The difficulty with living in the modern day is not modernity itself, but the problem of trying to connect the modern day with tradition.
We are Generation Y, the cool, sophisticated members of the universe who can operate computers in our sleep, who know better than to sleep with someone without a condom, and can choose full-time careers over giving birth.
We weren’t born cradling an iPhone 4 and podcasting Justin Bieber, but rather were born unto a healthy dose of technological savvy while managing to retain the Generation X values of our parents who used to drive emerald green Ford Sierras and still think it was the best car of their misspent youths.
As women in 2011, we manage to have wedding ceremonies reeking of tradition and purity, while becoming CEOs of multi-nationals. We are meant to be the most sensible, well-informed, educated and ambitious generation of the century, embracing modern delights like careers as much as we embrace going to church every Sunday like our grandmothers. We are just so balanced.
And yet things get a little messy when one has to learn to cohabit.
Moving in together. This fairly simple exercise of merging furniture and underpants into one living space has never been met with such white noise. Psychologists, parents, journalists, friends, evangelists all offer advice, and none is going to make your choices easier.
Every couple contemplating the practical, yet seemingly still taboo concept of cohabitation will get accosted. Is it right, is it wrong? Cosmopolitan will say you shouldn’t because before you know it, you’ll be playing fart ping pong under the covers and picking up his golfing socks off the floor while searing him a steak.
Any religious friends will tut-tut you over tea and scones, and tell you that under no circumstances should you move in with a man who hasn’t put a ring on your finger first. “You’re sleeping together?!” they'll ask with a twinge of incredulousness.
Depending on how new age your folks are, you should expect some of the same from your parents. “You’ll get pregnant,” your mother will warn, with an expression of gloomy out-of-wedlock children shadowing her face. I hate to be frank Mum, but we could get pregnant not living together.
There’s a niggle in your chest while you explore the options further with your partner. You’ve seen the statistics — couples that move in together too soon break up. The splitting of furniture and leases at the end would be as good as a divorce. And it was, when I lived with a boyfriend previously.
A divorce rate of over 50 percent in Gauteng alone will get you wondering whether you should live together at all, even if you do marry.
However, hang on – what about us fiercely self-sufficient females of Generation Y? What about our friends who have moved in with their penis-clad other halves, bought a Weber together, took out a loan on a three piece lounge suite, and take turns doing the dishes, quite successfully?
“You don’t really know someone until you’ve lived with him,” chide my older relatives, and to be fair, they’re right. I only found out that my boyfriend cradled his balls in his hands every night while watching cricket after we’d moved in together, three years down the line.
To add to the mass confusion of "should we, shouldn’t we", you’ll probably find a "recent study" lying around claiming that couples who live together form stronger bonds, or build on a solid base of understanding, or such waffle.
So what do you choose? Do you remain traditional and follow your ancestors Catholic regimen of living apart until marriage, and experience "real courting at its best" or do you get with the modern programme and test the waters together before getting hitched and finding out he eats his toenails before committing to vows?