So you’ve been dating for a year and you’re practically living together. The key word there is practically. Staying over at your girlfriend’s house a few nights a week and moving in with her are two very different things. The decision to co-habitate before marriage is a big one and there are several things to consider before you start packing your boxes.
The Marriage Question
A lot of people see moving in together as the step before marriage. But, once you move in together, you may not feel such a rush to get married. Before you shack up, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and have the marriage talk. Is she going to expect a ring a year down the road?
You Call That Clean?
One of the biggest fights that couples have when they live together is about cleaning. Does your girlfriend like the sink to be completely empty of dishes? Or, does she wait until the dirty dishes are spilling over onto the counter to clean them? Is your idea of tidying up shuffling the mail onto one side of the dining table while her idea is scrubbing the apartment from floor to ceiling? Both of you can’t win. You have to negotiate and find a middle cleanliness ground.
Warts and All
Every time you see your girlfriend right now she’s done her hair and put on makeup for you. Are you prepared to see exactly what effort it takes to make her look so good every morning? Women are real people, just like you. They get pimples on their skin and have cowlicks in their hair. If you’re not ready to see your significant other as a human being, then you’re not ready to move in.
Who’s Going to Pay?
So you make significantly more money than your girlfriend does, or she makes significantly more money than you, who is going to pay what share of the rent? This is a discussion that must happen before you shack up, because you don’t want your first blow-up fight to include the words “I pay for this place, you get to sleep on the couch.”
Time vs. Quality Time
Just because you’re sharing the same space doesn’t mean you’re sharing the same life. Sometimes more time together isn’t always a good thing. Just being in the same room as someone isn’t the same as enjoying an activity together and coming home to kiss your girlfriend goodnight and kissing her good morning isn’t the same as dinner and a movie.
There’s a lot to think about before moving in with the woman you love and a lot of questions you’ll have to ask each other and ask yourself. However, there’s no better way to find out if you’re going to end up celebrating you’re fiftieth wedding anniversary together than by giving it a try. If she’s the person you want to fall asleep next to every night and the girl you want to wake up next to every morning, then you should give living together a try.