Rules To Live By: Living Together Before Marriage
Moving in together is a big step in any relationship. Before you start packing boxes and rent the moving truck, consider a few simple rules to make sure it’s a good experience.
Living together before you get married can have several benefits. You can save some money. You learn more about this person you’re pretty sure you want to spend the rest of your life with. You have more time to be sure before you make that legal commitment.
But living together can also be fraught with problems. Combining two households is difficult. You really get to know this person and might start to wonder if you really do want to spend the rest of your life with them. It can feel like you’re already married and cause you to put off the wedding.
Living together can be an adventure, but it doesn’t have to feel like Jumanji. Just employ a few simple strategies to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Give it a trial run first
Before anyone gives up their own place, give living together a trial run to make sure you can actually tolerate each other first. A few nights spent together, or even a lot of nights and some long weekends, aren’t always enough to give you a clear idea of what it would be like to truly combine your life with someone else’s. Even if you spend long weekends together, you might still be on your best behavior.
Try living together for a week, at a minimum, or a month, for a real trial. Whether you move in with them or they with you, bring whatever’s needed: clothing, makeup, textbooks for college, stuff from your home office, etc. Bring what you need, but don’t go by your own place if you forget something. The key here is to act as if you’re truly living together. You wouldn’t have your own place to go to, so make do. Buy new or go without, and if you have an argument, find another place to take a break if you need to.
Make this time together as real as possible. Do laundry, cook meals, do dishes, clean the house. The point is to see if you can make it work. If you can’t make it work for a week or a month, you might want to reconsider.