You met at the park, at work or at a friends’ party, and have been dating for a while. Now that your relationship is getting a little more serious, you’re considering taking it to the next level: living together. No more meals alone in front of the TV. You’ll be spending more time together, waking up next to each other, eating dinner together every day, all while sharing the bills.
But what happens if, finally, you get bored of their little quirks and all the compromises, the discussions all become the same, and routine sets in? What if you miss your independence and realise that living together was a mistake?
If moving in together might be the best choice for many couples, it’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes, living separately is the best solution, at least for a while, allowing you more time to grow together as a couple.
If you’re wondering whether you are ready to cohabitate, here are a few signs to look out for that should help you make your decision.
1. You both want to live together
Obvious, right? However, some people move in with their senior partner because they feel pressured to, or simply because they are afraid to hurt their partner’s feelings. If you feel that living together is happening too soon, it’s best to be honest about it rather than moving in, feeling bad, and eventually, moving out.
Incidentally, if you want to cohabitate with your partner but they are not as excited as you about the idea, don’t pressure them. You can’t force them to feel something that they don’t. Just be patient, respect their point of view and hope that they’ll eventually want to live with you.
2. Your relationship is serious and exclusive
Moving in together too soon, even though you adore each other, is risky. You might regret your choice once the passion of the first few months begins to fade.
Before you pack your luggage and move in to their place, you need to be sure that your relationship is serious, exclusive and strong enough to endure living together under the same roof. It’s best to know each other well before making this major commitment. Don’t rush things.
3. You feel comfortable with them
Being by their side is natural. You feel like home when you’re with them. Furthermore, you don’t mind their little quirks. You even find some of them adorable.
It’s essential that you fully accept each other as you are, before living together. You’ll be sharing the same home every day. They’ll be seeing you with your hair messy, sick, or all sweaty from the gym. Therefore, you need to feel that you can be yourself when you’re with them and that you don’t have to be fake or hide the little things you would usually do at home.
4. You’re both at the same place in life
You’re both at the same place in your life, and your goals are similar. A frequent occurrence when dating after 50 is that one partner is retired and the other is working. If the one who is retired wants to travel the world, for example, this can be a difficult situation to manage. However, this difference of activity is not a problem as long as both partners have common projects, for instance, living by the seaside once the other retires, or travelling around the world together.
5. You don’t mind compromising
When you live alone, you can watch any TV program you want, eat anything that pleases you or have the entire bed to yourself. When you live with someone, you have to share and take into consideration their opinions and wishes.
Whether this is about visiting family, what to eat for dinner or what to watch on TV, you must compromise when you live with your significant other. You can’t make every decision on your own without considering your partner’s wishes or desires. So, if you’re planning to live together, be ready to share your wardrobe as well as your bed, and accept that visiting their family and friends is all just part of the deal.
6. You know how to manage conflicts
When you live alone, no one tells you to wash the dishes or asks you where you were when you get in late. No matter how much you love them, you’ll surely disagree with each other from time to time. This is totally normal. However, if you and your partner are able to communicate effectively and resolve the issue without throwing plates at each other, chances are you’ll cohabit just fine.
7. You’ve already spent holidays together and it went very well
Spending holidays together is a good test before living together full time. Organising the trip, shopping together, cooking and sharing the house chores are all things that provide you with a great sense of how your couple works. If, in general, everything went smoothly, that’s good news!
8. You don’t mind the routine
When you date someone, you often visit lots of different restaurants and bars to keep things fresh and exciting. Additionally, as you don’t see each other every day, you always have plenty of things to talk about.
However, when you live with someone, it’s a little different. You see each other constantly and eventually, the routine sets in. Don’t worry, though. Complemented with nice, romantic surprises from time to time, having a routine can be healthy in a relationship. Your little habits and rituals strengthen your couple.
9. You’ve discussed finances
Living together is very practical. One of the main motivations for couples to cohabit is the bonus of being able to share the rent and bills. Living on your own can be much more expensive than living with another adult when it comes to food shopping and power bills.
Before you decide to move in together, whether it be your place, theirs or somewhere entirely new, you need to have a talk about the finances. You have to know how much you can rely on them and how you’re planning to share the expenses, in order to prevent any future arguments about money.