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The Romance Behind Buying the Cow

May 6, 2011 | Guest

By guest blogger Whitney Garrison

As a recently engaged woman, I of course watched the Royal Wedding with breath bated and tears that were welling. It was a lovely affair, but this piece at on Spectator.org raised the very relevant and unromantic point that Will and Kate had already been playing house for quite some time:

It seems that the royal couple have been playing house of Windsor for the past few years; cohabitating on and off since their university days. Now unfortunately, this type of premarital partnership has been going on for decades; millions of folks all over the world have taken to living outside of marriage in pursuit of I don’t know what. Some of the more honest claim that marriage is an outdated and useless convention, unnecessary to modern happiness, while others feel that a trial period is needed; a sort of audition for the real thing, to see if the two participants will be “compatible” in the long run.

What rankles though, is not the disregard for biblical prohibitions against such behavior, since fewer and fewer people acknowledge any desire or even reason, to pay attention to the word of God. But why then, do countless couples seek the “legitimacy” of a church wedding after years of non-connubial canoodling? These questions become even more compelling when applied to the last royal family in the world to which anyone really pays attention; one that seems hell-bent on breaking all records for plebeian behavior.

I am actually heartened that people still seek the legitimacy of the church because it implies that the church still has influence, but it is disheartening that so few in and out of the church stand up against premarital cohabitation. The banality of cohabitation before marriage can really rob some of the gusto from weddings – not to mention the negative effect it can have on a relationship (see Stephen Rhoads’ Taking Sex Differences Seriously).

Since young ladies rarely live with their parents while waiting for their prince, we don’t have the in-housing flexibility as we once did. I’m struggling with this personally now. We are getting married in August. My finance’s lease is up in at the end of June. Luckily, I’m on a month to month lease but despite this flexibility the financial savings of moving in together before the big day is very tempting. Yes, I’m splitting hairs over whether or not we should move in together six weeks before the wedding, but it’s gripping me.

What do my NeW ladies think? Is premarital cohabitation a necessary practicality or still something to avoid?

Whitney has blogged for NeW before. She is the Director of Development at the American Spectator Foundation

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