Some people consider moving in together before marriage as a “trial run”. It helps to get to know the person you might end up marrying.
On the contrary there are many who believe that moving in together before marriage can lead to an unsatisfactory cohabitation in marriage. Whichever group you may fall under, know this –moving in together is not like a sleepover at a friend’s house which you did as a kid.
What determines a prosperous relationship is thorough thinking before taking any steps which entails change in both the lives involved. So have a exhaustive discussion with your partner and find out if you really want to move in together or just like each other!
Before moving in together with your partner, ask yourself these 7 genuine and tough questions:
#1: Is finance the only reason you’re thinking of for moving in together?
Moving in together to save on rent is never a good idea. It works to have a roommate as a student, but cohabitating with your beloved is not the same as living with a roommate.
Articulate your financial situation to your partner. Only go ahead with the idea of settling in together, if you both truly feel like you’re ready to take your relationship to the next stage. You must have a longstanding steady relationship in order to be able to deal with each other’s coughing, snoring, farting and bickering every day.
Convenient sex should also not be among the prime motivators for your cohabitation. Though it is a very alluring thought, to be able to get some action without having to schedule an appointment, but when you’re living together, you’re also going to share your lives. So get down to the nitty-gritty and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
#2: What are your views on marriage and kids?
Often when you agree to move in together it sends the message to your partner that you’re ready for marital commitment. Then when you don’t agree to get married, it breaks their heart and the relationship not only falls apart, it scars the psyche permanently.
So talk to your partner about marriage. Make it clear to that moving in is not the same as getting married. Otherwise, keep your diamond rings handy.
If you’re already living together for a while, it’s about time to talk ‘the birds and the bees’. Confer one another’s views on having children. If you have kids, it is always good to introduce them to your partner right away.
#3: Who is going to pay for what?
You need to reach an agreement regarding sharing the expenses. This is not contrary to what I said before. It should never be all about finance; however, money is an important part of life. So make sure you reach a covenant on how the rent/mortgage or the household expenses will be riven.
You must also make a treaty on whose stuff you’re going to keep e.g. furniture, appliances etc. Or maybe you need a new piece of wood to keep both your stuff in.
#4: How will the chores be divided?
No one wants to start the petty discussions about cooking and cleaning. But it is vital to have this discussion. The housework needs to be divided. I can state from a personal experience that it helps.
So divvy up the chores and do not look for “equality” in the matters of household chores. Say if one of you is working 50-60 hours a week and the other 35 hours or less; it is up to the latter to take up greater household responsibilities.
#5: What will happen if you break up?
You need to have an exit strategy in case things go wrong. Let’s face it, life is not a “happily ever after” tale. We live in a society which increasingly unbecoming of solidarity. Pre-nups are a common thing now in marriage and no one really commits to “sickness and in health”. So have your little verbal prenup. Who’ll keep air-conditioner? Who’ll keep the wardrobe? Whose apartment is it anyway? Make sure you reach an agreement beforehand regarding whose stuff is what.
#6: Are you ready for some compromise?
A little compromise makes a relationship work. So if you come back after a 12 hour shift to see your partner unwell and the dishes piled up in the sink, start washing them instead of bickering over it.
If you’re a pet person, introduce your pets and make sure you’re both on the same page. If your partner is allergic to fur, you may end up making a choice between your partner and your furry friend.
Once in a while, there will inevitably be cringing fingernails on the blackboard kinda situations when you’ll feel like ripping his/her head off, for those times, have a picture of MS Dhoni handy.
#7: Are you prepared to lose the romance in your relationship?
It’s like when you overdo your most favorite thing in the world, and eventually start hating it and it becomes your least favorite thing in the world! Do you have plans to counter that?
There will be no more mystery or romance between the two of you. For one thing, she won’t be as hot and mystifying to you as she used to be on the days when you picked her up for dinner and walked her home. Get ready to know the very human sides of her – like how bad she smells when she comes back from the gym or how her breath can stink after a spicy meal.
When you have to make appointments to see each other, you try to have each other’s hands all over yourselves at all times. But when you’re with each other every night, you’re more likely to end up with little bonking and a lot of spooning!
If your answer to any one or two of these questions is in the negative, then you’re not really ready for this kind of commitment. Don’t believe me? Here’s a fun experiment you can try –
Go on a trip together, for an extended period of time. Live with each and be in each other’s company all the time during this period. This little live-in cameo could get you a real feel of what the dishwashing and morning breath situation is like!