Should I move in with my partner? Here's the pros and cons...
Co-habiting - should you or shouldn't you? It's a relatively recent concept; two people living together before marriage, and whether you've been together 6 months or 6 years, it's normal to have doubts about moving in together - after all, it's a huge step! It's important to weigh up the pros and cons before making any decision, so if you're thinking about sharing a house with your sweetie, we've lined up some of the best (and worst) things you should think about. Take your time - this decision is a life-changing one!
Yup, you're daydreaming about breakfast in bed, snuggling on the sofa on Sunday afternoon watching movies and enjoying romantic meals together - sounds blissful, right? Well, the honeymoon stage of living together is always going to be lots of fun, but let's get real - it's not all going to be hearts and flowers, all of the time! You might want to think about how long you've been together, how you handle conflict as a couple and what's best for each of you, before you head out and sign that lease. There are pros and cons to any situation - here are a few of the best bits about living together.
Saving on rent and bills
No longer will you have to pay two rents (or two mortgages), which means more money for socialising, holidays and leisure time. You'll save money on bills like council tax, electricity and gas too, as there's two of you to cover the cost now. Living together is a big step, not just for you as a couple but also financially. Make sure you've discussed how bills will be split (50/50, in an ideal world) and how you'll work out your finances together before you take the plunge.
Lazy mornings in bed
There's little better than snuggling up to somebody you love on a lazy Sunday morning in bed. Lie-ins are just so much better with two - not to mention there's plenty of opportunity to get intimate! Instead of having to get dressed and head over to your partner's house, they're already there beside you. So you can cuddle, have sex, chat about the day ahead - they might even make you breakfast in bed, if you're lucky!
A step towards the future
Think of living together as testing the water before you get married and it's easy to see why it's such a big deal. You're not just sharing your home with a housemate, you're living with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with - we hope! This huge step can impact not just your day-to-day happiness but also your future, so it's not something to be taken lightly. If you're ready to settle down and commit yourself to a serious relationship and a future with this person, then moving in together is a logical step to take. If not, you might want to wait until you are ready.
More time together
Finding time for each other is important for any couple, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough, especially if you also need to squeeze in time for your workout, your friends, family and other hobbies! Couples with conflicting schedules or busy jobs (and lengthy commutes) may not have time to see as much of each other as they'd like. That will change dramatically when you move in together - whenever you're at home, it's likely you'll be spending time together. No need to make plans together on the weekends as your other half will be right there with you. Depending on your relationship, this can either be an incredibly positive experience or a bad thing. But for most couples who move in together, getting to spend more time alone is one of the main pros of co-habiting!
There are bound to be some cons to co-habiting, and it's best to be aware of what they are before you take the plunge.
Getting to know your partner's bad habits
Even if you've been together for years, chances are you'll never know your partner as well as when you live with him or her. We all have our little bad habits, and you're likely to find out what your other half's are pretty quickly when you move in with them! From clipping their toenails on the carpet to putting the empty milk bottle back in the fridge (how annoying!), moving in together can test your patience and tolerance to the limits. Of course, it's great to get to know the person you love both inside and out, but you might learn there are some things you simply can't live with.
Less 'you' time
If you're an independent type who enjoys spending time with their friends and family or you have more hobbies than you have time for, living together can be difficult. Well, if your partner values their 'me' time as much as you, you're going to get along fine - but often one partner wants to spend more time together than the other. You could find they're always wanting to tag along when you go out with friends, or insisting you stay home to spend time together even though you've been around them most of the week. And you're definitely going to have less time for reading, relaxing in the bath or watching your favourite TV shows - unless you both enjoy them!
Damaging your relationship
Whatever your motives for moving in together - whether you simply want to spend more time together or are testing the waters before tying the knot, you should know that there's some evidence which suggests moving in together before you say, "I do," could damage your relationship (1). In fact, some research has shown that couples who co-habit before getting engaged could be less satisfied and more likely to get divorced when they do get hitched. Studies also show that men who move in with their partners before walking up the aisle could be less dedicated to the relationship - something worth considering (2)!
So should you move in together? We'd love to tell you we have the answers - but only you know your relationship and whether or not it's the right decision for you both. Take your time, make sure you're shacking up for the right reasons (financial reasons are rarely a good start) and don't rush into anything. If and when you do decide to share a place, remember to enjoy it and take time out for what makes you happy, as a couple and for yourself!
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