Cohabitation: Tips to Living Together with Someone instead of Getting Married
In the throes of a new romance, when dating and getting to know each other are going well, it’s easy to make a big decision from all the energy, or for the wrong reasons. Moving in together for the wrong reasons, or without advance planning, can jeopardize the whole relationship; so do it thoughtfully.
1. Make sure you know what your agreement is.
Treat your living together situation as if you were non-romantic roommates. Before you move in together, discuss what living together means. Is it a commitment? Discuss your lifestyles – is one of you tidier? If one or both of you have children, who gets to discipline? How will you divide the space? If the home belongs to one of you, how will you equalize the living areas? You need to know the answers before the move.
2. Know what to do if there’s trouble.
Make some agreements about what to do if you don’t agree on things, or if one of you feels that it’s not working out. You can agree on someone to use as a mediator or counselor. If you’re really excited about each other, this may seem unnecessary, but no matter how much you love each other, you can still get stuck in an impasse.
3. Get clear on your finances.
Moving in together automatically makes you financially entangled. Decide beforehand who pays what expenses, and what happens if someone wants to spend more on food than the other. Will you share rent and utilities equally?