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Moving in Together; Sooner or Later?

When I was an undergrad, the thing I wanted most in the whole world was to live with a boy. I kept trying to turn my immature romantic relationships into family.

Can you guess what came next?

Long-term relationships built not on love and commitment and connection and all that good stuff, but rather on habit, on comfort, and on the difficulty of separation. My average relationship lasted for years and was based on a dysfunctional foundation held together by one-year leases.

Now, there are many unmarried people living together for a large variety of reasons. Many of these situations are exactly what is desired by both parties. I'm not about to completely knock living together, because we're all different, and we all want different things.

It's the rushing in that concerns me. 

It took years for me to realize that I never wanted to live with someone again if we weren't on the road to marriage. Which isn't to say that you couldn't be on that road, move in together, and then realize it's not going to work out. But I would like to be pretty damn sure that's where we're going before I move all my stuff and start potentially agonizing discussions over furniture and chores and schedules and all of the differences that make us lovable individuals.

I would like to be pretty damn sure that we're heading towards marriage before I let my heart get all tangled up in the laundry and the having someone to sleep with every night and kiss every morning. Because once you've got that, you've got relationship glue. If you rush in, it may be sticking you in the wrong relationship.

Once you're living together it can get oh so difficult to get out, to break-up, to tear your heart away. To look at the relationship objectively (if that's ever possible). There are so many things shared and years slip by. Breaking up becomes a massive life change as well as a heartbreak. To be sure, it's that way when any long-term relationship ends, but having to separate residences adds a physical level that can be heart wrenching. Going from living with someone to living alone can be heart wrenching.

I know quite a few peeps that want to wait until marriage to move in together. I find that admirable and wise, but I'm perhaps a bit too pragmatic to agree, or a bit too afraid of The Wedding. I can imagine situations and reasons that you might live together before you get married. Maybe I've still not fully committed to what I would most prefer because my financial and familial situation makes wedding issues feel like a total nightmare - and perhaps that's a 'nother whole post...

My point here is that when you rush into living together, you rush into a relationship you haven't fully explored and perhaps weren't ready to fully commit to, and you slather it with relationship glue with every piece of furniture, shared DVD and dinner party. As with many, many relationship issues, time is our friend. Taking time allows us to move more slowly, and ultimately, hopefully, more surely.

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