Given how everyone outside of Latin America tends to stereotype the region as being very Catholic and traditional, I suppose it should be asked if it's common for couples to live together before marriage?
Wouldn't the parents of the gal disapprove of any such agreement?
Let's get to some examples before going to my final thoughts on the topic.
There's only three examples that I can recall in my life where this topic came up.
For one, I had a Colombian girlfriend named Marcela.
To keep it short, we had been together for roughly 7 months before I had to return to the US.
Our relationship continued for a few odd months after that before breaking up.
Before I left her to finish college in the US though, we did discuss marriage and coliving together.
An idea of mine that -- after college is done -- we should live together when I can move back down to Latin America.
She was cool with the idea but felt that it wouldn't be approved by her parents.
While I never got the sense that her parents were overly religious or the religious type to judge others, that was what she said anyway.
In the same way that she said that, if we got married, it'd have to be at a church.
Even though I'm not religious, she felt that not marrying at a church would be a bad look to her parents (and she wasn't THAT religious either but a little bit conservative herself to be fair).
Either way, living together with her after college without having been married would have been an obstacle to overcome in terms of getting her parents to approve it.
And I would've had to get her parents to approve it apparently!
Keep in mind anyway that Marcela was technically born in some small village/very small town on the outskirts of a city called Barranquilla.
It might've just been the case that, due to originally being from a more rural background, that her parents were just more conservative on it all anyhow.
Next, we have another gal named Brenda who was Mexican.
We actually did live together for a month as I was moving out of an apartment that was fucked up, didn't want to pay the last rent and so I ditched.
I moved into her place.
Her parents obviously didn't know because they lived in a small town far away.
However, there was a time where they came to visit her and we had to move all of my belongings to the room of a neighbor so that they wouldn't know that we were living together in the same room.
That lasted for only a day and then my belongings were no longer banned from her space.
Finally, there was an American guy named Blayde that I am friends with to this day.
Long story short, he met a nice gal in Mexico, fell in love and tried to make it work with her.
And she personally (not a parent issue) was more conservative herself and wouldn't agree with moving in with him to the same apartment after some months of dating.
The relationship never worked out anyway due to other issues but one minor disagreement they had anyway was about the moving in together thing.
He found it strange anyway because, as you know, we Americans typically don't find this to be an issue.
If we've been dating, why wouldn't we move in together?
Anyway, let's wrap this up.
On top of my head, I can't remember any other examples that come to mind when it comes to this topic.
Though, as you can read here, I did encounter down here the topic of Latin American married couples moving into the house of the in-laws despite being married and having kids.
So I'm no stranger to odd behaviors among Latin Americans in regards to moving people into your living place.
When it comes to this topic anyway, what I'll say is this:
First, I'm not an expert on the topic. I've only had brief experiences with this and so what I have noticed is based on that.
Second, like with any other country, I think there is a generational gap. Younger people more down with the idea than the older, religious and more conservative parents.
Third, I think there's a regional gap. Families from more liberal areas like Buenos Aires or Mexico City being more open to this than those from more conservative areas.
Fourth, I'd say that, as a broad generalization, Latin Americans are less open to the idea but it again is largely explained by the age factor and the geography factor discussed above.
They might be, on average, more conservative than us on this factor but it doesn't really matter.
After all, I've seen plenty of comments online in Facebook rental groups of couples saying "we're looking for an apartment. Just me and my girlfriend/boyfriend with our pet cat or dog."
And these are always Latin American couples.
Granted, I live in Mexico City which is more liberal on the topic than other Latin American cities but you get the idea.
Fifth, part of me wonders how influential is the fact that a lot of Latin Americans don't even leave the house until they are married or into their late 20s?
As I wrote in that last article cited, it's not uncommon to find someone down here who is still living with their parents and they are 28.
Granted, that is increasingly more common in the US but I'd still say that it is more common down here.
So if you are a gal living with your parents until a later age like that and not as used to being on your own, would you get more judgement for leaving the house to live with the boyfriend and NOT husband?
And, on top of that, how much is it religious or conservative judgement against living together before marriage and how much is it that the couples in question simply can't afford to live together because they don't have good jobs to pay their own rent yet?
Something to consider.
Sixth, obviously having a good relationship with her parents will help this issue if you plan on living together before marriage.
Seventh, I'd be willing to bet that a girl who is more independent and has lived outside of her home city or even country would have more accepting parents of this matter.
Maybe that's not always the case though as Marcela did live in Bogota one time for a very brief period.
But I'd bet it helps given they are more used to her "leaving the nest" versus a Latin American gal who is 28 and still living at home.
Eighth, what about class differences?
Based on what I know, I'd think that families who aren't rural and not poor are perhaps more accepting and more liberal of you two living together than not.
Just makes the most sense to me.
Ninth, what do the studies say?
I could do all day about my experiences or what makes the most sense to me.
But is there any reporting on the matter by Latin American sources?
Well, to be honest, I couldn't find any for Latin American couples specifically. A lot of what I could find (in Spanish!) was in regards to couples in the US so I'll leave it at that.
If you have any studies to bring up, pass them my way and I'll include them here in this article.
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
Drop any comments below.
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Thanks for reading.
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