- Gender and Relationships
Should You Move In Together?
"Let's move in together?" Although this might sound great in theory, is it always the best solution when you haven't been dating that long or are not yet engaged?
I do believe that before you marry a guy, you should definitely live together in order to make sure you are compatible in more than one way. But, some women want to jump the gun and find out right away (which is usually too soon)—believing that living together will bring the two of them closer.
There is a reason why there are different stages to experience when you are in a relationship. In order to build a successful partnership, each experience—dating, exclusivity, engagement, etc., should not be rushed. This includes living together. But, so many women want to hurry the process in hopes to not be the last friend who gets married and have children before her eggs get old and depleted. Yikes!
When a woman jumps into living with a guy, it's usually more than just thinking she will become closer to him. There is a subconscious thought that by living together, he will be moved to propose quicker. Quite often, this is not the case. Sometimes jumping the gun with moving in together ends up in disaster.
Guys can get comfortable. "Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free," my grandmother would quote—not saying she was calling me a cow, but what she said was true. If you're already living together some men view it as close enough to marriage—so why rush things? A lot of men don't see the need to take the next step.
Many women also believe that living with a guy will be filled with glitz, glamour and romance. What we sometimes fail to realize is, the sacrifices and drastic changes that are involved, including his emotional stuff. We need to be able to deal with the ups and downs equally. If you have never lived with someone or it has been years since the last time you have lived with someone, it is not as easy as you may think. If you haven't been dating long, it can be harder than you could even imagine.
I have had the pleasure of living with three guys in my life. The first guy was right out of college—I was still learning things, so marriage was the farthest thing from my mind. The second guy was in my mid 20s—I was too busy partying and having fun that I wasn't serious enough (or frankly mature enough) for the concept of marriage. The third guy, came into my life after I had been single for a while and contemplated finding a guy who I could be exclusive with and possibly build a lasting future together.
This guy might as well have galloped into my life on a white horse—at least that's what it felt like seeing him again. We had met through mutual friends and would see each other at venues around town for over a year span. This time seeing each other was an unexpected and different feeling. He swept me off my feet—saying and doing all the right things.
The timing seemed perfect compared to the last two guys I had lived with. I was no longer finding myself and my partying stage was over long ago. So, it was easier for me to embrace the idea that a guy who knew what he wanted with such assurance and sincerity, wasn't blowing smoke up my ass.
Things moved quickly with this guy. A little too quickly for my comfort level. However, I had told God that I would be open to all possibilities for love, so I could not go back on my word. I decided to give love a full 100% (more like 95%—since the idea of "forever" love scares me, as well as things moving at high speed).
After a few weeks of dating and spending almost every day together, he asked me to move in with him, since his place was bigger than mine. Although the thought of living with a guy, after living by myself for over fifteen years was out of my comfort zone, I decided to give it a chance—moving in gradually. I only took the basic necessities—my cat, clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty supplies since I owned my condo. Thank God I did not move anything else.
The honeymoon of living together only lasted six months until I realized who I was actually living with. His representative (the personality who was wooing me) went away, and his authentic personality shined through—it was similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This guy had major control, trust and anger issues. And if that wasn't enough, he was also allegedly bi-polar. I say allegedly, because he was never officially diagnosed when we were together. However, I have never dated a guy who would quickly change from being happy to uncontrollably angry—making you think that you have to be imagining things.
When he was in a great mood—80% of the time, he was the best boyfriend a girl could ask for. He was very thoughtful, kindhearted and romantic. He also did the little things that counted and made me feel special and important. He made sure that I knew, as well as his friends and family that he had finally found the woman he wanted to marry. But, when he was upset, he was a nightmare—erasing all the great experiences.
My ex never hit me or tried to. He did think it was ok to yell, break things and punch holes in the walls—although in my opinion, if a guy can punch holes in a wall without a blink of an eye, your face could be the next target. I was not willing to find out. After seeing that his mood swings were a permanent feature that he was not willing to get help for, I packed up my things and moved back to my condo.
I'm not saying that living with a guy can't work or that it is a bad thing. It's not. As long as you take the needed time to get to know one another first—preferably six months or longer. Be realistic, know that being able to cohabit together takes extra work.
Obviously, there are many perks to living with a guy. Waking up to sex or having sex more often or on a daily basis is one of them—if you are both sexual people. Also, if you live with a guy who is neater than you or can cook—big bonus! And of course, with proper time it can move the relationship to the next level.
Ladies, there are obviously many perks to living by yourself as well as living with a guy. Before you decide what is right for you and what time frame works, list all the pros and cons. Really make sure that you know him—all of his habits and his true personality. Remember, you will be dealing with things on a daily basis that you never have to deal with while living alone. So, make sure they are things you can live with, as well as tolerate.
Bottom line, when you live together, compromise and communication is very important. Being in love doesn't exonerate all issues from happening, so take your time. All relationships take work. Remember, when you cohabit, it takes even more work to keep things successful. With the right guy, "the work" is towards a future that will be mostly filled with love, happiness and bill sharing.