Do couples really take enough time going over the “Living Together Checklist” before they decide to move in together? This list is a necessary tool to use when making such a committed decision.
Important questions to ask yourself:
- How long have you known each other & do you really “know” them?
- Why have you decided to live together?
- How are your finances?
- Is living together a matter of convenience or do you truly love your partner?
- Are you moving in due to long distance relationship issues?
- Do you know and love their quirks?
- Are you settling due to your advancing age or fear of being alone?
- Are you ready? (Believe it or not that is the biggest question of all!)
- Where will you live together? (You both have to be happy with this decision and it is always better if it is a neutral home you have chosen together and not one that either of you live in at the time ~ for obvious reasons.)
What should you be looking for in a reciprocated partnership and are you both looking for the same things down the road?
Have you discussed what your future roommate will be bringing into your shared home? Do they have children? Do they have big responsibilities due to pets or a dependent mother or father? Home decorating can be a difficult compromise. She may be partial to pink ruffled pillows & lace curtains and want to renovate the den into a shoe closet, while he wants to hang his photo of “The Godfather” over the living room fireplace, prefers burlap beanbag chairs and wants to install full length ceiling mirrors & a swing in the bedroom. (What’s wrong with that? Come on ladies you really should be more flexible!)
What city do you want to reside in and are you OK if you or your partner might have to relocate due to a career situation? Will this be a problem? How do you get along with their family and if they don’t live in your vicinity will they be staying with you while visiting? (Remember the movies Monster in Law & Meet the Fockers!)
Do you both want children? How many and when would you like to start a family? Is marriage a priority for either of you? It is important to know that you are both on the same page with this and be really up front with your answer. No sugar coating the answers if you are not into it or not going to be ready for 5 years. Be fair to your partner and don’t just say what you think they want to hear. There are many stories out there with this being a big problem ending in breakups and resentment.
Here is an important thing to discuss; what are the sexual expectations of your relationship?
Things can change drastically when you see each other every day. It’s no longer quite as exciting as the early chase of a new love. You both have to work a little harder to keep the sex and intimacy exciting! It really helps to keep things fresh when don’t see each other every evening. Make plans once a week with friends so that your partner has time to miss you. Couples are happier when they don’t feel restrained in a relationship. Talk about sex before you move in together, not after. Discuss it outside the bedroom so there is no pressure in the heat of the moment. Be really honest about what is important to you to ensure you are both comfortable about your desires and expectations in the love making department. I shouldn’t have to say this but make sure you are sexually attracted to them and not just acting out the part because you want a committed partnership. Sex and money are the two biggest reasons for the demise of a relationship!
You should not have to give up your hobbies or fitness regimens. Having the occasional separate outing is healthy. It gives you something different to talk about with your partner. Cohabitating can be a lot of fun when you respect each other’s boundaries and appreciate the differences you both bring into the relationship. Compromise is the key to longevity with most couples and so is a great sex life. You’re not single anymore so don’t live that way in your partnership. There are two of you now. Planning week long adventures on a monthly basis, golfing all weekend or making last minute plans without them will eventually lead to hurt and resentment. The romance is not over the minute you sign a lease or the mortgage papers, it is even more important now than ever if you want to live in a happy environment. So many people forget that simple part to help keep the love alive. Small gestures go a long way in preserving love & happiness long term.
Many relationships break-up when the little aggravations are not addressed, also known as “irreconcilable differences!”
Some people really do sweat the small stuff in a partnership and can be quite high maintenance with their daily regimen. For starters, it is always a good idea to have two bathrooms in your communal pad due to obvious reasons. Men have six bathroom items on their counter and they use I roll of toilet paper a month. Women have 500 toiletry items and go through a 10 pack roll of 4 ply in a week! (OK maybe that’s just at my house!) Other things like towels on the floor, hair in the tub, remnants in the toilet, toothpaste on the mirror and lingerie hanging from the shower rod can eventually end a relationship due to constant bickering or lack of respect for each other’s space!
It’s not a bad idea to do a trial living arrangement first. This will tell you many things about each other. Is someone more territorial in this new environment? Are they easy going or controlling? Discussing the “living together checklist” before you actually commit to it can be a really good training ground. Communicating and paying attention to even the smallest details could save you many arguments and heartbreak as you work through them together. It is easy to be attracted to someone and even love them, but it is not always easy to share your living environment with another person. Even if the sex is unbelievable, it is not usually enough to sustain a partnership especially as the years wear on ~ you need to really like each other as well! Coming home to someone you love everyday is a wonderful feeling and worth every moment of taking time to get to know them beforehand.
Susan McCord @ http://www.youtube.com/twobeavers