For many people, relationships have clear-cut steps. First, you meet someone. Maybe you were friends first, or you met online, or at a bar, or a mutual acquaintance introduced you. Then, you begin chatting, and your interest in each other is piqued. After talking for a bit, you will likely start dating. Dating leads to a relationship, and that is when a new chapter begins.
There are different milestones in a relationship. When you first tell each other you love each other, when you first meet family and friends, and time milestones. Another huge milestone, usually the last big one as a couple before marriage, is living together.
Why Is It A Big Deal?
Living together can be seen as a big deal for some people, while for others, it is just a logical financial step. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, living on your own is becoming more and more difficult. Debt is at an all-time high, especially for millennials that are graduating college with crippling student debt.
While once upon a time you used to live with your parents until you moved out on your own with a spouse, young professionals today are staying with their parents after they finish school because they can’t afford anything else.
Roommates give a solution to this, but if you are in a relationship with someone, that also seems like the best option for a roommate. Why deal with random people that you found on Craigslist, or old friends whose living habits you may not like entirely when you can just live with someone you love? Plus, it allows you to get a studio or one-bedroom apartment with two incomes, versus having roommates that would each need their bedrooms.
Whether you choose to live with someone because it is the next big step in your relationship because you live in an expensive city, it still signifies a change in your relationship.
For many, living together is that final step before marriage. It is a big commitment, combining all of your things, sharing a space, and seeing how the arrangement works before you decide if spending the rest of your lives together is something that will work for you.
Well, Should I Do It?
Whether or not you want to live with your significant other is completely up to you. Sometimes, you can’t. There are still religious and cultural traditions that do not allow couples to live together before they get married. If that is you, then waiting until you are married is the only time you can take that step of cohabitating.
Living together also makes sense so that you can see how you will, in the literal sense, live together. For many, it is equated to test driving a car before purchasing it. There could be deal-breakers that you notice once you finally do share the same space, and it is better to find out before getting married.
The answer to this question is up to you and your partner
There are benefits to living together – both financially and emotionally – to living together. It is a good way to figure out if you have a future together as well. But it is something that should probably be discussed and not gone into too lightly. Recognize the milestone that it is, and how it will change both of your lives. It may help to make sure you have a system for having your own time together.
You can schedule a weekly night with your friends or be sure to get out of the apartment one weeknight and go somewhere. Think about the obstacles you may run into – maybe one of you is a little messier than the other – and how you will move past this obstacle when you have no choice but to face it.
If you need help working through the obstacles or figuring out how to handle it, know that the folks over at BetterHelp are always ready and prepared to listen.
And then, if you do decide to move in together, enjoy it. Enjoy having your partner as a roommate and having a space to call your own!