Living Together: Four Things Couples Should Consider Before Shacking Up

“I am not a big advocate of living together before marriage. It can be the right thing, but it can also leave two people stuck together who have not figured out what they really want out of the relationship.” –Emily Yoffe

Today, relationships are evolving.

With millennials having almost the entire universe at their disposal when it comes to relationship options, it seems like the idea of dating and the concept of marriage are both slowly diminishing. However, this is not to say that modern relationships leave no room for living together. In fact, they do, but more often than not, it would be without the benefit of marriage. For most couples, cohabitation without the cloak of marriage is merely a means to ease into it before actually making the lifelong commitment—a trial phase, if you may. However, while this unconventional arrangement would be ideal for some couples, it can contribute to the deterioration of relationships in some. Whether or not you choose to shack up before marriage is entirely up to you and your partner, but it would be wise to know what you are getting yourself into before actually proceeding to it.

After all, you and your partner can live in a sophisticated and lush unit or even in the best condo in Cebu, but if your incompatibility besets and plagues your relationship with conflicts and arguments, you will inevitably live in an unhappy home. Now, what is a home if ultimately, if you are living in misery? Remember, shacking up may not be as big of a deal to you as a lifelong commitment is. But at the end of the day, it is still a significant decision that would affect you and your partner’s lives. So, before deciding on living together, here are things you need to consider first:

1.) You will need to talk about your finances


Let me be the first to say that money is not exactly a sexy nor romantic topic to talk about with your partner. However, it needs to be addressed as it plays a pivotal factor in your cohabitation. This difficult conversation is imperative for any long-term couple who is planning on moving in together. By the time you and your partner would share one roof, you would be managing your finances together and if you cannot meet halfway as to the expenses or know how to compromise, there will inevitably be a series of disagreements in the future.

2.) You might discover you are incompatible


Having been in a relationship with your partner for a significant time can lead you to think you know everything there is to know about them. However, living with them is entirely different from living without them. You might find that they have some habits that you were previously unaware of and are uncomfortable with now. Differences can be as small as cleaning habits to something significant such as money management. Cohabitation will flesh out these incompatibilities that you might not have noticed before and may be the source of arguments and conflicts.

3.) Individual lifestyles might change


Living on your own meant you have your own personal space—a concept you would have to likely give up when you are living together. Back when you were by yourself, you can pretty much do whatever you wish—whether that may be leaving the toilet seat up or leaving the dirty clothes on the floor. However, living with your partner means that you have to make some lifestyle adjustments. Sure, some of your habits may seem like insignificant inconveniences to your partner and to you, they might be easily overlooked. But if you want to start your cohabitation on a happy note and live harmoniously with them, it is best to compromise and make some adjustments.

4.) You will get on each other’s nerves


You are bound to get irritated with each other at one point. After all, as the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. However, not to worry, living together does not mean you will end up at each other’s throats anytime soon. But, take this as an opportunity on what gets on your partner’s nerves and try to avoid doing just that. In the same regard, if something your partner does annoys you, broach the subject with them and tell them it gets on your nerves as well.

Janice Jaramillo, Associate Editor

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