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The Back Door's Cracked

You met each other at a campus party and almost immediately felt THE connection. It all seemed so right and after some sex and short-range discussions you signed a lease agreement on a one-bedroom apartment. It all fell into place, how could it not be right?

Combining households wasn’t hard either. There were enough towels, sheets, cooking pots and random chairs to make things homey.  With the rent savings on having just one place there was money for a love seat on Craig’s List. It made a temporary living situation seem much more permanent.

What neither one saw was the back door. Even in a one-bedroom apartment there’s a back door. It’s hidden. It’s the option to leave when it gets tough….too many arguments….boredom….maybe some cheating on the side. These aren’t noticeable when the thrill of sharing a bedroom begins.

Usually the back door starts squeaking when someone wants more permanence or someone wants more freedom. Sex is a marvelous thing. Some even liken it to glue—bonding relationships together. It is also something else—a mask. It hides flaws and gives false assurances to couples who’ve used it for the wrong reasons.

The cohabitating statistics aren’t pretty—failure rates nearing 70%—breaking up before ever walking down the aisle to make it permanent. They escape through the back door. It seems less messy, but it isn’t. Besides the heart break there’s this repetitive tendency to do it all again with someone else.

Before you sign a temporary lease consider this: a marriage license. Saving the sex for after the wedding ceremony allows clear thinking before and then having that sexual “glue” work its magic when you share a place that’s far more permanent.  Married couples don’t use the back door. They tend to know what they have and work much harder to keep it.


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