • Does moving in with a partner affect the prospect of marriage for those who seek it?

While some people might consider moving in with a partner before getting married as a sign of progress in a relationship, some women believe that moving in together can affect your chances of getting married. One such woman is 30-year-old Pamela Nanzi, who refused to move in with her partner before tying the knot. 

“When I met my husband, I told him that moving in together was not on the table and he understood,” she says. She believes that a man will not fully commit to a marriage if you already live together.

“While I knew that my partner was serious about me and wanted to commit to me, I thought that if we decided to move in together, this would make him relax and not do the right thing,” she says.

Besides this belief, she has also watched how devastating it was for her mother to invest in a relationship by moving in with her father, only for him to later leave them and marry someone else.

“My mom went through hell. She was the best partner to my father and the best mother to us. She later found out that our father had another life and had gone and married someone else,” she says. 

READ MORE: Should you ever give your partner an ultimatum for marriage? Local relationship experts advise

Watching the pain that her mother went through, Pamela did not want to experience the same thing. It was all or nothing for her - if a man wanted to commit to her, he had to understand that she would not move in with them before marriage.

“I also want to make my mother proud and I also wanted to be an example to my younger siblings,” she says. She believes that her childhood played a big role in her decision. “I had a difficult upbringing, my father was absent from our lives, even though he did not live far from our home. I also watched other people in my community and how they lead their lives. I didn’t want to repeat what I had seen from other people,” she says.

Anelisa Mnyengeza, 24, also shares similar sentiments as Pamela. “I think that people who live together without getting married do not have a sense of responsibility as a married couple would,” she says. She adds that when a couple moves in together after marriage, they understand what their role is within that marriage. 

READ MORE: Business and pleasure? How to talk about money in a relationship

She also has some fears about moving in with someone before marriage. “My biggest fear about moving in with someone before I get married is that they won’t value me. Even if I invest so much of my time into the relationship, when the relationship ends, I will have nothing to show for it,” she says.

In 2020, do you think moving in with a partner would affect the prospect of marriage? Let us know here.

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Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
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Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 891 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 357 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1923 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 54 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 702 votes