The first time I shacked with a boyfriend was in 2009. It was the WORST experience ever. Maybe it had something to do with the type of man he was or it could of been for the reasons behind me deciding to do it. Either way, it sucked and afterwards, I swore I’d never ever do it again. I felt like it was hell living with my ex and it ended up not leading to anything but a bunch of debt, frustrations, set backs and heartache. In December of 2016 though, my mindset changed a lot when I decided I wanted to get a place with my new boyfriend.
Yes, that’s right after all the hell I went through, I decided to try cohabiting again anyway. This time though, I was wiser about it.
Instead of just letting the move happen, we actually sat down together and planned every single thing out.
Here are a few things I contemplated to myself first before even discussing cohabitating with him:
1. Would it benefit me or hurt me financially?
This was the FIRST thing I asked myself before even considering getting a place with him. I had my own place before meeting him and was doing a good job on my own paying my rent and other bills on time. I had a pretty good job with very decent income and so did he. He actually makes a bit more than me. He was established on his job, so I knew he had good job security as I did with me being on my job at the time for over two years. I knew, together, we could both live comfortably in a good part of town and keep the bills paid too. I knew splitting the bills down the middle would definitely benefit me.
2. Is he trustworthy?
Another very important thing I contemplated to myself about. He had already shown me that he was a good guy by how he courted and pursued me. He was always very transparent. He was always open and honest about his income and personal life; very good qualities in a trustworthy person. He had never made me doubt a word he said because he always backed up everything he said with actions. I knew that living with him, I could trust that he would not leave me stuck handling all the bills on my own.
3. Would I be wasting my time?
I had already wasted my time before, living with my no-good ex previously years ago. I didn’t want to waste anymore time. I had made up in my own mind that I definitely could see myself actually being married to him one day. This is a thought I kept to myself because I don’t believe in pressuring a man to marry me. I already had enjoyed sharing my space with him from when he would spend the night with me sometimes and knew that we would only grow closer if we stayed together. I knew that staying with him would not be time wasted but valuable time invested due to the simple fact I actually wanted to grow with him.
4. What’s the REAL reason behind why I want us to move in together?
Previously, when I stayed with my ex, the only reason I thought we should get a place together was because he needed a place to stay but didn’t have the income to do it alone. I know, stupid. I set myself up for that one. Anyway, I knew this time, the real reason was because I knew we could actually grow together and combine our incomes to live comfortably together. I knew neither one of us would be a downfall to each other. The whole point was to build each other up and not cripple each other. He was about to get his own place anyway and I was nearing the end of my current lease.
5. Is he dependable?
This is very important too and should go without saying. I thought over the few times that I had really needed him and how he was always there. I knew hands down that I could depend on him. I felt like that if anything ever went wrong or if push ever came to shove, I could depend on him to be there and not chicken out.
After contemplating all of these things to myself, I then sat down and had a serious discussion with him. He had already mentioned beforehand about living together and I shot it down quickly because I was still getting to know him at the time.
Here are a few things we discussed together:
1. Household duties
It may sound like such a simple topic that you would think it doesn’t even need discussing, but I did not want to go into this with ANY assumptions. We agreed that he would continue to wash his own clothes and help with cooking and cleaning as well. This was very important to me because I had to make it known that I would not be playing “wifey.” We would be splitting everything from bills to chores and cooking. We agreed that this was only fair since we both worked full time jobs.
2. Rent price ranges
We discussed our price range and thought it would be wise to stay somewhere where one of us could afford to pay the rent by ourselves if anything should come up job wise such as, lay offs, pay cuts etc.
3. Our future
We discussed the future of our relationship and how we would use this time to actually grow and clean up our credit. We both are aware that we want to be married but made it clear this wasn’t an invitation to put a rush on it.
All in all, always use your better judgement and be wise before moving in with your mate. Some may feel that cohabiting isn’t a good idea, just like I had initially thought, but with good planning and having the necessary discussions beforehand, it could end up being a very good idea for you.
I can say that so far, I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. It’s been close to six months and I can tell that everything we had previously discussed, really played a key role in us living happily and harmoniously together.