The decision to cohabit in a romantic relationship is an important one and the pros and cons should be explored before calling the movers. I have seen many couples on the brink of that decision who come in to discuss possible issues that may come up when they move in together. Each couple is unique and there is certainly no precise right answer but the evidence leads us to believe that it may not be the best idea to live together before marriage.
Study after study has shown that couples who cohabit before marriage, and specifically before getting engaged, are more likely to divorce than those who wait. There are many variables that go into this outcome. It may be that couples end up getting married after living together for a while because of social pressure or because they think it is the logical next step. Their commitment to each other may not have been clear in the first place. Additionally these couples report a lower satisfaction in their marriage if they have lived together prior. This may simply be a case of the newness and excitement having worn off. Expectations around what one is supposed to feel like once married are not met. Those feelings of excitement are for many, in part, due to the radical life change that comes from merging two lives together. This merging has already taken place for couples who have lived together.
People choose to live together for many reasons including the ability to see more of each other, financial reasons, and simple convenience. Another reason couples may choose to live together before getting married is to test the waters - to see if they get along living in the same home. This is often the case when a couple has doubts about the union and has some spoken or unspoken belief that there will be insurmountable challenges ahead for them that will eventually lead them to split up. In short - they are trying to avoid getting married and then divorced. Unfortunately, while this may make sense intuitively, it doesn't usually play out that way in real life. Of course there are couples who live together and are unhappy and therefore don't take the relationship to the next level and eventually break up. But many couples who have lived together for a while without being satisfied by the relationship mistakenly believe that getting married will shake things up and put a new shine on the union.
Considering your genuine motivation for wanting to move in together is crucial and if marriage is not something you aspire to for philosophical or ideological reasons then the move may not affect you in the same way as a couple who has individual goals of marriage. In those cases the initial thinking may be different. Individuals who envision themselves married at some point in their lives may want to consider why they would choose to move in with their mate instead of actually getting married or waiting to move in until they are engaged and have made a more intense, according to their own standards, commitment.