Couples decide to move in together for any variety of reasons. Sometimes it makes sense financially or logistically. Other times, they decide they want to be able to spend more time together. Or they want to know what it would be like to live with each other before they are committed by marriage. In some cases, it is less of a choice but rather happens more from necessity. Whichever your situation is, if you are thinking about moving in together, there are questions you should ask yourselves and each other.
Let us first consider three advantages and disadvantages to living with your partner before you are married.
Pros and cons of living together before marriage
Benefits of living with your partner
- A problem halved is a problem solved
You get to share everything. From the bills to household chores to problems at work or school.. Where one person is unable to contribute a whole lot, the other is able to step in and carry the burden. You also get to come home to someone whom you hopefully consider a friend and whom you can share the stresses of your world with.
- You get to share your happiness
There is a quote by Bernard Meltzer that says “Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” You know good news should always be shared as well. It feels good to have someone at home to, not just tell, but also discuss any good news with. It’s great to share your victories with someone close to you.
- You know each other in a different way
Living with a person, especially over a long period of time, means that you truly get to know the person in a way. You intimately get to know their quirks and hopefully, you come to enjoy those things about them. Some couples believe this prepares them for living together during marriage because nothing about the other person is a surprise to them later.
Disadvantages of cohabiting before marriage
- There are fewer surprises
Point 3 above, from another viewpoint, is not always something to be desired. Yes, you learn so much about each other that there are fewer things that might shock you about your partner once you are married. At the same time, some couples might worry that this means less excitement in their relationship post-marriage as there is nothing more to learn about each other.
- Lack of definition to the relationship
The law in many countries offers little to no support for non-married couples who live together. It is therefore difficult to define your financial, legal and economic place individually and as a couple when you are cohabiting before marriage. It is not just you as a couple who may be uncertain about your rights but society may also be uncertain about your place as a couple due to anything from others’ religious views to their personal traditional values.
- Less commitment
Though you are living together, there is less commitment to the relationship than if you were married. Of course, you are both all in, or else you would not consider living together. However, it is not a full commitment still and it is relatively easy for either one of you to pack your things and leave when things get rough. This lack of security may be considered unhealthy by some.
Despite these disadvantages, moving in with your boyfriend can teach you a lot about relationships.
Realities of moving in together
Moving in together can be quite the study in human behaviour. It can teach you a lot about your partner but if you are perceptive enough, it will also teach you plenty about yourself.
Things you learn when you move in together
These are only a few of realities of moving in together:
- You learn your partner’s disgusting habits
- Some of those bad habits might rub off on you with time and you may find yourself doing them too
- You will need to make the conscious effort to bring the romance back into the relationship at some point. You might start to behave like roommates. Or worse, siblings!
- Co-dependency could develop very easily
- You will fight about the most mundane things from who took out the bins or garbage last to whether to leave the toilet seat up or down
- You will fight about some major things. Like money. These fights will feel like make or break fights. The result will depend on how badly you each want the relationship
- Whether you are ready for it or not, the likelihood of getting pregnant is high. You should consider your readiness for that as a couple. My free workbook “Can We Do This Baby Thing?” below will give you perspective on this.
Living together is a big decision to make. It could be the beginning of the end of a relationship. It could also mark the start of a beautiful journey that may or may not end in marriage. Either way, it is a big life event and you may choose to mark it by celebrating somehow.
How to celebrate moving in together
Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate moving in together:
- Make breakfast together
- Buy a piece of furniture together for your home
- Visit your favourite restaurant together
- Embark on a new tv show or tv series journey together
- Throw a moving in party
Still undecided about whether living together before marriage is the right decision for you? I’ve put together a checklist of the most important questions to ask your partner before moving in together. They are questions that you should think about either individually or together but absolutely discuss as a couple before you make the final leap.
Enter your email below to receive this Before Moving In Together checklist in PDF format. If you are wondering what you should talk about before moving in together, this straightforward list of 15 questions is for you.
What are your views on moving in with your partner before marriage? What do you think the biggest pros and cons are?