Gay dating - Moving in with your boyfriend
It is important not to get carried away with the romantic idea of moving in together, and to maintain a realistic perspective of the changes that you are about to embark upon. It can be fun, exciting, romantic, but may also be stressful and challenging. Your relationship dynamic will change and your day-to-day life will change. It is important to consider if you are both ready for this change and explore the practicalities involved.
Think about your motives for moving in together and what it means to you. Many couples move in together because it is convenient or cheaper, but this is no reason to shack up; you have to ensure that your relationship is ready for this commitment.
You should explore with each other your ideas and expectations of living together: are they shared and realistic? Remember that the little things always cause arguments, so be clear on how you intend to divide up the chores, paying bills, dealing with DIY, and so on.
Moving in together also means pooling all your belongings and furniture. How do you plan to do this? Are you prepared to get rid of your favourite chair because it does not go with the décor? Do you have similar styles and tastes and how will you combine them?
Finance is one of the major issues facing cohabiting couples. Before moving in together you should have a clear idea of how you will divide financial responsibilities and resources. In addition, you should be aware of each other’s financial priorities – is it more important to spend your money on a glamorous holiday, or invest in a property?
Couples should always consider each other’s long-term goals, which include relationship and individual life goals. Are you travelling on the same path and are you willing to compromise?
Do you really know what is important to your partner? Is their behaviour driven by their political beliefs, or their family’s values? Do they have strong views on health or career progression, or are they more motivated by having fun? At Seventy Thirty, we matchmake through exploring values, because a relationship is more likely to survive time and conflict when the partners share similar values.
How long should you wait before you take the plunge? Why?
It is very important that the timing is right before moving in; however, this is different for every relationship. Generally relationships go through a number of stages, starting with the honeymoon period, before each person starts to show their commitment to each other. Relationships may then go through a power struggle or crisis period(s) before the next phase of the relationship, which is one of growth and rebirth.
The honeymoon period can last between a few weeks to a year; it is important that you don’t take the plunge while you are still wearing rose-tinted glasses.
Often people move in together because it’s more convenient to do so; it usually works out cheaper, as you can pool your resources. You might be able to share a wardrobe (providing he has good taste), you get to spend more time together and increase the intimacy of the relationship. However, this is no reason to move in. Be sure that if you do move in together, it is because you are in a secure and committed relationship, where you are comfortable and feel strongly compatible with your partner. You must both be ready and willing to take the next step in your relationship.
Make sure that you know your partner well enough. When living together, there will be plenty of opportunities for conflict. You should have reached a stage in your relationship where you have been through challenges together and you know how your partner handles conflict so you can find the best way of working through problems.
Don’t move in just because it is more convenient or practical to do so, or because you feel your relationship is in trouble and this will fix it. It won’t. The problems in the relationship will only be magnified under the same roof.
How do you know when the time is right?
If you are in a secure and committed relationship where you are comfortable and feel you have a future with your partner, it might be the right time to consider moving in. However, ensure that you are both ready and willing to commit to each other to be able to work through any issues that may arise within a changing relational dynamic.
What are the pitfalls of rushing into cohabiting?
Fools rush in! Most couples who move in together too soon and have trouble living together end their relationship.
While speaking to people about relationships, I often hear how chemistry and emotion can take over and drive the relationship forward without the couple taking time to think things through logically. Some couples want to move to the next level of intensity, when sometimes it better to take your time and enjoy each stage of the relationship – because there is no going back.
I hear of couples who move in together expecting the passion in the relationship to escalate. However, when two people live together the passion in the relationship may start to decrease over time. Therefore, moving in too soon can be at the detriment of your sexual relationship and you have to work to find ways to keep the spark alive.
People often take their co-habiting partners for granted, so moving in together before your relationship has had the chance to develop can result in a break-up, because it may not be strong enough yet to withstand the new challenges.
How can we make the transformation from dating to cohabiting a smooth one?
It is important that you have open communication and ensure that disagreements or discussions are solution-focused, rather than problem-focused. Take the time to really listen to each other.
Practice makes perfect. Try staying over at each other’s homes first, or going on a long holiday together, as this might help you get a better idea of what is like to live together.
Don’t rush into buying a property together; perhaps try renting first.
Put some time aside for date nights with each other so that you get to spend some quality time together.
Understand each other’s boundaries and respect them.
Remember that your relationship will work well if the other person feels valued. Focus on your partner’s positives – what is he good at?
Before you move in together, what ground rules should you set? Everyone will have different ground rules depending on their boundaries and values. It is therefore important to explore what is important to each of you so that you know what mutual boundaries to set. It is usually a good idea to have ground rules around finances, chores, social lives and independence.
Maintaining independence is key – ensure that you take time out for yourself; you should always have some alone time and you should try to maintain your other social relationships. After all, if this does not work out, you might need a shoulder to cry on.
If you would like to find out how to join Seventy Thirty exclusive matchmaking, contact Dr Georgina Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org