When famous TV news anchor Rachel Maddow met her love, Susan Mikula, it was love at first sight. Susan had come knocking on her door to do some landscaping. And it was a very short time before Susan moved into Rachel’s home. That relationship has lasted years, and there are no signs whatsoever that there are any troubles in this relationship.
This does happen in real life, but it is not the usual way relationships evolve.
And, we’ve all seen the jokes and cartoons about lesbians with their U-Hauls moving into their new girlfriend’s place after a very short time of dating.
Why is this just a lesbian thing? Do gays, bisexuals, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community do the same? The answer is yes, they do. And while no one really knows how many of these early “move-ins” last, you might want to take a step back and think about your readiness to take this step. After all, a breakup after you are living together is a lot tougher.
But take heart. At least you are not living decades ago when living together before marriage was a huge “No-No.” Fortunately, you and your partner can “test the waters” without the complication of marriage – a breakup that involves all of those nasty legal complications of a divorce.
There are no guarantees in life, and there are no guarantees that your cohabitation relationship will be successful. But you can beat the odds if you make the decision smartly. Here, then, are the things that can tell you if you are ready.
When love is new, everything is amazing – the phone calls, the texts, the times together, the raging hormones, and the phenomenal sex. See how you are both feeling after you’ve had a couple of fights, after you have stayed over at each other’s places, maybe a few consecutive days. These are the times when you really get to experience what being together on a daily and nightly basis could be like.
Your families and friends are all known by the two of you, and everyone recognizes that you are a couple. This smacks of commitment.
Without commitment as a monogamous couple (or even an open relationship if that is what you both want), moving in together will only magnify your lack of commitment. You will end up being irritated by each other’s quirks and minor failings. One of you is kinda a neat freak, the other not so much; one of you stays up late watching TV, the other goes to bed early; one of you can’t seem to refill the toilet paper roll or put away the dishes.
Without commitment, these minor issues aren’t discussed and resolved. They are just the cause of arguments. And if a major issue should pop up? It’s all over.
Given the cost of housing today, moving in together is certainly more budget-friendly. Just don’t make that the overriding reason why you’re doing this. If it is, you are both better off finding roommates to share the expenses.
But let’s assume this isn’t the primary reason. Let’s suppose you are in love, committed, and talk through your differences. Now it’s time to discuss the financial obligations you will both bring to the table. While researchers are not in sync on the order, all of them list financial issues as one of the ten leading causes of divorce. While you are not married, you will face the same issues that married couples do.
So get your financial ducks in a row before you ever make that move.
Do you want the same things for your future? Do you have goals, both individually and as a couple? Do you share the same values? All of these things will determine whether your relationship has long-lasting potential.
This is one of the reasons why moving in too quickly can go horribly wrong. When love is new, you are “attached at the hip” and often put other interests, friends, and such on hold during this “honeymoon” period. But there comes a time when you and/or your partner are ready to resume some of your independent lives, and you want the space to do that. This return to your “earlier lives” should happen before you ever make that move-in step.
If you do take that step before you have separated your “hips,” you may then find that you and/or your partner begin to resent each other’s independence – happy hour with co-workers, nights out, or short trips with the guys or gals, even a return to the sports activities that you have not shared. If both of you are not able to afford each other personal and independent space, the move-out will soon happen.
The physical act of moving in is the easy part of being in love. It’s what comes after that can be the challenge. Take a look at these important pre-move-in steps and just make sure you are really ready. Splitting up after the fact can get messy.
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