Moving in Together?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Moving in Together?
22
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 1:39pm
My boyfriend and I want to move in together sometime in the future. We have been together two years, and we most likely will not be able to live with each other for another two, when i graduate college. my question is-when is too young to move in together? what steps should be taken first in a relationship to ensure this is the right step? do you think marriage should precede living together? any comments would help.

*susan*

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 2:35pm
Well.. my fiance and I have lived together since June. We've been dating almost 5 years, though. We are both out of school... I don't know if anyone can make that decision for you. We mostly did it for financial reasons. It was just stupid to pay two rents when trying to save for a wedding and a house. It took some adjustment- but I love living together.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 7:03pm
My husband and I lived together for almost 5 years before we got married last year. Here are my thoughts on your questions:

when is too young to move in together?

*** I don't think there is any *too young* to move in together because it really depends on the people involved, I would err on the side of caution. Basically, if you are asking if you are too young, then you are probably not ready. In general, I don't think that people should really make that serious of a commitment to another person until they are at least 23 or so. That way you've had time to be an adult for awhile, do your own thing, grow into yourself, and so on. Once people have had time to do that, they are generally more centered and focused on what they need and want out of life and a life partner.

what steps should be taken first in a relationship to ensure this is the right step?

*** Talking, talking, talking, and listening, listening, listening. Make sure your relationship is on solid ground. Talk about everything and listen to what your partner has to say. Assess whether your values, expectations, and goals mesh well together. When you live with someone, you have to live with ALL their bad habits and they have to live with yours. You will see each other at your worst and have to deal with each other on a very intimate level. Make sure that your relationship is solid enough to handle that. Then talk about specifics - money, housework, socializing, expectations about time together, time apart, family functions, and so on.

do you think marriage should precede living together?

*** No way. I mean, I guess for some people, but definitely not for me. I would never have agreed to spend THE REST OF MY LIFE with my husband without living with him first. Before I made that kind of commitment, I wanted to know exactly what I was getting and have him know exactly what he was getting.

Avatar for naemi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 1:52am
The number of years you've been together before considering to move in together doesn't matter at all. What matters is if you are mature enough and have a strong enough commitment and understanding to tolerate living with each other. Living together isn't just roses and champagne, it takes tolerance, patience and compromises. You have to be prepared to find yourself in a role you never would have found yourself in had you not moved in with him. Living together can also put a strain on your relationship if you idealize it too much. My advice to you is: forget all the "you have to be together x number of years before moving in"-rules. Forget "you have to live together before you get married". Forget all of it. Just ask yourself: is this relationship mature and ready to be taken to another level? If the answer is yes, great, do it. If no - don't push it. Living together isn't for everyone.
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Registered: 08-29-1999
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:33am
I, like a previous respondant, lived with my husband for 5 years before we got married. We moved in together while I was still in college. It was the best thing I ever did. HOWEVER, I will tell you this. Be ABSOLUTELY certain that both of you agree on what "moving in together" means. If he is thinking, "hey, free sex all night long and I don't have to go home to shower" and you are thinking, "first step on the way to marriage" then you have a problem. Also make sure you talk about how to handle finances, financial disputes, and how the property will be split up. You can't be all romantic about this because living together means splitting the bills, and being responsible to each other for where the rent is going. Also, if you do happen to break up you have to decide who gets the couch you bought and who gets to keep the bedspread that was a present from your mother but he loves and let me tell you, that is a HUGE nightmare. This is a big step, be very sure you are ready.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 7:44am
My guy wants us to get a place too....thing is, I'm applying to a graduate program, he already finished his masters and certification. He's 29 and is starting to feel the marital pressures (most of his friends have families) and I'm 24, am in no rush and befriend swinging and unhappy singles alike. It really depends on the situation and the individuals. I wish you two the best.
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 11:06am
Definitely be clear about your expectations about the future of the relationship. Talk it over and make sure you are on the same page. When people's expectations are different, it can definitely cause problems. Like you said, if one person is thinking this is a step toward marriage and the other is thinking you are basically roommates who have sex, it will be difficult.

With my situation, neither my husband nor I were in a big hurry to get married. In fact, when we moved in together, marriage was probably the furthest thing from our minds. We were commited to each other and figured we'd probably spend our lives together, but marriage wasn't a big priority. We were both in agreement, so it worked well.

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Registered: 11-25-2002
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 11:29am
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Edited 6/18/2009 6:12 pm ET by velvetminxx
Avatar for lucy4980
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:17pm
Those are definitely important points to consider. It all depends on your priorities, your goals, your situation, and where you are in your life. If it is important for you to start your life together as a married couple, then of course you shouldn't live together before marriage. There really isn't much difference between living together and being married - you are still the same people still in the same relationship with all the same dynamics whether the government sanctions your relationship or not. Also, if you aren't at a place in your life where you want to be in a serious, commited relationship - such as in your early 20s and you want to be out partying with your friends and dating different guys - then living with a boyfriend probably isn't what you need to be doing.

It's a totally personal decision whether to live with a boyfriend or not. There definitely isn't any one-size-fits-all answer.

I did want to point out that marriage does not guarantee some things that you mentioned - such as assurance that he'll be around for the long haul or accountability. Almost 50% of marriages end in divorce and there are a lot of non-married couples who stay together for decades. Commitment is in the heart and the mind - not in the marriage certificate.

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Registered: 11-25-2002
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 2:57pm
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Edited 6/18/2009 6:13 pm ET by velvetminxx
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 4:09pm
That's what it SHOULD be about.

Marriage should definitely mean that you are saying you'll be there forever and no matter what. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. I think most people go into marriage believing that, but things happen. People break their vows, they realize they are just completely uncompatable and are making each other miserable, or whatever. Some marriages end because of incompatabilities, some because people had unreasonable expectations about marriage, and a whole host of other reasons.

There are also many totally commited couples who spend their lives together without ever getting married.

Like I said, commitment is in people's hearts and minds, not in the certificate you get from the county clerk.

You are right though, you don't get wedding presents unless you get married, so if that's a priority, then you should get married.

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