First of all, I am not married yet but the opportunity to stay together with my foreign boyfriend arose when he decided to work in Malaysia. I am still a university student so when I say, “staying together”, it only applies to the days I’m on break. You see, thanks to the National day which fell on a Monday (so I took the weekend and a few week days off), and to the so-called study week (i.e. one week before the final examination, FYI, my first day would be on the 19th), I got to have a taste of what it’s like to stay together with him. While some folks disapprove about cohabitating, some happily encouraged it. Of course, I personally promote it.
I bet you have heard N times about the toothpaste dilemma – whether to squeeze all the way from the bottom or to squeeze it in the middle. It is through staying together that you can notice many little things that may or may not upset you. Does he always forget to put the toilet seat down? Does she have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), even just a mild one, that she’d make you do the dishes right after eating and do the dishes again herself because she thinks “you don’t clean it well enough”? Does he like to leave stuffs around the house while you hold the motto of having “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Can you stand all of this? Can you put up with all his/her behaviors?
When you observe these little things, you only know them but you wouldn’t understand them but through staying together and wanting to make things work, you’d need to talk them out. So by talking, you’d understand why he or she does what he or she does. Sometimes we do things too unconsciously or we don’t give a thought to what we do but by having people pointing them to us, we’d start to realize and *fingers crossed* we’ll change for the better or accept for how they are with mutual understanding.
Besides, staying together also means that you can’t hide who you really are. Eventually, your lover is going to find out exactly what kind of person you are and vice versa. And when that day comes, you won’t want to be tied down by the paper. Can your true color still attract your lover? Can you tolerate the whole package? He or she may just show you one side of them when they were on the brief dates or a few days on vacation. Speaking of which, some people think that going on a vacation can help you understand someone’s true character. Well, I agree with it to a certain extent. I mean, yeah, you can tell if that person likes to explore or if they prefer to just stay in the hotel and enjoy the facilities. But you can’t tell much about what’s really going on in the real life because I think that when you’re on a vacation, you are usually driven by happy hormones. You’re excited about all the sightseeing and the food, you’d hardly get bothered by the little things like not washing the dishes (there probably won’t be necessary during a vacation), leaving the socks and pants everywhere (c’mon you’re on a vacation, relax right?). So, behaviors displayed during a vacation do not really count.
I’m not much of a feminist though I do think that women have strong potentials to contribute to the society. I think men and women should have the freedom to decide what kind of life they want to live, be it at home or out in the workplace or work from home. What I’m trying to say here is that a home needs to be taken care of. It belongs to everyone who lives in it. Taking care of the home isn’t a duty for just one person in the relationship. Sharing house chores is a wonderful matter. By staying together before entering to the marriage, you train each other to become a better spouse. We come from different families, different values, different opinions about house chores. Now that we’re together as a couple, it is our job to make certain that we share a common ground (both literally and figuratively) on things that we have to deal with for the rest of our lives. Especially the aspect of house chores, we need to see eye to eye with. We all know about the cliché, familiarity breeds contempt, love may be powerful but if you decide that this person isn’t the person who you can put up with then you are free to walk out from it, no strings attached.