When couples start having the conversation about moving in with each other, I notice they usually make the case by talking about things like the savings in finances, getting to know each other on a deeper level and the convenience of not having to commute to see each other so much. And while these are all great benefits for living together, they often miss the bigger [and most important part of the] picture.
If you’re having a conversation about living together, you should also be having a conversation about commitment.
Why? Because while saving money and commuting time might be great short-term benefits, commitment is a long-term issue that you and your partner might not be on the same page about, which could potentially lead to a disaster.
Okay, So We Moved In…Now What?
So what happens next? Are you getting married? Are you going to have a family together? What happens when one of you is ready to buy a home? You get the point.
These are important questions that will come up at SOME time or another, but are often looked over due to the assumption that it’s okay to kick the ball down the road. But that’s really not a good idea. Because while you might see moving in as a big step towards commitment, your partner might see it as a way to postpone or avoid that commitment. And depending on where you stand on that, you can see how the answers to those questions about the future will be drastically different.
I’ve noticed where you stand on commitment will also determine many other key factors in your relationship, such as how you approach compromise with your partner. I notice that partners who are committed for the long haul will be much more devoted to seeking and adopting solutions to make things work in the relationship, as opposed to partners who aren’t so committed, who see cohabiting as a great option because if things aren’t working out, they can just leave with ease. They tend to see the relationship as more disposable and are willing to treat it as such.
Before You Make That Move, Try This:
Taking this next step in your relationship shouldn’t be taken lightly and I want to give you two ways to approach making this decision:
Be honest with yourself about how you feel, why you’re moving in and what your intentions are for taking this next step. I know it’s easy to rationalize yourself into thinking that it’ll help fix any problems you may have because you’ll be closer together or maybe you’ll be able to communicate better, but that won’t happen. In fact, whatever problems you have apart become magnified with such an increase in time spent together. Be real with yourself first.
Secondly, be completely open and transparent with your mate. Seriously. Let them know your expectations, your deal-breakers and your needs. What are your time-tables for wanting those expectations to come to fruition? Too many relationships fail due to unspoken expectations and living with each other will provide many more opportunities for misunderstandings. It’s not worth trying to be nice and save face if your relationship will suffer for it in the long-haul. Build this habit into the daily workings of your relationship and it will be that much stronger moving forward.