More and more couples have started living together before they get married or even engaged. While there are still a few who think its taboo, I’m a firm believer that taking that plunge is one of the best decisions a couple considering marriage can make.
Jordon and I moved in together before we graduated from college and to say it was an adjustment is an understatement. Before moving in we were together 24/7, so I assumed making it official wouldn’t be much of a change. But, ripping off the security blanket of having your own space to go to is scary feeling. In those first few months we learned so much about each other and I couldn’t imagine entering our marriage in a few months without that experience.
Now, this isn’t to say that living together is for everyone and I can certainly understand that there are downsides to the choice, but I don’t think it’s the kiss of death that people used to say it was. Ultimately, you have to look at your relationship, your finances, and your future to determine whether or not living together makes sense. If so, hopefully my tips on living with your significant other can help make the adjustment a little easier!
Understand each other’s expectations: So often you hear horror stories of people moving in together because it’s “the next thing”. Cohabitating shouldn’t be a task to cross off on your checklist leading to marriage. There’s nothing worse than living with someone and thinking an engagement is right around the corner when your partner is on a completely different page. So, my best advice is to be clear about what living together means for you and your significant other before you rent the u-haul.
Organize your responsibilities: Just like when you were younger, chores can easily become a source of contention. J and I have found a way to organize our chores and responsibilities, and it works for us. I know that if I cook he’ll clean and he knows that if I’m vacuuming he’s on laundry duty. The best part of living with your s/o is how helpful they can be. There are days when I’m exhausted and J picks up the slack and vice versa and it’s made our relationship so much stronger.
Make time for yourself: We all have that one friend who moved in with her s/o and disappeared off the face of the planet. It can be really challenging to not be an “us” all the time, but maintaining your “me” is one of the best ways to grow your relationship. I try to make sure that at least one night a week I focus on me – whether its spending time with the girls or taking a long bath it’s much needed.
Look at the Numbers: Budgets can be a sore subject in a lot of relationships, but it’s so important to talk about before you move in together. All of the sudden you start buying food together and paying rent so you need to talk about who is assuming what financial responsibilities.
Be Patient: Moving in is a big step and there are certainly days when it can be harder than others. So, just take a breath, be patient and find a way to make living together fun!