Dispel The Fairy Tale Myth
- Your relationship will change when you live together; it is a completely different entity to what you had when you were just dating.
- Moving in together will not help a hurting relationship. If it was troubled before, the issues will become magnified and more trying when under the same roof 24/7.
- You will have to compromise and be more flexible. How you managed your home and life when you lived solo now needs to be negotiated with another’s outlook. You will be giving up a degree of independence.
- If you or your boyfriend is still “in the closet” and having continued “coming-out” struggles, living together will pose some additional challenges as it will be difficult over time to hide your relationship. You will need to be prepared to face the reactions of your family, friends, neighbors, and perhaps even your job.
- Why do I want to move in together? What does it mean to me? What are my motives? If it’s for convenience, financial security, or because you think you “should” do it, these are not the right reasons. Only go for it if you’re comfortable with your partner, are fully committed, and are confident in your compatibility and have no doubts that you’re a good fit.
- What do I want to get out of living together? What are my expectations of myself and my partner?
- How will we consolidate? Where will we live? How will we combine our belongings? How will we manage finances and domestics?
- Is the timing right for us at this very moment? As an example, three years into my relationship with my partner, we decided to buy a home together. My condo sold first and I moved into his house awaiting its sale so we’d have enough of a down payment for our new home. The problem was that his mother was living with him at the time and he “came out” to her just weeks before my move-in! Talk about drama! Having to live with my future mother-in-law, who was sorely bitter about my presence, and having to adapt to his two dogs who just loved to jump on my face in the middle of the night was a little much for my coping abilities. “Mom” and I are very close now, and I’m better about dogs, but it illustrates the importance of good timing in your decision-making.
What You And Your Partner Can Do For Cohabitation Success
- Before you guys move in, ensure that you’re completely committed to each other and the process, that you’re open and honest about anything and everything and have a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect, and that you have a shared vision for your relationship and future.
- Communication is key. Share with each other your fears and concerns, as well as your joys. Always keep the channels of dialogue open, regularly “check-in” with each other, and never keep things you’re feeling bottled up inside.
- Set some ground rules BEFORE you move in, defining your home climate and expectations so there are no surprises. Be flexible in sorting out who does what and mix up the roles periodically.
- There will be lots of shared decision-making. Make sure the two of you have a good system in place for productive problem-solving and healthy anger management. Emphasize the positives in your relationship when things get rough.
- Practice living together before you actually do by “playing house.” Practice domestic roles in each other’s separate residences or go on an extended vacation where you’ll constantly be together to gauge the strengths and weaknesses you see from all the “togetherness.” Try it on for size!
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