A reader writes:

I shacked up with my girlfriend out of necessity. We'd been dating about 15 months when my roommate told me he was moving out. This was during the nadir of the economic downturn and I was an out-of-work entertainment assistant, teaching after-school classes part time to pay the bills, and living in Los Angeles. My options, dictated by finances, were to share a studio apartment with a complete stranger from Craigslist ... or share a studio with my girlfriend. (Gee, which do ya think I chose?)

But I didn't want to do it.

I didn't think I was ready. But you know what? Huddling together in our Koreatown foxhole to weather the economic storm made us closer and helped our relationship grow. Since I was coming home to her home, I didn't drink and stay out late so much anymore. We got out of debt together, bought furniture together, and adopted a child - er, I mean, cat - together.

I'm a prototypical 29-year-old privileged white guy: college educated, out of the home, not really a grownup ... the kind of child-of-a-boomer who puts off marriage and children until their thirties. But co-habitating gave me a path to adulthood. It's maybe the best thing to ever happen to me.

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