Vat & Sit

At what point do you and your person decide to take the leap into shacking up together? Is it a natural progression for any “committed relationship”, I use this term loosely, for it to ‘end’ in shared amenities?

I’ve been having this conversation with a couple of people throughout the week and I think it’s a 50/50 split between those who are for it and those against.

In the left corner…
Folks who are for a “vat & sit” talk about the benefits of being able to see your +1 daily. It builds a stronger relationship especially if the whipped pups see holy matrimony somewhere down the line. You are able to really get to know a person besides their Facebook updates or tweets about #TheySleepWeGrind typed from snug blankets. I would imagine that the bulk of a relationship happens within a mundane day to day stuff instead of staring in each other’s eyes the whole time. It happens during the unspoken moments, the not-so-romantic stuff like grocery shopping and smelly feet. I suppose you get to really know the negative stuff and you have a chance to decide to if you can live with them or if they should just miss you that.

In the right corner…
Those against say that it creates an illusion of marriage, especially in relationships that function well. Many in this corner tend to use religious reasoning to make their point, allowed. What’s also been said is that it makes couples complacent and they end up taking each other for granted. Dude gets lazy and doesn’t tend to his woman like before. Sister starts going to the shop in her pj’s. It’s actually a sad sight, seeing a couple who no longer feel the need to impress each other. So, staying separate, apparently, allegedly, keeps the fire burning. Also, trust is a different ball-game between people who stay together and those who don’t. You are expected to trust more when you don’t stay with a person because most of their time goes unaccounted for. You only know what they choose to tell you. Whereas, those who stay together, well, you know work is only 20 minutes away, why TF are you back an hour later? But, on the other hand, you have to suffer lonely bed syndrome. When you so used to have someone in bed all the time, a woman will still have those days where she’s folded nicely like an okapi in the blankets, buddy boy and his Excalibur are out at Stones, pulling out. She just has to deal. Nje.

We do have to keep in mind, however, that the number of people getting married is gradually declining. I believe it is a direct result of more and more people staying together before marriage. You can look at this is two ways; 1. Those who do end up getting married have basically passed all the ‘tests’ in order to graduate into marriage and will have stronger, longer lasting ones, 2. Staying together fast-tracks or compresses marriage life into a brief period thereby leading to relationships reaching their expiry date far quicker.

Relationships are far more disposable than they used to be. It’s far easier to chop and change than before. Also, hook-ups are getting more and more strategic executions. As we get older, relationships become more circumstantial. A trade of some kind. I have security and comfort; you have appreciation and respect, so wassup mah, let’s do the damn thing? Note that I have not mentioned “love” anywhere. So shacking up gives the opportunity to test drive these qualities.

Will vat & sit lead to marriage? Apparently, this is what ladies want to know most of the time. The answer? I don’t think anything ‘automatically’ leads to marriage. People have been known to get married 2 months after they meet. Also, how long is too long? A friend says it’s the woman who should put a time limit to it. I suppose it’s because marriage or more specifically a wedding is, in essence, about the woman. A guy WILL get lazy. A woman WILL grow complacent. You are also more likely to hit it raw more often.

Moving in together only after marriage also increases the chances of a whole lot of very, very awkward situations. In the long term shing-ding, it’s really the small stuff that gets in the way. And there, there’s no “Opt Out” after 3 months. There’s too much invested in this venture. I think this sometimes forces people to stay together in spite of the fact that they don’t get along. Be that as it may, personally, I think it’s really up to you.

Writer: Vus Ngxande

  • Guest
    26th Feb 2015

    Yeah. The Vat & Sit situation is very tricky. I’m sort on the fence about it, which is weird because I did that for while. But moving ahead, I’m not sure that I would live with a partner again.
    With regards to the decline of marriage though, it could be financial because ukushada for abaNtu is all about imali nowadays. So also, executing our culture becomes measured in western wealth – which is a discussion for another day.
    But I’d disagree on relationships being disposable, I’d say hook ups (in all forms) are on the rise particularly because real connections are on the decline.

    • George Matsheke
      1st Mar 2015

      Agreed, ive done it before and i dont think il do it again either …

  • Lindiwe Monica
    26th Feb 2015

    I’m definately in the “To NOT Vat & Sit” box… Mainly because like you mentioned befor relationships are far more disposable these days and really at what point do you decide that “Thabo” is eligible for the “shack up” and “Tshepo” isn’t… What’s the cut off number for these shack ups in any case??? And the cut of date??? Lol there’s just too many things that don’t make sense to me ka these vat $ sits… Say something bad happens to either off you during this living arrangement, the other party calls your family as “Who” or your “What” lol…

    I’m a bit old fashioned so either we are dating or we are married… No in between situations here…

  • Slomokazi
    26th Feb 2015

    Yeah. The Vat & Sit situation is very tricky. I’m sort on the fence about it, which is weird because I did that for while. But moving ahead, I’m not sure that I would live with a partner again.
    With regards to the decline of marriage though, it could be financial because ukushada for abaNtu is all about imali nowadays. So also, executing our culture becomes measured in western wealth – which is a discussion for another day.
    But I’d disagree on relationships being disposable, I’d say hook ups (in all forms) are on the rise particularly because real connections are on the decline.

  • Khanyo Zondi
    1st Mar 2015

    for me personally It boils down to the way I was raised. I remember my gran always saying Vat & Sit are a complete no no. A man is suppose to pay lobolo for you, do all the rituals in place and get married first and then live together. And she continued to if you move in with him before that, give him all the benefits of a husband on a silver platter, what reason would he have to marry you ngoba umnika wonke lama benefits mahala? yini asezoysebenzela?. But it is an individual decision i guess. One of my friends (married) always says not moving in with her husband who was her boyfriend at the time was the best decision she ever made even though he would have preferred otherwise, because it made him want her more by his side all the time & knew the only way that would happen was for him to put a ring on it.

    • George Matsheke
      1st Mar 2015

      it works for some and it doesnt for others as well, its also good to know the person you are with very well so i understand where your friend comes from as well …

  • Montso
    25th Mar 2019

    Marriage is not a guarantee that any of the concerns, raised in support of a vat ‘n sit, will not arise. Marriage does not guarantee that complacency will not pop up. To my mind, central to a successful marriage and/or relationship is rather the commitment to, amongst other things, keeping each other accountable particularly when it comes to complacency and to working through whatever/any issues come up. The intention people enter into cohabitation is very important. Whether parties fully reach some sort of consensus of the ultimate objective is of utmost importance to its success, in my view – that for example parties are on the same page that it is in the hopes of getting married later, financial reasons, trial run, or even simply because it just makes sense. I can’t help but wonder what happens long term in relation to the emotional and physical entanglement from a vat ‘n sit that does not work out and whether the respective parties take the time needed to work through the aftermath of the relationship.

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