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Loading Boxes Into a CarThere are a lot of good reasons for dating couples to move in together. Maybe an apartment lease is coming to an end and you don’t want to be locked into a new agreement when it’s time to say “I do.” Perhaps you’ve accepted a new job that puts you and your significant other in the same town, bringing the long-distance part of your relationship to an end. However, if the two of you decide that it’s time to share a living space, here are some things to think about first.

Is It Too Soon?

While the idea of not having to go home to separate residences is appealing, you should think about whether now is the right time. It’s one thing to date someone and yet another to live together. Some really close friends don’t even share hotel rooms on a trip because of differences in living preferences. Consider the following before committing to sharing a residence:

  • Do you actually want to live together or are you going along with other’s expectations?
  • Do you and your better half get into arguments over big or small things?
  • Have you spent significant time together or has the relationship been mostly long-distance?
  • Do you think cohabitation will smooth over difficulties?

Have an open and honest discussion that answers these questions. The decision to share living quarters should be both mutual and mutually beneficial. Is this advantageous for both members?  Even with different concerns, there should be an upside for both of you. Perhaps moving in will help both of you save money by sharing bills. Maybe one of you will have a much shorter commute, which leads to more quality time. 

Have You Considered Everything?

At this point, if you both decide that sharing space is still the move, you’ll have to ponder other considerations before changing addresses:

  • Division of financial responsibilities: Money is an important subject for serious couples. Sharing residences requires a frank discussion about who will pay for what. Are you splitting expenses down the middle? That sounds reasonable on the surface, but that might not actually be wise, especially if one of you brings in significantly more income. If one of you is paying a mortgage, is the other okay with contributing to that expense without the benefit of building home equity?
  • Keeping up the passion: It’s easy to fall into a routine when you’re living with someone you’re dating. Whereas sharing a meal might’ve been exciting in the past, it can become perfunctory when you live together. The two of you both need to be intentional about keeping up the passion.
  • Setting boundaries: While some co-located couples have no boundaries, you both need to discuss your comfort levels. Will you actually share bedrooms and bathrooms? Are you fine with your significant other using the toilet while you’re getting ready for work? Is there some level of privacy that you need to maintain? It’s good to know and discuss these things beforehand.
  • Conflict resolution: Remember that when you live together, it’s not as easy to go to “separate corners” after an argument. How will you resolve conflict? Can you share spaces in the direct aftermath? It might have been easy to just go back home in the past to cool off, but you might not have that luxury as roommates.
  • Inevitable breakup: If the relationship doesn’t work out and a mutual decision to break up is reached, what happens next? What happens to the mortgage or lease agreement? Who moves out? Will you be forced to stay connected while untangling certain financial obligations? Who gets the fur baby? These questions all require answers.

Whatever your reasons, the decision to live together should not be arrived at lightly. Give careful thought to the advantages and disadvantages. Make sure that the final decision is something that works for both of you.

Category: Society

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