Living Together

Ask A Therapist OnlineLiving Together
Jamie asked 12 years ago

My boyfriend and I are both intelligent, hardworking individuals. He has a Masters degree and I am halfway through my Masters program. We have been together for 2 months and everything is going perfect–we are both head over heels. He is moving into a new house July 20th and my apartment rent has just skyrocketed and has become unaffordable for me. We are having a very serious conversation today in a couple hours about moving in together into his new house. It will bring us closer to each other and help both of us out financially. What types of questions should we be asking ourselves and each other in order to determine if this relationship is ready for such a big step?

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Best Answer
Insight Psychological Staff answered 12 years ago

My apologies that this is coming to you a week later than you were expecting. We get many emails and it takes us a while to get them all answered.

The first place to start is with typical “roommate” questions; that is, the questions you would ask anyone you were about to move in with. These questions include how you will handle company coming over, what your cleaning expectations are, what are your rules around drugs and alcohol. How will you handle meal preparation, and what you need when you’re having a bad day (some people need space, some people need a hug, some people need to be listened to, some people need solutions…)

It is also important to keep in mind the stage of the relationship you are in. Since you’ve been together for two months, you still have a lot to learn about each other. Your relationship is still in the honey moon stage and it is important to acknowledge this. This does not mean that you are not ready to live with each other, or that you’re not in love. All it means is that you will still have moments when you surprise each other, or when one of you responds in a way that is unexpected of the other. How are you going to handle these moments? It’s harder to take a break from each other when you are living with each other.

In the initial stages of a relationship, all couples need to find balance (determining how to balance the “me” vs the “we” in the relationship). Couples also determine in this stage the extent to which they are willing to be influenced by their partner, and the extent to which they need to hang onto themselves. You may ask your partner to change something about themselves that they are unwilling to change. The two of you need to figure out how you will handle this if it comes up.

Although you and your boyfriend are very excited about moving in together, it’s important to talk about what happens if things do not work out. I know the two of you may not want to go there, but it’s a good idea to decide (while you’re getting along) who would be the one to move out, and what moving out would look like. Would it happen over night, would it take a few weeks, would you be able to support one another in the move?

Choosing to move in together is a big step, and I’m sure you are both very excited about it. It will bring you closer together and create growth in both of you. Remember to be open and honest with one another, and ask the “difficult” questions now. It is very wise of the both of you to be planning a discussion and looking at outside resources to support you in taking this step. Good luck and best wishes to you both.