What Should Couples Discuss Before Moving in Together?

What Should Couples Discuss Before Moving in Together?

With high rents in DC and even higher costs associated with buying, the financial advantages of moving in together appeal to many young couples. Living together saves money , saves time traversing to and from each other’s homes and eliminates the logistics involved in spending time in two different locations. However, there are psychological downsides to living together before marriage. It shifts the relationship’s focus toward the superficial question of how two people inhabit a shared space. Whether or not you agree about rolling or squeezing you toothpaste tube is not an optimal litmus test for the future of a marriage. And, even more problematic, many couples who decide to move in together do so as a compromise — one partner desires engagement and marriage and the other isn’t there yet, so the hesitant half of the relationship agrees to share a home to appease the half who wants a lifetime commitment. If that’s part of the equation, living together often slows the process of deciding whether to marry rather than accelerating the couples’ process of deciding about their future. For some couples, that slowed momentum is tolerable, but for others it can generate a lot of pain, pressure and disappointment. So the most important thing to do before moving in together is to decide what it means. And remember, DC is full of group houses. If couples are spending a lot of time together but don’t feel ready to be fully committed, they can probably save money if one person rents in a group house. The couple can spend the bulk of their time at the other person’s place. That way, if things don’t work out, the breakup is a lot less complicated.

Elisabeth LaMotte

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