The Bride
Master March 2019

"Why Buy The Cow When You Can Get The Milk For Free"

The Bride, on August 3, 2019 at 10:10 AM Posted in Community Conversations 0 22
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Have you ever heard the phrase "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free"?

It refers to giving too much in a relationship too fast or as some would call it giving "marriage benefits" before you're actually married. These benefits may include sex, cooking, cleaning, and sometimes even children.

The argument is why would someone ever marry you if you are already giving them everything they would get if they were married to you?


What are your thoughts on this topic? Are there any "benefits" you reserved until marriage? Why or why not?

"Why Buy The Cow When You Can Get The Milk For Free" 1


22 Comments

Latest activity by Katelyn, on January 27, 2021 at 11:42 AM
  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
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    Hmm, interesting. There's lots of couples who choose to not marry, but I don't think it means one is taking advantage of the other!

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  • Colleen
    Master September 2019
    Colleen ·
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    Yes I agree. This is a one sided argument. My fiancé and I already live together. So we already had sex. That is not one sided. He cleans I cook. This makes it seem like one person should do all the cleaning and cooking and the other person benefits. A relationship should be two people working to gather.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    Are there any "benefits" you reserved until marriage?
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    I see your perspective, however, I think it could go either way with sex, cooking, cleaning, etc. My understanding is the point of the phrase is why marry if your already doing married things.

    Are there any "benefits" you reserved until marriage?
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  • Kelly
    VIP October 2020
    Kelly ·
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    Sure you won't see a day to day difference if you're already doing it, but you will on your taxes, if either one of you ever gets sick or hurt, how your kids are handled can be different for their health insurance and how you file taxes.
    Goodness forbid one of you gets hurt or sick there may be a family only rule at the hospital and it's well known to be a problem. It's seen more so with same sex couple's but what if you couldn't be there if your partner was dying? It also means if one of you does die you get treated differently afterwards legally.
    To me marriage is mostly about the commitment, I've seen couple's happy together but not married for over 20 years, so it can happen. But it has certain legal risks to live life that way and you gotta ask yourself if the worst happens how do you want to be treated? I feel like those who use the phrase "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free" often don't want to be responsible for the worst. They want a fair weather relationship with no strings attached. It's not how I would want to be but if it works for someone else I say let it be.
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  • Colleen
    Master September 2019
    Colleen ·
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    No it just not something I believe in.
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  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    I think this really depends on your views of marriage. As stated above, there are many legal benefits to marriage for most couples out there. For me, it’s that my state allows FH to fight for custody of my daughter if something happens to me, but not if we aren’t married. He also carries better health insurance but his company does not allow you to list domestic partnerships or children who are not legally your children/step-children. Cooking for him and cleaning and having sex with him didn’t change this view so that’s why we’re still getting married.
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  • Cher Horowitz
    Master December 2019
    Cher Horowitz ·
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    FH and I are living separately and abstaining from sex due to our religious and personal beliefs

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  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
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    I personally abhor that phrase, it comes off as sexist and old fashioned, but at the same time I think the pros of marriage are worth it and I wouldn’t spend my life with someone without marriage. I think being your partner’s next of kin is unbelievably important, life has no guarantees. I need those rights to make painful decisions on behalf of my partner, I also want the insurance and tax benefits. Marriage is more than a union of love.
    I also feel for the people who don’t have that luxury. Gay marriage isn’t legal everywhere and even though it’s legal, disabled people face having their benefits taken away if they marry. Not everyone has the option to get married, so it’s important to me.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    I agree that marriage has leagal benefits that are more long-term rather than day to day.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    I understand.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    Thank you for sharing this perspective.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    Got it, thanks for clarifying.
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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    I totally agree that "marriage is more than a union of love."
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  • Nemo
    Master August 2018
    Nemo ·
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    About 3.5 weeks before we got married, I was in a significant car accident (rear ended by a semi). Fortunately, I came out completed unscathed, with the exception of being rather sore, and my car was (obviously) totaled. However, the point is that had things turned out differently and I had been injured, my FH (at the time) would not have been bale to make medical decision for me. That would have been deferred to my next of kin (in my case that would be my parents) despite the fact that we were 3.5 weeks from being married and had lived together at that point for a year. H knows more about what I do/don't want int he case of a serious accident/medical emergency than my parents do. My parents would (I assume) have the right to choose where I was buried, God-forbid, if I had died in that accident. They would have planned my funeral, not H. That isn't to say that they wouldn't have involved them because they would have, but they wouldn't have had to. Marriage is a whole different level of connection and responsibility than dating/engagement, in my opinion, regardless of if you are living together/sleeping together/whatever before you're married.

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  • The Bride
    Master March 2019
    The Bride ·
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    I'm glad you are okay after your accident.

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  • B
    Just Said Yes November 2022
    Bertha ·
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    Just my opinion:
    It’s a commitment. Either partner can leave whenever they want if you’re not married . You can leave in a marriage but the whole point of a marriage is to commit to that one person you made vows to. Plus as said in other post if either partner is is sick or have a baby...it’s going to be hard to see that person because they go by power of attorney, will, or next of kin .
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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    There are situations where I can see that being a concern. For example, if one person wants to get married and the other doesn’t, it can feel very unequal.
    I’ve had friends in long term relationships where they live together, even have children, and the man doesn’t want to get married because he’s “not ready yet” when he really means “I don’t want to marry YOU.” So one person wants to be married, the other doesn’t. By the time you’re all in, have a lease, buy a house, have children, the sunk-cost fallacy and inertia make it hard to change. And then the other person, friends, etc telling you “it doesn’t matter, you’re practically married anyway” so it can feel like you want too much, etc.
    I think well before doing all that stuff it’s important to figure out if you are both on the same page.
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  • Kimberly
    Super March 2021
    Kimberly ·
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    No, I do not “believe” in that statement. It’s a disgusting, sexist, demeaning statement that compares women to cattle.


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  • B
    Just Said Yes November 2022
    Bertha ·
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    So if I choose to be in a relationship and I’m with this person I’m committed and I do everything to take care of our relationship. He decides one day to see this other woman and she can do the same thing as you but she has limits with him and gives him a challenge and decides I want to be with her. That man will leave because he never made that commitment that you’re the one and no one else can have you. And then a year later you find out he married the other girl.....that’s very hurtful .
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