Filipinos still tend to be too traditionalist compared to other cultures, who have slowly started to become more open-minded about changing norms for the inclusivity of all.
Aside from norms, beliefs are starting to be seen from an objective point of view. For example, some religions discourage tattoos, while others see it as a way of worshiping divinity. In a similar sense, we have some practices that may still be up for debate to this date.
One of which would be the controversial question of whether couples should live together before marriage or wait until they’ve tied the knot.
With the Philippines being a predominantly religious country, living with a significant other without getting married is mostly seen as a ‘taboo’. People would point fingers and say that it disrespects the sanctity of marriage.
Let me be clear: I have no intention to disregard how people value their beliefs and practices. However, I personally believe that we sometimes need to look at the practicality of things outside a religious standpoint.
Our relationships are about us, not our parents
When it comes to relationships, parents would tell us that we shouldn’t even dare think about living with our significant others not until we get reaffirmed with marriage vows.
But while there is personal fulfillment to be found in delayed gratification, I think that having to wait until after marriage to live with your significant other is a risky endeavor.
Sometimes, we fail to consider that marriage is more than just how society romanticized it to be. It’s not a band-aid ticket that would alleviate all of our problems; in fact, marriage could amplify them. After all, getting hitched legally binds some of your problems to your significant others.
Sometimes, the meaning of ‘saving yourself before marriage’ could mean choosing to know who your partner really is.
It’s important to keep in mind that marriage is a contract. Testing the waters shouldn’t be perceived as something taboo. We SHOULD know what we’re getting ourselves into. It’s a serious commitment that shouldn’t be backed out on a whim. In other words, the terms and conditions before agreeing to it should be thought through carefully.
What if our SO is a killer?
But in all seriousness, it’s great if we can determine early if our living tendencies with our ‘jowa’ could be incompatible.
What if they are irrationally irritable or even have ill mannerisms, so on and so forth? No one would want to end up married to someone they can’t live with. And with divorce being a wishful prospect, sparing yourself years of abuse and torment becomes more vital.
In the end, no one wants an unhappy marriage that both parties are too prideful to back out from. We only live once; it would be best to do something we know we won’t regret.
What if they are fake?
It’s important to consider that people tend to be different when they’re at home. When we go out for a date, it’s already second nature to suppress certain mannerisms so we can be at our most presentable.
In the dating stage, rarely do we see people for who they really are. What if you come home and you learn your husband is an unbearable slob? Or that you have opposing beliefs on something non-negotiable? What if he turns out to be a Satanist?
Regardless of how close a couple is, it’s inevitable that there will be essential talks that should have been discussed before marriage. Living together lets you unfold the red flags early, allowing you then to decide whether the relationship is worth taking to the next level despite the imperfections.
This is why I think it’s a smarter move to see how people are when they’re at the comfort of their own homes – it’s where they are at their most real. Through this, one can determine first-hand whether there’s a future in store for a relationship.