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This is a question that a lot of young people ask, and the answer is super complicated, so I want to address just a couple of pitfalls that happen with regards to moving in together and maybe some reasons why you shouldn’t move in together. And then talk about why you should move in together.
Okay, so let’s start off with negatives. Let’s start off with the cons. Why you shouldn’t move in together.
The first reason why you shouldn’t move in together is if it’s motivated by finances. I hear that a lot. “Well, you know, financially it makes sense. We could split costs and it would, it would make it easier on us financially, rather than maintaining two different homes.”
Now, while I agree that yeah financially it makes sense, I don’t think that joining
your life together with another person for financial reasons is a recipe for success. I think that’s probably going to end badly if that’s the true motivation for why you’re going to move in together.
So, if you’re doing it for financial reasons, I’d say take a second and think this over.
The second thing I hear a lot is that people want to “test drive marriage”, which again, theoretically it makes sense. Yeah, you should, you should try out marriage before you actually go and get married. Getting married is a huge deal.
Unfortunately, I don’t really think that living together is test driving a marriage.
Living together is just taking your girlfriend / boyfriend status to the next level, but I don’t think that when you live together you actually behave like married people behave.
For example, here’s a big one: married people don’t just split expenses.
Some people will, because it works out best for them, keep maintaining their own bank account or whatever, but those divisions I don’t think are real. They’re definitely not real in my marriage, especially because my wife is a stay at home mom. She takes care of the household, and so I’m the one that’s working outside the home, and it’s not “my money” and “your money”. There’s just the “family’s money”.
I put all the money into a bucket and they take out as much money as they need and that’s all there is to it. My wife has full access to all bank accounts and financial accounts and all of those things.
When two people often times move in together, that’s not the way they operate.
Yes, they might share a bed and they sleep together, and so they’re playing house, but they’re not really playing married. If you’re serious about playing married, you should probably go ahead and share finances, right?
As I say that I know a ton of people are saying, “oh my gosh, no way, I’m not giving her access to my bank account.” It’s like, wow, that’s, that’s a huge double standard, because in one way, you guys are sleeping together, and so you’re playing married that way, but in another way, when it comes to your checking account and your credit card she doesn’t get access to that.
That’s a legit double standard that shouldn’t be there if you were really test driving marriage. Now, if you remove that idea that you’re actually test driving marriage, then, then I’m fine with that. But if you use that term, let’s make it a real test drive.
Here’s another thing that’s different between a girlfriend – boyfriend relationship and a married couple relationship. If I’m living with someone who’s my girlfriend, quite candidly my family takes precedent over my girlfriend. My mother takes precedent over my girlfriend for sure, right?
Any guy who loves his mom and is loyal to his mom is always going to take his mom’s side over his girlfriend’s side. However, that changes when you ask me about my wife. If my mom says one thing and my wife says another, 100% no doubt absolute positive easy choice.
I pick my wife’s side every single time.
If it were my girlfriend, no, I’d take my mom’s side. But between my wife and my mom, I’m taking my wife’s side, and that’s a huge difference.
So if you’re test driving marriage, then are you going to be taking your girlfriend’s side over your mom’s side or your girlfriend’s side over your family’s side? Does she take precedent and priority over everybody else?
Because my wife takes precedent and priority over everybody else.
Does your girlfriend? Whom you’re living with?
Number three, I’ve heard people say “I’m not, I’m not quite ready for a commitment.”
If you’re not ready for a commitment, that’s completely fine, but don’t move in together, because moving in together is a huge commitment. Moving in together is
saying to the other person, “hey, we are moving towards a huge commitment, and we’re moving very quickly towards a huge commitment.”
So, if you’re not ready for a commitment, don’t get into a commitment.
I’ve given you a couple reasons as to why not to move in together. Which begs the question, “Is there ever a time when we should move in together?” Or am I some crazy traditionalist that’s like, no you have to have the big church wedding, and do everything appropriately and legalistically in order to have a successful relationship?
In no way, shape, or form am I that guy.
I have seen many successful relationships where folks moved in together and they never
officially got married by a justice of the peace or a church official or anything like that, and they were very, very successful.
I’ve also seen, as I’m sure we all have, plenty of people who had a big church wedding, and then it didn’t work out. So I don’t think it’s one or the other. I don’t think that moving in together without being married is a deal-breaker on whether or not a relationship’s going to be successful.
That said, I think there’s some qualifications that need to be in place in order for that relationship to be successful.
So the question is “Are you ready to put that other person first in your life? Are you ready to make them the top priority, and are they ready to make you the top priority?”
Because I think that’s how successful relationships work.
When it comes down to it, I put my wife first, after my faith of course, but I put my wife first, and she puts me first, and our kids are second, and our friends and family are third, and everything else comes after that. So when you talk about moving in together, if you want to make it last, you have to ask yourself these questions:
Are you ready to put that other person first?
Are you ready to make them a priority?
Are you ready to love them most and unconditionally?
If you are, then I say go for it.
If you’re not, I say run the other way and wait until you find that person whom you are ready to, to put first.
Until next time.