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Exclusive: Michael Ealy On Why You Should Live With Your Partner Before Marriage

"If you really want to try and make it last forever, you might want to do a little test run."

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Falling in love is easy, it's what comes after that makes it one of the most difficult things you'll ever do in your life. Taking the next step and marrying your partner is all fun and games until pesky habits that you may not have recognized before they become a part of your every day life.

Although it may not have bothered you in the past that your man always forgets to put the cap back on the toothpaste, seeing this ritual every day might just drive you to your breaking point, which is why star of the new feature film, The Intruder, Michael Ealy thinks if you're serious about spending the rest of your life with someone, you should take that theory on a test drive, first.

"Marriage is hard and living with somebody is cohabitation," he shared with xoNecole exclusively. "If you really want to try and make it last forever, you might want to do a little test run."

In his new psychological thriller, Michael Ealy stars alongside actress Meagan Good and the two play a couple who have made the decision to buy their very first house together. Little do they know, it comes with a pretty nostalgic, highly creepy houseguest who won't leave.

Needless to say, this couple has a lot more to worry about than a lost toothpaste cap, but the stars had some advice for couples who, like their characters, are looking to take the next step in their relationship. First off, make sure that you don't buy a house from a strange white man who wants to kill you; and second, try couples counseling. Michael stated:

"I always tell people to go to counseling before you get married. Go to counseling so you're not surprised by the person you ended up with later on down the line when you got kids."

MICHAEL EALY REVEALS THE HARD LESSON HE LEARNED IN HIS MARRIAGE youtu.be

The actor also advised that a couple move in together before they get married. Although the idea of "shacking up" would probably make our great grandmothers cringe in their graves, it's a new world; one that doesn't shame or ridicule lovers for cohabitating. Michael said that living together for at least three months before making a commitment to get married is actually essential to ensure longevity in a relationship.

According to the 45-year-old husband and father of two, love doesn't always conquer all, especially if all includes some bad habits. "Love doesn't always conquer everything. I think there's certain habitual issues that can come up and you know, just kind of divide people over time," he revealed. "Let's be honest, in a relationship, there are certain issues that really irritate you about the person. And the question is, before you get married, can you handle that long-term? Because you can't expect them to change."

Dating for marriage is a dangerous sport, and to make it to the finish line, you need to have a strategy and be able to answer some tough questions. It may not be easy to talk about financial planning, having children, and how you prefer your toothpaste to be capped over your 2 for $20 at Applebee's, but couples counseling could be the perfect environment to better understand each other's belief systems without feeling pressured. Michael said that without having these tough conversations, you could likely end up in a contract to spend your life stuck with someone that you don't even like. "Talk about things like having children, and what are your expectations of me, and all of that stuff. Because the more you get out upfront, the less likely you are to be sucker-punched later."

The actor also explained that you and your partner should make a move to counseling sooner than later. Nothing is worse than feeling rushed in a relationship, especially when you have a deadline as significant as your wedding date. "If you feel like it's close, you know, look, let's have some frank conversations so that nobody has to step backwards."

The Intruder is in theaters this Friday (May 3) and you can check out our full interview with Michael Ealy and Meagan Good below!

THE INTRUDER - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com

Featured image via Michael Ealy/Instagram

You know what? Sometimes, you've got to push a few coins aside and determine in your mind that you're going to invest into your sex life (if you had a sex jar, this would be easier to do, by the way. You can read more about what that is all about here). If you're someone who is totally down to do that, but you don't have a clue where to begin, boy have you come to the right place! Between the joy of being a writer who sometimes gets samples sent to me, the constant research that I do for the couples I work with and having folks shout-out certain items semi-often, I've compiled a list of 12 sex-related items that may seem random AF (a pun is kind of intended there) and, at the same time, can make sex so much better between you and your partner. Where's your pad at? You're definitely gonna wanna take note.

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