A friend recently told me about a couple we knew who got engaged over the holidays. Over the course of the conversation, he mentioned that they’re waiting to live together until after they are married.
My jaw dropped to the floor.
This whole situation got me thinking. Could I ever marry someone without living with them first? The often utilized phrase “getting the milk for free without buying the cow” popped in my mind. If I’m making a commitment to someone for better or worse, it’s a deal breaker if they won’t live with me beforehand.
For starters, there are so many questions to consider before you even think about moving in with your significant other:
- Do you enjoy sharing your space with other people?
- Do you like having someone to come home to every day?
- Will you be OK with someone constantly being inquisitive, whether you want them to be or not?
- What kind of sleeper are you?
- Are you a night owl or a morning person?
If your answers to these questions show that you’re ready to move in with your SO, then congrats! You’re an adult who has made an informed decision that could alter the rest of your life.
On the other hand, since I’ve been single & living on my own, I could not imagine my life any differently. When you’re in a relationship and living with someone, you have to compromise (Ugh!) and put up with all of someone’s weird, annoying quirks that drive you up the wall (or out the door).
There are also benefits to living with a significant other. You can build a home with them and test the waters of domesticity. You can also test the waters to see if they are a worthy partner for life, not to mention take advantage of the convenience of sexual engagement.
The biggest sacrifice you make when you move in with your significant other is true and total independence. Living with your loving partner may be all fun and games at first, but after some time you may find yourself missing out on things you used to do freely without reporting to anyone else. Your relationship should flourish if you’re both living your best possible independent lives while coming together when it matters the most. Anything else and you’re bordering codependency.
When you live with someone, you’re also being held accountable because someone is constantly monitoring your activity. Whether you leave the house to grab a drink with friends or stay late at the office, your partner will check in with you. The frequency can vary depending on the person, but it can be draining if not handled up front.
This, of course, requires communication. Any relationship without communication is not meant to last. The relationship will only work if you’re both comfortable enough with one another to say things to each other without being hurtful or vindictive.
When you live with someone during a relationship before making taking the next step to a lifelong commitment, you can also curb some of their bad habits and red flags traits. You can’t change someone completely, but you can make the situation better.t. For instance, if you want the laundry done a certain way, show them how to do it and help them a few times instead of just assuming they’ll figure it out. That can avoid awkwardness, fighting, and unnecessary relationship drama.
My advice to you is to truly weigh your options before considering moving in with your significant other. Compile a pros and cons list. Talk to your friends and family. Try spending prolonged periods of time sharing a space with your partner to see if you’re truly ready. Moving in with someone is not only a huge emotional but a financial one as well. It requires more thought process than a simple “I love you.” Don’t be like the couple I know waiting until marriage to cohabitate. Take a chance on love, but do so when you’re ready!
Featured Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash