Moving In Together Checklist
July 9, 2014, Senior EditiorA friend of mine had planned the idea moving in with her boyfriend within just 3 months of dating him. It was a budding relationship, everything was so great, and she was head-over-heels in love with him. “He is so amazing, smart, funny and handsome. We spend most of our free time together and when we are not together, we text or talk on the phone all the time. Things couldn’t be more perfect and if we already are spending so much time in each other’s company, wouldn’t the next logical step be moving in? How can there be a downside to living with someone you love, right?” she had said. Two months since, she is back on my couch sobbing and frustrated. “It’s not working out with him”, she says. “It was supposed to be perfect, but he seems like a completely different person and we bicker all the time. I think we moved in too fast!” Do you recognize the symptoms? Are you wondering, something similar had happened in your prior relationships, or is happening in your present situation, or in case of someone you know? Putting aside all the great stuff, take a step back and think about whether you had put in a serious thought to the not-so-fun parts of cohabiting, and are some of your problems similar to the ones listed below: Hard to ignore little habits that irk you about your partner: You know how he belches after dinner? Or how she bites her nails, or pops her knuckles out of usual habit? These trifling things were easy to ignore when you were dating and you might even have found them cute to some extent. While dating you have enough space from each other to let go of such trivial things. But now that you are living together these habits are more noticeable and you might end up screaming in a totally unrelated fight, “And you know what else? I hate the way you belch all the time! It’s gross!” And he’ll be like “Does it bother you? Why didn’t you say something before?” Your partner is not a psychic and certainly cannot read your mind, so discuss about such unnerving tendencies of his / her, rather than trying to ignore them. It goes both ways, which means if he has an annoying trait that is hard to ignore, so do you. A sensible approach would be asking him if there are any habits of yours’ that pique him. His / Her definition of “clean” might not be the same as yours: After a hard day’s work, do you come home and dump everything on the bed? Do you consider doing your laundry only when you are out of clean clothes to wear? You have to rummage around for keys under unrecognizable mound of things stacked around the apartment; wishing for the umpteenth time why couldn’t keys have come along with a ringtone too? Or are you the neat freak and your partner is the slob? Well, you aren’t staying alone anymore and the argument that, “Why don’t you do it yourself, if you want it so clean?” is not going to hold ground. You both will have to step it up and talk cleanliness issues before you start stacking up your personal effects and calling the movers, and decide upon an acceptable level of neatness. Your bathroom space will get smaller: Brace yourself, if you are cohabiting, you are going to get a lot less time in bathroom, the same is a given, even in case of a roommate. Also your partner’s habits might not be in sync with yours, it can be in context to cleanliness, handling stuff, and most importantly sharing your belongings. If you want a good job and keep it, particularly in corporate world, you are expected to groom well and grooming takes a lot of bathroom time and space. So unless you have an apartment with two restrooms, you’ll have to be prepared to make some adjustments. Annoying bedside Habits: Now that you are sharing the bed, and not just for romantic weekends, you might have to face sleepless nights for reasons such as: he snores, or she turns over in her sleep on your side of the bed, or you are not used to snuggling while sleeping. These issues would need a serious effort, as making the couch your sleeping buddy is not really healthy for your blossoming relationship, nor is stifling your partner’s snores with a pillow advisable. Cohabitation goes beyond just being the next step in the modern dating dance and has to be given an earnest consideration. Take some time to regard such a life changing situation by asking questions like: How serious are you about your future and is cohabiting a step you are taking before you are ready to buy the diamond ring? Or moving-in is just an option to marriage? Have you survived the big blowout, which you though, might have ended the relationship? Love is a driving factor, yes, but not the entire reason for taking such a big leap. If you are nervous, it is a good sign, it means you are considering the impact that your decision may have on you and your partner’s life. It will also go a long way in nurturing a deep attachment with your partner, if you sit down and define your relationship. Communication is a key to any relationship and if there is trouble in paradise don’t ignore the problems. Ignoring them might preclude the fights for only a time being, but it will eventually explode. Talk out the issues; because if you cannot make it through such trifling nitty-gritties, which you are bound to face even with a roommate, you certainly cannot look forward for a happily ever after. This is the reality: moving in together is not the first stage of marriage; it is the final stage of evaluating compatibility before settling on marriage.