8 Things to Consider Before Moving in Together With Your Girlfriend

It didn’t take long for me to realize that living with my girlfriend might require a slight adjustment period—we were still packing my stuff for the move to her place. I was lugging yet another heavy box through the kitchen on my way downstairs to the van, sweat streaming from my face, when Kirsten looked up from the cutting board she was carefully wrapping in newspaper.

“Oooh!” she sighed, spotting a snow globe we picked up during our first vacation together. “Remember where we bought this?”

I’m dying, she’s dawdling. Maybe, just maybe, I started to think, Kirsten and I are not a single soul split betwixt two bodies.

Shacking up is a good way to save on rent and get lovin’ without scheduling an appointment. But there’s more to moving in than sex and money. “You’re agreeing to share your lives, not just your living space,” says Marshall Miller, proprietor of unmarried.org and coauthor of Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple. “When a couple agree to move in together, they’re often at a high point of feeling good about one another. But cohabitation quickly gets to the nitty-gritty of life.”

So is it a good idea to move in with your partner? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, because every relationship is different. However, there are a few essential questions every guy can ask himself, says Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of Dating.com.

What to Ask Yourself Before Moving in With a Partner

1) Do they leave their home a mess?

“You must consider your partners cleanliness,” says Sullivan. “Do they clean up after themselves or leave it for someone else to do? If it’s the latter, do you really want that someone to be you?”

2) How are their finances?

“Is your partner financially stable, or are they often late on paying credit card bills or accepting Venmo charges?” she asks. “You and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to finances so that the rent doesn’t all of the sudden fall on you.”

3) What are their friends like?

“Before moving in with their partner, men must evaluate how they feel towards their partner’s friends, because everyone has that one friend who doesn’t pick up on social cues and over stays their welcome,” Sullivan advises. “Next thing you know, your partner’s best friend is living on your couch rent-free.”

Have you decided you want to go for it? Great! In that case…

What to Know About Living Together

1) Your sex life will change.

Not every night will end with the two of you naked, sticky, and sweaty. “When you live apart, you make time for sex—any minute you can get your hands on each other, you do,” says Logan Levkoff, a sexologist and advice columnist. “But when you’re around one another all the time, the frequency of sexual activity may taper off.

“The solution,” Levkoff says, “is still making time for intimacy but changing your expectations. Realize that you can be intimate without having intercourse.”

This means you’ll need to accept the transition from hardware to software: less bonking, more spooning.

2) You’ll have to compromise about cleaning.

Divvying up domestic chores is one of the first things a cohabiting couple needs to discuss. Forget equality. “Everything doesn’t have to be fifty-fifty,” says Andrew Cherlin, Ph.D., author of The Deinstitutionalization of American Marriage and Public and Private Families: An Introduction. “If one of you works 50 hours a week and the other 25, there’s nothing wrong with the less busy person taking on more of the housework.”

Reduce the tension and tedium by volunteering for housework that doesn’t drive you crazy. My buddy Josh hates washing silverware, but unlike most people, he doesn’t mind scrubbing pots and pans. So after dinner he tackles the heavy metal while his wife merrily tends to the flatware. Compromises like this make a relationship work.

3) Be prepared to discover each other’s wacky habits.

It’s inevitable: Now that you’re living together, you’re gradually going to discover each other’s irritating habits. She makes a weird noise while she sleeps; you fart with abandon.

“One way to soften the blow is to try living together for a spell before you actually move in,” Levkoff advises. “Just make sure it’s a normal, mundane week so you’ll get a real feel for what the morning rush is like, what the dishwashing situation is like.”

The key, no matter how long you’ve been living together: When confronted with one of those fingernails-on-the-chalkboard-of-life moments, don’t let it slide. But resist the urge to bite her head off.

Wynne Whitman, coauthor of Shacking Up, prefers a gentler, more constructive approach. “Instead of yelling, ‘Why the hell do you always leave your briefcase on the floor?’ try saying, ‘It makes me very happy when you put your briefcase away.’ This phrasing makes your roomie think she’s doing you a favor, and it doesn’t seem like a chore.”

4) Make time for alone time.

Live-in couples have to deal with many of the same issues spouses do. One of the thorniest is keeping the relationship fresh. Because you’re no longer dating, it’s crucial that you maintain the relationship’s fun factor. For starters, don’t become too reliant on one another.

“It’s really important not to put all your eggs in one basket,” says Whitman. “Often, people make the mistake of giving up all their other relationships just because they’re living with someone. You need to spend time apart to appreciate the time you spend together.”

5) Live and learn—together.

You may discover, as I did, that your girlfriend’s good qualities more than make up for her uselessness as a mover. Or you may find that her insistence on replacing the toilet-paper roll so it feeds from the bottom is too much for you to take. Either way, you’re in this together. Find a way to get over, through, or around every obstacle and your relationship may evolve into something even more wonderful than convenient sex.

“There’s a misconception that people who cohabit never want to get married,” says Whitman. “I disagree. I think, on the contrary, they want to make sure they have only one marriage. They want to make sure this is the right person before they commit.”

And before they have to lug all those boxes back down 13 flights of stairs.

 

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6 Gestures That Show a Man Is in Love With You and 6 Signs That Show He’s Using You

Many women, especially young girls, often feel insecure in their romantic relationships. Well, sometimes our worst expectations are justifiable, but it can also be easy to doubt our partner’s feelings because of our own insecurities or a bad previous relationship. Luckily, there are several signs that can help you understand if your partner is really into you or if they’re just using you for their own benefit.

Bright Side understands how confusing relationships can be, so we want to shed some light on how to determine the real intentions of your partner.

Loves you: He stares at you all the time.

Songwriters of many romantic songs got it right: the man who is really in love with you, won’t be able to take his eyes off of you. Many men have this special look in their eyes when you’re all dressed up for a Friday night. But if you notice that he watches you with wonder and excitement when you do simple things, like cook dinner or put on your coat, he’s probably in love.

Uses you: He doesn’t make you feel special.

It feels like you’re no different from any other girl he’s ever been with or from his friends. He may constantly compare you with other people or not show you any affection at all. And if you feel like you’re just one out of many, he probably just doesn’t care enough to appreciate you.

Loves you: He doesn’t freak out even when you expect him to.

We all have skeletons in our closets and it’s completely fine that for some people they can be a deal breaker. But if your partner knows a lot about your past, including the moments you’re not very proud of and he’s still with you, he’s probably more into you than you think. Embracing all the sides of another person, and not just the pleasant ones, is a sign of a mature relationship and love.

Uses you: You constantly feel guilty.

It seems like you can’t do anything right starting from dealing with problems at work, to choosing food for your cat at the supermarket. If you constantly feel like no matter what you do, you’re not enough and could’ve done better, it’s time to run away from your relationship. There’s nothing wrong with trying to help your partner become a better person, but these changes should be imposed through love and care and not by making you feel guilty.

Loves you: He’s more aware of how his behavior can affect you.

We all have our patterns of behavior and don’t always fully understand how they affect other people. If you notice that your partner is becoming more self-aware and is trying to behave in a way so that you won’t get hurt or disappointed, this is a good sign. But keep in mind that if you’re concerned about something or want him to act differently, it’s better to have a conversation and not expect him to understand it on his own. Your man can’t read your mind, right?

Uses you: He disappears on you.

You make plans together and he bails out at the last moment. Or it takes him ages to respond to your texts or phone calls. Yes, he can be busy from time to time, but the person who truly appreciates you will find a moment to check in with you. If it feels like he doesn’t value your time, you probably hang out with him only when it’s convenient for him and on his schedule.

Loves you: He notices small details that make you happy.

We all love grand gestures, but it’s the little things that matter the most. For example, he remembers your favorite ice cream flavor, a stupid TV-show you watch when you’re sad, or the name of your very first pet. These things show that he cares enough to go beyond the stereotypical things like flowers and candy (but we still love them) and engage with you on a more personal level.

Uses you: He is never ready to compromise.

Finding compromises can be hard, especially if your relationship is new but it’s the goal we all should be focused on. Your partner should respect your opinion and be ready to find the right balance so you’re both happy. If he doesn’t want to give up his “right” to decide everything, it’s probably time to escape from such a controlling relationship.

Loves you: He opens up to you and expects you to do the same.

We all feel vulnerable in our relationships, but it’s difficult to build a strong one without sharing your thoughts and feelings. If he’s ready to overcome the fear of rejection and be open with you about his fears and problems, he trusts you and can see a future with you. And this works both ways: he’s interested in knowing the real you, not just the pretty armor you may have been putting on.

Uses you: He emotionally manipulates you.

He knows your strengths and weaknesses and tries to manipulate you into doing the things he wants. This type of relationship is unacceptable no matter what. If you notice that you constantly feel guilty or your partner’s emotions dominate yours, it’s probably time to take a step back and assess what’s going on.

Loves you: He’s ready to talk through problems.

Although a healthy amount of emotion can actually be beneficial for resolving conflicts and keeping your partner happy, screaming won’t solve the problem. After you are both done being emotional, your partner should be ready to have a conversation to talk things over. Communication is the key to a strong relationship and a partner who loves you should be able to put his ego aside and admit he could’ve been wrong.

Uses you: He provokes you to make public scenes or stays silent for days.

We get that things can get too emotional sometimes, but a man who loves you would never publicly humiliate you by making a scene or resent you by staying silent for days. These behaviors can be a sign of emotional manipulation, an inability to control their emotions, or even a form of “punishment” for the things you’ve done wrong. A man who truly loves you would never hurt you, so if this is not the attitude you want, you’d better run away from this relationship.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you’ve been played by your partner? What were the signs? Share your story in the comments.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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