What Men Think of Women Who Agree to be in a Live-in Relationship?

Published on: April 14, 2014

I’d love to know what most men really think about women who live with a man without marriage. (I assume that most religious men would say they don’t think too highly of such women, but I want to know what non-religious men think.)

It seems to me, after having talked with some men about this, that although a guy might be instantly gratified that his girlfriend will move in with him, in the long run, he secretly longs for a woman who will take a stand and say that she wouldn’t live with or have sex with any man who didn’t cherish her enough to marry her.

This is a highly unusual stand to take, but doesn’t it make the woman that much more interesting? Doesn’t her willingness to risk losing a guy for the sake of her ethics make her seem like a woman to be trusted? – Erin

Hi Erin,

Most guys would perceive a negative connotation to a stand like that. When you are in a long term relationship, “stands” usually come across as statement of a lack of trust. It’s like you are telling the guy “I can’t do a live in with you because I am not too sure of this relationship”. Of course, if you are uncomfortable with a live in or you find it unethical, you don’t have to do it and if the guy really loves you he’s bound to understand and respect your stand, but there’s not guarantee it won’t frustrate him.

The question of whether a guy would find a girl more trustworthy if he finds her behaving in an “ethical” manner is strongly in doubt. Most guys are habitual “non trusters” and they will find any excuse to start harboring doubts about their girlfriend’s commitment to the relationship. It’s very common to find guys being insecure about their relationship. When a guy find his girlfriend taking such a stand he’s bound to think that she is uncertain about the relationship; it’s rare for a guy to actually appreciate the ethical aspect behind such a stand.

Men are very simplistic in their thinking especially when it comes to their relationship. They see red most of the time because of their tendency to misunderstand their girlfriend’s intentions. So unless you have a very understanding boyfriend it’s difficult for him to judge whether your stand of avoiding a “live in” is fueled by your “principles” or because of a lack of love. In most cases he will conclude that you don’t love him as much.

From a guy’s perspective, the willingness of a woman to risk losing a guy for her ethics will come across as a strong statement against the relationship rather than for it. From a guy’s point of view, if a girl is willing to walk over her principles to be with a guy it will indicate unconditional, and true, love. Even a girl would expect that a guy puts her before his principles; if there is a situation where your guy has to choose between his relationship and his principles, as his girl what would prefer for him to choose?

Trust has very little to do with stands and more to do with the emotional bonding that you share. You can’t expect a guy to appreciate your ethics while feeling let down and uncertain. When you are really close to someone and you trust that person to be your life partner, you automatically assume that there will be no stands or inhibitions in your relationship. Most guys certainly won’t find a girl more interesting because of her ethical stands; on the contrary he will find it quite repulsive.

If you agree to a “live in” or sex before marriage, it does not mean that the guy will stop trusting your fidelity. There is no reason for him to do so because he does know that you agreed to these arrangements more out your love for him, and trust in him, than anything else. In today’s age especially when “live in” is becoming quite the norm in long term relationships, a guy would find it really disturbing to have his girlfriend say no to staying with him unless she has some really good reasons beyond just the “ethics” part.

You have to be really honest within yourself and back your intuition. If you really trust a guy deeply and know that he’s deserving of being your life partner, then don’t worry about taking stands as it’s only going to create a distance in the relationship. But if you are uncertain about a guy, it’s best to stay within your comfort zone till you develop enough trust.

  • Patricia

    I respectfully disagree with the comment for this question, on the basis of my research in the social sciences. Men who live with girlfriends are often taking them as a convenient solution until they find “the one.” Living with a man does not mean he takes you seriously, in fact, it is more likely to mean the opposite. Also, research shows that living together before marriage leads to a higher risk of divorce. Why? There are two theories:

    1) People who live together before marriage are the more commitment-phobic, hating marriage type, which weakens their commitment to marriage for life

    2) Living together before marriage is not a good test for compatibility for marriage, as major problems can be covered up by sex, rather than communication, trust, and sacrifice which are the bedrock of a happy marriage, with a solid sex life.

    My two cents 😉