Cohabitation, the losers match!
I met my ex-girlfriend during my first year at campus. Dorothy and I had a mutual friend who attended the same class I did and also was a part of a religious organisation she was involved in.
One day this friend came up with a wacky idea that Amina and I are similar in personality and we would make a perfect couple ........! On the very first conversation we had, Dorothy gave me a complement for my voice …and that was how the cookie crumbled!
After a year of spending nights at each other’s hostels, we agreed to move in together. Like Amina and I decided, it seems to the young lovers,cohabiting is the best road to take in the dating process. Eight out of ten households in my city, Kampala, contain unmarried couples. Considering the degree at which this is mushrooming across Africa, it is evident; cohabiting is rising faster than marriage today.
With the tight budget of the economy, moving in together was cost effective, meant we could spend more time together, it gave us companionship and a feeling of relatively safe sexual fulfillments. But there is always the other side of the coin.
When partners move in together, they are completely put in to each other’s faces, which naturally exposes their true selves. With barely a couple of months after Amina’s arrival, I began to realise things I didn’t like about her.
I was shocked at her poor hygiene, extremely picky and obsessive living manners, unhealthy habits, low level of responsibility and strange preferences. Rumors about infidelity started coming in, we basically argued almost about everything and eventually started spending most of our free time away from each other. One day I came back home and all her bags were gone.
For me there is no better evidence, cohabitation may be growing in popularity, but it doesn’t guarantee long lasting. Many people like we did end their relationships after moving in together.
Mr. Eddie Opale, a marriage councillor at a local church in my hood says, “Cohabitation shares the same qualities with but is not marriage. The partners share residence and personal resources, are sexually active and in all cases children are involved.”
He explains that it is a destructive road misguided people take as an alternative in situations where they think marriage will not happen. For example lack of money, same sex, inter religious and inter racial relations e.t.c
“it is not as permanent and serious as marriage,” Opale strongly warns, “cohabiters take their relations not as serious because it is easier to break away if you have no certification that says, till death do us apart.”
Amina and I couldn’t have a guarantee of a lasting marriage, so we chose to protect ourselves with an arrangement that is marriage like, but without legal bounds and emotional risk or the vulnerability required of marriage!
This poor decision didn’t only rob us of the excitement of our wedding day, but also denied us our rights, duties and responsibilities as husband and wife. It is a shame we chose to settle for bronze instead of gold in our relationship, and like an athlete after a race, I was left broken, feeling discontented, unfulfilled and useless with a bunch of unanswered questions.
The pinnacle of dating is marriage, it is proof that a relationship has matured and is ready to bear fruit, solidified by health conflict resolution, honesty, communication, compromise, sacrifice and commitment I learned the hard way, cohabiting is living with your partner minus all the above!