All those chick flicks ABOUT moving in with your significant other look so easy, so chill, so romantic. Breakfast in bed, unlimited back rubs, lazy Sundays in your jammies, just cuddling and kissing. Ah, bliss.
If only things were that easy.
In reality, before breakfast in bed can even happen, there is a lot of tugging, nudging, and nagging over whose urn it is to get up and cook. While lazy Sundays exist, they’re rarely spent in bed. “Tamad” days are decimated by heaps of laundry, soiled dishes, and muddy pets running all around the house.
You may feel like you’re a perfect match, and you may see each other almost daily. But it’s no guarantee that cohabitation is for you. Here are some things to ask before taking the plunge:
Do you see it as a last resort?
If you’re only moving together to get away from your strict parents or to simply have someone you can share living expenses with, don’t do it. Moving in should not be a last resort, but something that both of you have mulled over plenty of times.
Do you feel a sense of pressure?
Neither of you should feel any pressure about moving in. Let the feeling that you’re ready to take your relationship to the next step come by naturally. If you’re anxious about leaving home or the apartment you share with your best friends and basically giving up your current life, it’s wise to put off your plans.
Don’t let yourself be pressured into moving in. You can wait a year or so, before asking yourself again if you’re ready.
Do you feel nervous about your life together?
When you’re feeling nervous about your new life together, even though you’re a hundred percent sure you want to move in together, it’s perfectly okay. It means you understand that you’re making a big, life altering move.
If you’re not feeling even just a bit queasy, the author of “Why You’re Not Married…Yet: The Straight Talk You Need to Get the Relationship You Deserve”, Tracy MacMillan suggests taking a step back. She says you first need to make sure you’re aware of the magnitude of such a huge decision and that you’re not just in a fantasy world, playing house.
Are you doing it to save your relationship?
It’s easy to assume that living together can mend the cracks in your relationship, but it’s actually the other way around. Your proximity to each other can magnify small faults, which may lead to big fights.
Are you ready to accept each other, flaws and all?
As a friend once told me, “you never truly know a person until you’ve lived under one roof.” Living together lets you discover things about your partner that might further endear them to you, or completely tick you off.
When your partner changes out of dirty clothes and then simply leaves them on the floor, will you rage a full-scale war, or are you likely to let it slide? When you’re roused in the middle of the night by a loud snoring, will you throw a tantrum or gently nudge your partner awake?
It pays to make the big leap after you have seen an experienced each other’s best and worst, when you are both comfortable in each other’s company, and when you’re less likely to jump ship when you uncover a different side to your partner.
Are you prepared to “adult?”
According to a study published in The Journal of Marriage and Family, the correlation between cohabitation and divorce depends significantly on the age of the couple when they moved in together. The study suggests that the chances of a divorce are higher in couples who moved at a young age. This is because they are forced to confront the issues associated with marriage and living together, even before they had enough experience and maturity to choose compatible partners and conduct themselves in ways that can make the relationship grow in the long run.
Moving in can be challenging at times, especially during the first few months. But moving in with the right person has its own perks: it can make you feel like you’re never alone, that there is always someone who will help you take on whatever challenge life throws your way.