A relationship is like a journey. If you don’t keep moving forward, it becomes stale, leaving you puzzled on whether you have a future with your partner.
That’s why, when you have dated a great guy for a while, the question of whether to ‘shack up’ (move in together as a couple) comes up.
But moving in together isn’t something you have to do. If you do it for the wrong reasons – just to keep moving forward, for example – it could prove disastrous.
So I suggest that couples think long and hard about the issues to consider before they start packing those boxes.
First of all, you can say goodbye to your independence.
Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration; you’ll still be an independent woman but just know that living with someone means you have a certain responsibility to let them know where you are. You might just be having after-work drinks but he won’t know that unless you call.
If moving in together came up because one of you is having problems with housemates, for example, it might not be a good move.
If you brought it up because you’d like to slash your rent costs, it’s also not ideal. Financial problems shouldn’t be the reason you decide to move in together.
Not only does it feel seriously unromantic, it also makes it more difficult to move out if you need to and that just puts extra pressure on the relationship.
You might think that the longer you’ve been together the better, but actually it’s not that simple. For instance couples who drag their feet in terms of moving a relationship forward often have issues they’re not addressing.
So you’ve been together for years and years, big deal! But if it just hit you that you ‘may as well’ move in together, it’s time to assess whether this person is really the one you want to be with on a long-term basis. If the passion in your relationship is as dormant as a security night guard on double shift then moving in together will obviously freeze whatever you had left.
If saying goodbye to each other is harder than nailing jelly to a tree, don’t assume that this is a good time to leap into a shared living space. This is the most exciting stage, where you’re utterly into each other and just can’t get enough therefore fairly blind to each other’s faults.
Therefore being apart, even if it’s just for a day and night, makes the aspect of being together even more fantastic. Trust me, lots of women can testify to that. Sometimes co-habiting eventually irritates both partners and that’s when the feeling of getting ‘some breathing space’ comes in.
I know marriage is pretty much the same thing, but you see, in marriage, that is exactly what you signed up for and therefore, have to hang in there until divorce does you apart. That’s the beauty about relationships, there’s no paper saying you have to keep up with every annoying detail!
You might have a great time at his place, lying around in bed, mooching in front of the TV eating pizza; but then when you get back home you breathe a sigh of relief. Why? Because at your place, you can walk around barefoot without encountering food remains on the floor, you can run yourself a bath without having to scrub it first and there’s food in the fridge that hasn’t got last year’s sell-by date. Sheer bliss!
Why throw away that freedom to go reminding a fully grown man to put the toilet seat back down every time he uses the bathroom? Or why pick up after him when he drops his socks or boxers, jackets and trousers like you were in a daycare center? This is not exactly the cherry on top of the cake.
There are so many things that need to be put into consideration before you take the plunge. He could be the hardest hip-hop listener and swears all the time; and there you are, little miss slow-jams listening to music that makes him want to kill himself!
Before moving in, think it through and do it because it is what both of you want and not for convenience or the sake of moving on. After all, happiness and comfort come first because if you are sad and uncomfortable, then so is he!