Amidst all the “home and garden” television programs these days, there’s a popular one where couples tour several homes then decide at the end of the show which one to purchase. What’s interesting about this show (aside from the shocking amount of money some people will pay for a house) is that more and more of the featured couples who are buying a house together aren’t married.

Of course this shouldn’t come as a surprise. More couples than ever before are living together outside of marriage and unmarried couples are the second fastest growing segment of home buyers in America. But even though the idea of buying a home together may make some financial sense, entering such a massive financial contract with someone you are romantically involved with, but not committed to in marriage, sure sounds like trouble.

Something is amiss when you are more willing to commit to hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage debt with someone before you are willing to commit to them in marriage.

What happens if the financial commitment is disproportionately greater than the level of commitment in the relationship, or if the romance starts to fade?

Buying a house can be an exciting experience, filled with emotion and anticipation. It can even create an illusion of intimacy. But all of the emotion of buying a home can distract from the more important work of cementing the relationship first.

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