How soon is too soon to shack up?
Congratulations! You and your partner have decided to make that next big step in your relationship and are ready to shack up together! Good for you! While there are great things about living together (i.e. being together 24/7, splitting the bills, etc.), there are also major points of interest that a lot of couples totally exclude from their brains when they decide to share their lives together under the same roof.
Rent.com took a survey of renters to see, when it came to living together, what concerns popped up the most. While the majority of the respondents agreed that moving in together before marriage is the best choice, 18 percent felt that people should wait until they've tied the knot. That may seem like an archaic notion for 2014, but when it comes to the trials and tribulations of living together, waiting isn't exactly the worst idea in the world. Or is it?
If you're on the brink of the "Let's Move In Together!" chat, here are a few things you seriously need to talk about first.
1. Don't jump the gun.
Sometimes it's best if you think with your head and not your heart. Sure, the thought of living together may give you a shiver of joy down your spine, but there are logistics to consider. Rent.com found that 27 percent of those surveyed moved in together after dating for less than six months. Seems mighty fast, dontcha think? If you've yet to reach the six-month mark in your relationship, you should pull on the reins and realize there’s no point in mucking up a good thing, by rushing it. Instead, talk about IF you move in together and put the WHEN you move in together on hold.
One of the biggest things that can cause strife in a relationship, especially once you start living together, is money. It's also the #1 thing that couples, according to the survey, wish they had discussed before moving in together. With studies showing that 71 percent of Americans admit to lying and keeping secrets from their partners where finances are involved, in addition to the challenges couples already face thanks to money, to NOT talk about how much each partner has, how it will be spent, and who's in charge of what expenses and bills, is literally a recipe for disaster.
You're not little kids anymore with your mom following you around and cleaning up after your every crumb, so step it up. If you're going to live with your significant other you better be prepared to take on some cleaning duties. Trying to find a middle ground when it comes to differences in what constitutes cleanliness is not an easy task, and 31 percent of renters agree that it can be the most difficult aspect of moving in together. What's even worse is that only 11 percent of renters discussed who was going to do what chores on what days before agreeing to live under the same roof. As for the other 89 percent? Have fun arguing over those dishes that have been there now for four days!
4. Friend time.
Anyone who's been in a relationship will tell you that one of the most important parts of it is not just the together time, but alone and friend time, too. If you're overdosing on your partner, you're liable to wear each other out, go mad, and be on a one-way road to Splits-Ville. Before moving in together, especially if you're naturally co-dependent people, you really need to discuss how much time you'll spend away from each other and with your friends. Rent.com found that 63 percent of women almost never have a night out with their friends once their living with their partners, while studies have shown that women prefer alone time to sex. With these two pieces of information in mind, talking about how your time will be divided is definitely high up on the roster of concerns.
5. Expectations for the future.
Why are you moving in together? Is it because you're spending so much time together that it makes financial sense to be in one place or are you really, really in love and it just seems like the next organic step in your relationship? If your reasons for shacking up involve money, you may want to think again. While 32 percent of respondents of the survey found that in living together they were able to figure out if their partner was "the one," that minority percentage shows that more people might be moving in together for the wrong reasons. Stop; don't do that. Don't be one of those couples who move in together and regrets it just a few months later, because you're not on the same page for your futures.