Due in part to a floundering economy and aggravated further by the fast-paced, impulsive nature of our modern day society, many singles are being too quick to move in with a new partner. Now donít get me wrong; I am all for the idea of cohabitation between unmarried couples. As a matter of fact, I think it is important for couples to spend some time living under the same roof before solidifying any long-term commitments because being able to happily share a space with each other is a crucial aspect of building a life together and one that, in my opinion, should ideally be mastered prior to making any formal marital arrangements. There are a number of cases, however, in which new couples are so eager to take the cohabitation leap that they end up moving in together long before they are emotionally prepared to handle the consequences of that decision.
Moving in with a significant other is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. New couples would be well-advised to carefully weigh the pros and cons of their particular situation before making a final decision about whether or not to move in together. Living with a romantic partner is generally a good idea on many levels but only if both parties are on the same page and committed to making it work.
If you are thinking about whether or not to move in with a new partner and could use some guidance to nudge you in the right direction, review the question checklist below and let it help you to decide the best course of action for you and your particular situation.
- How long have the two of you been dating? While there is no law dictating how long you should be dating someone before thinking about shacking up together, it is probably a good idea to spend at least several months getting to know each other. If you and your partner have been romantically involved for less than six months and the topic of moving in together has already come up, this may be a red flag. Of course there could be exceptions to this rule. In many lesbian relationships, for example, it is more common for cohabitation to be considered an option at a much earlier stage than would likely be considered appropriate for most heterosexual relationships.
- What is the primary reasoning behind the move? Though there could be a number of reasons for moving in together, think about what the central motivation for the move happens to be in your particular situation. Are you and your partner motivated by the idea of being able to spend more time together and share more experiences with each other or does it all seem to come down to financial motivations alone? If the main incentive for shacking up with your partner revolves around financial concerns and has very little to do with the emotional gains to be had from the experience, proceed with caution as this could spell trouble later on.
- How well do you and your partner really know each other? Granted that living together will naturally help the two of you to get to know each other better and on a deeper level than would be possible while living separately but it is probably a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your partner before committing to share a space with him/her. Making an effort to get acquainted with some of each otherís closest friends and family members is a great way to learn more about your sweetie.
- Are you committed? Make sure that you and your partner are on the same page with regards to the commitment level between you. Whether you will be monogamous or not, setting the ground rules for the relationship is an important part of living together happily.
- How will you handle potential household problems? To ensure a successful transition from single living to coupled living, put your cooperative abilities to the test by working with your partner to identify potential household problems and their solutions well before they arise. Think about how household chores will be divided and what sort of boundaries will need to be established.