Just got a new boyfriend six weeks ago and am quickly falling in love. We spend a lot of time together and enjoy every second of it. He’s moving out of the dorm and getting an apartment with some friends this coming August; and while I don’t think we’re ready to move in together just yet, perhaps we will be by the time he moves. It would be quite convenient; I wanted to find a new place next year anyways, and with four people, the rent should be easy to take care of.
The thing is, I keep hearing that moving in together makes a relationship turn sour very quickly. It’s been in every psychology textbook I’ve read; couples who move in together before marriage have a high breakup rate. In addition, I’ve been talking to a friend who moved in with her boyfriend after three days (quite a stupid decision, I know) and she said once you “get used to each others’ ways, it’s all downhill”. Maybe it was just them that couldn’t get along and make it work, though.
Does moving in together kill all romance and make you sick of your partner’s face and habits? The thing is, if we were ever to marry, we’d be living together and spending a good portion of our time around each other. Doesn’t it make sense to at least have a “test run” before we settle down permanently? Plenty of couples do live together in harmony for the rest of their lives, so it isn’t impossible. Is moving in together really such a bad decision, or is it a lot of hype for no reason?
Voice of experience. I am 46 now and have lived with four men; sometimes within a few weeks and sometimes within a few months of meeting and commencing the relationship.
While living with a person is not a death sentence for a relationship, it does change the dynamics considerably. You are in the first throws and blush of love. Relish that and enjoy it because it won’t last. It can’t and never does. It does not mean the relationship won’t last - it simply means that it evolves into something different.
Now, I would not consider living with a man until I had known him at least a YEAR. Yep - go through all four seasons of learning about each other in the safety and security of your OWN space – not a shared space. By then that first blush will have dampened and you can see if there is still a lot with which to establish a “living together” relationship.
I moved in with guys BECAUSE of that passion and first blush of lust and love and desire. But living with someone, you learn considerably different things about each other; bodily functions not the least of it.
I’m sure others will cite examples of relationships that started off quickly and survived, but for me, I won’t make the mistake again. A year courtship and living apart before establishing a living together situation. And I am one of those middle-aged women who is still single and looking and desiring of a lifelong relationship. Learn from my mistakes. Take your time to learn about each other and yourselves together first.
It’s not that living together is somehow harmful to relationships. The thing is, there are about a thousand different things that can make two people incompatible. Some of them are obvious from the start (and those pairings are the relationships that never start). Some other issues only become apparent once you hit some milestone of life integration. Living together is the largest such milestone.
It’s not that living together may harm your relationship, but it may lead to you finding out that you aren’t as well suited to eachother as you thought you were. But if that’s the case, you want to find that out before you get married, and it gets even more difficult to part ways.
Heard a lot of loud alarm bells in my head the instant I came across this word, which suggests he if not you as well are college-age students. At such an age I would tread very carefully and take things slow-what’s the rush?
It’s not living together that can kill a relationship, it is living together without taking that step seriously that will do harm. Once you move in you are no longer dating, you have entered a new phase and if you blundered into that phase without thinking it through you have set yourself up for failure.
I lived with both my husband’s before I married them, and they had different outcomes.
My first husband we were in college. We moved in together because we were madly in love (or madly in infatuation) after a relatively short period of time. One apartment was a good idea over two, we were together all the time anyway. The problem is that we got STUCK. It wasn’t the death of the relationship, the relationship lasted five years, involved a marriage and a house. It was more the purgatory of the relationship. It isn’t easy in college to move out of an apartment you both hold the lease on. You get trapped. Because you can’t afford much, everything quickly becomes co-owned. Now dumping my boyfriend means losing my TV. It was too serious, too young, without enough resources. And we grew apart. Had we not lived together, he’d just have started dating someone else after six or nine months. Or I would have. But its just that much harder to dump someone who you own a bed with. Plus, I’d pissed off my parents moving in with him and while I should have just moved home, that would have been admitting they were right. I was far to stubborn for THAT. ETA: The other factor there is expectations. You’ll hit a post college point where everyone gets married - and I know a lot of people who just married the person they were dating because “its time to get married.” And if you’ve been living together, that stupid idea will seem to make EVEN MORE sense. I mean, you wouldn’t want to live with someone through college and then when all your friends are planning weddings, dump him and be single again!
My current husband moved in before our first data. BUT, we’d been friends for eleven years - so when we finally started dating we both knew it was going to be right. Even then, he kept his own apartment for six months. We were a little older, we had our own stuff, and therefore our shared quarters continued to be a choice - not a “I can’t afford a bed” or “I don’t have a place to go.” We aren’t perfectly compatible roommates, but we’ve been married fifteen years and have two kids - he’s figured out I don’t pick up my socks and I know he doesn’t clean bathrooms.
We are both in college. He’s 23, I’m 22; not a vastly mature age in general, I know. It would be convenient for us to move in together in the future, but I don’t want to jeopardize the relationship for convenience’s sake.
Actually, my question was whether or not we should move in together in August, when he gets a new place. There’s no way in hell I’d move in with someone after six weeks of dating.
One thing to think about at your age and lack of length of time knowing this guy, which may strike home more than doomsaying about “you’re too young” or “you haven’t been together for long” - if you do move in together, then break up, you’re still almost certainly jointly liable for rent on the apartment. If he breaks the lease and moves out, the landlord will put you on the hook for all the rent. If you break the lease and move out, the landlord may well try to sue you for your part of the rent, and may give a bad reference when future landlords ask for your rental history.
I had a friend in college who’d dated his girlfriend for maybe a year, then moved in with her because they wanted to get out of the dorms. They broke up a few months into the lease, and couldn’t afford to move out, so they were stuck for the rest of the lease. It was a two-bedroom apartment, so at least they had OK sleeping arrangements, but she started dating and bringing guys back to the apartment overnights.
I think moving in together accelerates the breakup of any relationships that were going to fail early, because you’re stuck together all the time, stuck dealing with each other’s quirks and bad housekeeping and whatever. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but spending a bit more time getting to know each other is an easier way to figure out if you’re compatible. And when you’re young and not financially stable, it can be an expensive way to discover incompatibility.
I do recommend it before marriage, though - either you break up before investing the cost of a wedding and the legal and emotional entanglements of marriage, or you have time to work out your problems first and get through those rough patches.
To expand on what Dangerosa says, a relationship changes when you become interdependent. You no longer have total confidence that the other person is choosing to be with you: it’s more like they haven’t chosen to be without you. The inertial balance of the relationship shifts towards staying together.
You want to put this shift off as long as possible, because you want to use the probationary period to build up relationship capital. It’s not a matter of being really sure. It’s a matter of having tons of proof, later, that once upon a time you really really liked each other and really really saw something in each other that you never found anywhere else. It’s a comforting memory when there are periods when you are too busy to appreciate each other and you spend more time being annoyed than being infatuated. That bedrock faith that you chose each other, that you made a family on purpose, that you didn’t just drift into it, is a powerful tool later when you are doubting your own feelings or his.
There are lots of ways that this balance can tip: moving in together is one, but so is doing a huge favor for each other (turning down a scholarship to go to the same college, helping someone out financially through a period of unemployment, being someone’s emotional support through the illness and death of a parent). Some of these things you can control, and sometimes they just happen–and when they do, one makes the best of them.
There is a generational thing here, as well. For us old people (over 30), moving in is a definite step in a relationship sequence: it means that you are at least open to the idea of marriage in the next 3-5 years. I am not sure it’s the same for college kids: I’ve noticed that these days, for many it seems to be “I have to have a roommate of some kind. Might as well be the person I am sleeping with”. So it’s possible to move in in a way that doesn’t create relationship inertia: the trick would be to keep very clear separate accounts, not make purchases together, and otherwise avoid acting like a married couple. Keep, as a friend of mine used to say, your walking shoes on. If you are moving in with him and 3 roommates, this will be easier. I STRONGLY recommend you offer to pay 1/5, not 1/2 of 1/4 of the rent. That makes you are full owner/partner in the apartment and will help tremendously in your interactions with the other guys.
In the interest of full disclosure, I moved in with my now-husband about 3 days after we got together. I kept my own place until the lease was up six months later, but I barely saw it. We’ve been together 13 years, married for 10.
I don’t understand your math. Why 1/5 if she is one of 4 roommates?
Are you from the 1950s? I myself have never understood being compared to a dairy cow, which has one primary function. People, and relationships, are a lot more nuanced than this saying makes them out to be.
I’ve lived with boyfriends before, and have decided it is not something I want to do again. I won’t move in with a guy unless there is a clear level of commitment involved.
Why? You get stuck, and you end up wasting everyone’s time.
It’s HARD to move out when you live together. Your stuff will be intermingled. You will probably have a lease. So when things fizzle- and at your age they are likely to fizzle- you won’t be able to move one. So you end up just sticking around, because it’s not too bad and it’s easier to stay in the relationship than get out of it. Then the years pass, and you’ll find you haven’t done the stuff you’ve wanted to do because you’ve wasted so much time investing in a relationship that was never going anywhere to begin with.
It’s better to stay in a situation where you can move on easily, until you are able to make a solid, clear commitment as to where you are hoping to go together.
One thing that can make things go sour is money. It probably won’t be a big fight, but rather slow building resentment.
One of you will end up financially indebted to the other. There is no getting around that, no matter how independent you are. One is going to have slightly more money and want slightly nicer stuff, and the other is going to end up using stuff they didn’t buy. If you don’t have a real commitment, this is going to create resentments.