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Things to consider before cohabitating

As promised in yesterday's article, I have returned to give you some things to think about before taking the big plunge into cohabitation.

Before you and your sweetheart start packing boxes, here are a few things you both need to ask yourselves first:

  • Is this decision being made because you want to live together or is it because you need to live with someone (i.e. Without a room mate, you can't afford it on your own)?
  • Have you accepted the fact that your sweetie has flaws?
  • More importantly, have you witnessed some flaws and do you love your sweetheart because of them? Keep in mind the word "because" in that question. I worded it that way for a very important reason. If the realization that your sweetheart's flaws are what make him who he is hasn't come to you yet, then you may have difficulties getting over the little annoyances that will come up every day while cohabitating.
  • Will your schedules sync up well enough that no one will wind up losing too much sleep?
  • Can you have open and honest discussions about important matters (money, sex, food preferences, even medical issues)?
  • How do you argue and how do you resolve conflicts? Can the two of you manage to work out any differences and disagreements in such a way that sharing a bed won't become an issue?
  • If the relationship needed to end, would the two of you be able to respect each other enough to not destroy each others possessions?
  • On the same note, could you marry your love? In no way am I saying that cohabitating is a trial for marriage nor am I saying that just because you live together you have to get married at some point in time. And I'm most definitely not saying that you have to be ready to actually get married. What I mean is do you believe you could potentially marry this person? If the thought of potential marriage with your sweetheart terrifies you, then you may not be ready to live with him either. Be as scared of marriage as you want to be...but at least be at a point where you think it's a possibility with him before you give up on your lease.

If you're able to answer these questions in a such a way that both of you still feel it's a good idea, then make you sure you come to an agreement on at least most of the following first.

  • Money matters: how much each of you will be putting towards rent, utilities, and food.
  • Type of utilities: Most internet service providers have different speeds available...at different costs. Which one will you go for? Will you both have cell phones or will a land line be necessary? If one of you has a cell phone, will you both pay money towards a land line or just the one with out the cell phone?
  • Your schedules: In general, what time will you be eating dinner? Will you always eat together? When will you try to go to bed by each day?
  • Chores: How will household duties be divided? Evenly? As they need to be done? Who's going to take out the trash? Do the dishes?
  • Pets: If you have them, can you keep them? Will the apartment allow you to have all of the pets the two of you have? Who will be responsible for walking the dog? Changing the litter box? Filling the hamster's water bottle?
  • Hanging out with friends: Will you need to ask permission from each other to invite friends over? Do you expect to have the place to yourself while your friends are over?

There are a lot of things to consider when you start talking about moving in together. No one else can tell you if it's right for you and your love. It's up to you (and your sweetheart) to decide if it's the right time. All I can do is give you some tools to help you make sure you go into it with your eyes open.

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