All Articles Tagged "moving in together"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Our Families Are Very Religious, Should We Move In Together?

April 17th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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I’ve been dating my boyfriend for five years and we’re thinking about moving in together. The thing is both of our families are very conservative and religious and they are vehemently against us moving in together. I understand where they’re coming from because I was raised like this. But it’s my life and my decision. But on the other hand I’m wondering if they see something in him that I can’t. What should I do in this situation?

Although cohabitation is often considered to be the bane of all pre-marriage acts by traditionalists, new data (found here) shows that living together before marriage is actually a good thing for mature couples both on the same page. Basically, whether it’s a good thing or not depends on the couple and the relationship.

As far as the pushback from both sets of parents, I have two theories:

1. If you both come from very religious backgrounds, I’m assuming pre-martial sex is also frowned upon by your families. And, while you might be sexually active now, actually living together might seem like more of an advertisement of it.

2. For marriage-minded people, five years is quite a long time for adults to be dating without getting hitched. Perhaps your parents see an incongruence there that you don’t see, and they consider cohabiting to just be an act that delays the inevitable break-up– and makes the break up much, much, much more difficult.

My advice? Move in together. But, make sure you have a clear and agreed upon plan for your future before you do.

Sincerely,

Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com

Do you agree with Damon’s advice this week? Let us know what you think in the comment’s section.

 

Should We Move in Together?

November 1st, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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You and your boyfriend suffer the couple’s “crosstown/cross-borough hustle,” which demands an annoying commuting time, just so you two can see one another for a short meal, or a long embrace. That slight complication is in addition to the fact that you both hate your living situations.

So you think, and your boyfriend asks, “Should we move in together?” And you think, and your boyfriend wonders, should the answer be yes?

When I was asked, the immediate answer was an unintelligible string of words that, when put together, questioned if we were “ready.” And, while rattling on about “readiness,” I asked if moving in together was our “next step,” or just an act of convenience. Then, I ranted on, in tentativeness, about how I was fine with convenience, and then suggested that we would simply be roommates who dated. I did this despite frequently entertaining…no, vividly romanticizing the idea that we’d live together as a growing couple. And, his response to my machine gun replies was confusion, a nod, and a statement along the lines of, “It was just an idea.”

Yes, it was an idea, and to immediately dissect an idea like that rips away the romance. But to understand the details of why you’re cohabitng, and to figure out if it’s an appropriate time in your relationship for you to live together, is totally rational. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend going about it like I did, but a conversation should be had.

To begin, you have to learn if your partner is financially reliable, and you have to make sure that your finances are in order as well. Figure out who will handle bill payment, if one person will, or decide how payments will be divided. There’s nothing s*xy about talking about bills, but the only thing that is less s*xy is eviction.

Second, you and your partner have to identify your pet peeves and habits, and communicate them, and then decide if you two vibe well enough to live with those behaviors at this moment. If you can’t, you’ll spend a lot of time arguing or leaving passive aggressive notes.

Also decide if moving in together is a step toward a more serious relationship. As a couple, figure out what that means for you to make that move together. Does cohabiting mean that you’re simply growing your intimacy, strengthening you commitment, or setting a trail toward marriage? Or, perhaps the arrangement is much simpler than that. The reasoning can change during the discussion or while living together, but it’s good to recognize initial expectations.

And, speaking of expectation, discern who will handle which chores (cooking, cleaning and trash), and how often that’s expected to happen. Cooking every night is exhausting–especially if you work, so if it isn’t your thing, voice that early on. There’s nothing wrong with setting limits on chores or tasks. Also, concerning expectations, be vocal and honest about how much time you think you’ll spend in and out of the home. For most, part of the expectation when moving in with a significant other is to spend more time together, but if you have a lot of obligations and commitments that will keep you out of the home, then you need to communicate that.
Also privately or collaboratively consider discussing an exit strategy, just in cases things were to go south. Moving in together can be romantic, but it’s no reason not to be practical.

How To Tell In Advance If Moving In Together Is A Good Idea

May 16th, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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Before the entire day is spent configuring, packing, and taping up boxes; before the $300 is spent on movers; before giving up the apartment you love and searched for for months, and the selling of half your belongings that won’t fit in the new place, you should know—and we mean know—that cohabitation is more of a good idea than a bad one. And here’s how.

My Boyfriend Wants His Troubled Son To Come Live With Us But I’m Not Ready For That

May 10th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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From Essence

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I am writing to you for some relationship advice. I am in a happy place in my relationship with my soul mate. We have been dating for quite some time and have been living together for two years. He is in the midst of building a fabulous home and totally has me in his future plans, and I love it all.

The only problem is that he has recently told me that he will be having his teenage son come live with us full time. The teen has a number of issues that they fail to address, like obesity, constant bed-wetting, lack of manners and poor hygiene. Do I put my feelings of happiness on the back burner or try to work out the new living arrangement? I am hoping you can provide me with some help on this one.

Best,
Conflicted

Read what Dr. Sherry Blake has to say about this on Essence.com

Pick Your Battles: Things You Have To Let Slide When Living Together

May 7th, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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When you move in with your boyfriend, a lot of his personal habits come to life that you never noticed before. Some of these affect the pillars of your relationship. Meanwhile some of them are just a mild inconvenience. Learn to pick out the things that matter from the things you should let slide for a peaceful, happier home!

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Why You Shouldn’t Live Together Before Marriage

January 9th, 2013 - By madamenoire
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champ21
Although I’m referred to as one in certain circles (including here), I’m not a fan of the title of “relationship expert.” Expertise implies that a person has every right answer, and with a subject as varied, nuanced, and randomly arbitrary as romantic relationships, it’s just not possible to have right answers all of the time. In that sense, there’s no such thing as a “relationship expert.”
But, although I’m aware calling my knowledge “expertise” may not be applicable, the advice I give is derived from a combination of experience, education, and observation that helps me determine probabilities. For instance, if a woman asks whether she should stay with a man who has been cheating on her but swears he’s going to be faithful now, while it is possible that he may be telling the truth, experience, education, and observation has shown me that in most situations like this, the guy eventually reverts to his old ways. My advice just mirrors what I think is the most likely outcome.
I’m bringing this all up because there are dozens of different dating/relationship questions, theories, and concerns where there are no real right answers. While one side may seem more likely to occur, you can easily make the argument that the other side is in fact the right answer. Today’s topic—Why I believe people should wait until marriage before living together—is a perfect example.
You can just as easily craft a convincing pro pre-marriage cohabitation argument. If in a committed, monogamous, adult relationship, it may make more practical sense to live together. First is the obvious. Both parties will have the opportunity to save money. And, with your combined incomes, you may be able to afford a larger place and nicer things. Also, if you do plan on eventually getting married to each other, the pre-marriage cohabitation period can be a bit of a test run to see how things might be in the future. Plus, there are certain things you just won’t know about someone unless you live with them, and it’s better to learn “secrets” like “This bastard brushes his teeth like three times a week!” and “Damn, ever since she moved in, my bathroom smells like whiting.”
 
But, the convincing co-habitation argument fails to consider one of the die hard truths about relationships: most relationships end. When you’re not living together and the relationship ends, aside from deleting your own boo from your Facebook page, there’s really nothing else you have to do. But, cohabitation just makes things messier, more drawn out. Who stays and who moves out? Who keeps what furniture? Since you were splitting bills before, how is that going to be handled now? Also, as I learned, a post-cohabitation break-up ensures that you will have to continue seeing and interacting with each other for at least a few weeks while you figure everything out. When this happens, you’re not able to make the type of clean break necessary in order for a relationship to truly end, and this has a tendency to put you in a “are we or aren’t we?” limbo that ends up making things even worse.
Most importantly, with pre-marriage cohabitation, you’re committing yourself to husbandly and wifely duties without any type of husbandly and wifely commitment. Yes, this can happen even without living together, but when you are sharing the same space, that dynamic basically just creates itself. And, while doing this may seem cool in theory, ultimately one party (or both parties) will feel taken advantage of, and/or tire of “playing” married couple without actually being a married couple, and this can put another level of unnecessary strain on the relationship.
I do realize many couples aren’t going to wait for marriage to live together, and it’s probably unrealistic to expect that to happen in every case. With that being said, I do believe that any couple planning to cohabit should have a plan. Not a plan to save money or a plan to have sex more conveniently, but an actual timeline with a clear expectation of where the relationship is headed. You may not agree with me, but experience, education, and observation tells me that I’m probably right.
Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular VerySmartBrothas.com. Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at Amazon.com.

For All The Commitment Phobes Out There: 7 Myths About Long Term Relationships

November 21st, 2012 - By Julia Austin
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I’m about to rock the worlds of the commitment-phobes out there, of the people that spurt out statistics about divorce any time you ask them why they’re single, of the people that use their unhealthy couple friends as evidence why they shouldn’t date. They hold onto these myths about long-term relationships for dear life, because these myths are the only thing letting them pretend that they’re not just deeply afraid of finding love, and pursuing it. Sorry to blow the cover off your plan, you forever-single’s.

Nesting 101: How To Keep Moving In Together From Ruining Your Relationship

October 11th, 2012 - By Julia Austin
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Before moving in with a best friend, you sit down and think about all the reasons you would and wouldn’t make good housemates. You think about what changes you’ll have to make in order to keep the peace. You think about what quirks of theirs you’ll have to become more comfortable with. For some reason, couples don’t give that much attention to detail when considering moving in together. Fusing your life with somebody else’s will never be seamless, but mentally preparing yourself for the change can help fend off that panic moment of, “Ah! What have I done?!” So, be ready for this.

When A New Place Isn’t An Option, Moving Into His House Isn’t So Bad

September 26th, 2012 - By Alissa Henry
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While planning our wedding, my husband and I talked about where we were going to live after getting married. I had a little one-bedroom apartment and he had a house, so the choice was a no-brainer. I’d moved four times in the past two years and though I actually liked always moving to a different place, the thought of having one address for an extended period of time was fairly intriguing. (I can’t tell you how many magazine subscriptions I’ve paid for that never actually caught up with me during all of my apartment hopping.) Still, I wanted us to move to a new place together. I was looking forward to house-hunting, picking out my neighborhood and taking a picture in front of our new house next to a “SOLD” sign. But putting his house up for sale in this housing market wasn’t so practical so three days before our wedding, I moved in with him.

The whole living together thing has actually been my favorite part of marriage. It’s like a sleepover with your best friend every night! We’ve been married less than a year so we’re still enjoying the novelty of waking up together every day. I think waiting until after the wedding to shack up helped prevent those post-wedding blues I’ve heard about. Apparently, after spending so much time planning the wedding, women can feel down after it’s over. Fortunately, adjusting to living together has been a new form of excitement and I don’t miss wedding planning At. All.

I don’t use the word “adjust” lightly though. Moving into a guy’s house can be a major adjustment. My husband’s place was not a gross bachelor pad by any means, but it’s pretty manly and I wanted to spruce it up. He’s done his best to make me feel welcome. He even told me I am free to paint, move things in and out, and decorate as I see fit, but it’s hard to feel 100 percent at home when moving to someone else’s place.

Decorating would help and that would be easy if I were one of those Martha Stewart-types who could transform a room using stuff they find at a yard sale. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even decorate an office cubicle if I were getting paid for it, let alone a house. People always ask me, “Have you decorated his place?” Ummm….I hung my vision board on a wall over my computer desk if that’s what they mean.

Fortunately, moving into a guy’s house isn’t as bad as some might think (nothing like the horror stories I heard before tying the knot). You always hear about the female neat freak marrying the male slob, but I think my husband may be even neater than I am. Go figure! Plus, considering he has been cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping in his own house for years, now that we live together he hasn’t suddenly forgotten how to use his dishwasher or laundry hamper. We share the chores and don’t get into any of the weird gender wars that I hear about from other new married couples. Of course, that may have to do with personality and not actually be a benefit of moving in with him as opposed to moving somewhere new. I’m not sure.

We’ve definitely learned a lot about each other in these first few months and I’m learning about myself too – like how I’ve always found it’s easier to complain and blame even the most ridiculous things on my own discontent instead of actually putting in the work to bring about change. For instance, I’d been complaining about our living room needing photos, so my husband offered to help me hang pictures on his day off. Well, our “day of decorating” ended up being him hanging photos while I sat in another room writing an article on my computer. Our wedding pictures are hanging up all over our living room now, but I can’t even take credit for that. Clearly, decorating wasn’t as high on my priority list as I’d made it seem with my complaints. Let’s hope he doesn’t ignore me next time!

I still think it’s ideal to move to a new place together instead of one person having to move into someone else’s space, but when that’s not an option, I’ve found moving into his place isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty cool.

What do you think? Have you ever moved in with a guy? Did you find it hard to adjust to living in his place? Would you rather move somewhere new together?

 Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog This Cannot Be My Life

More on Madame Noire!

Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: How Do I Keep Him Happy in Bed?

September 5th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Cornise: How do I attract the mate I want? I keep getting hit on by guys I wouldn’t ever date?

DY: Before I answer that, you have to honestly ask yourself if the type of guys you want seem to be attracted to women like you. I’m bringing this up because, well, water seems to find its own level. And, if this is a problem you’re always having, you might need to change either the stuff you’re doing or the way you think about things. For curiosity’s sake, though, what type of guys usually hit on you, and what type of guys would you prefer to hit on you?

Pretty: When is a good time to discuss living together/marriage? I have been with my BF for 7 months and we are in love. Do you think it’s too soon to discuss these things?

DY: This answer is dependent on your age. (Basically, if you’re 25 or below, it’s definitely too soon) With that being said, if this is something you’re seriously thinking about, I think you should let him know its on your mind.

Marie: How do you keep a man happy sexually when he wants it all day every day? I love my man and our sex but sometimes it’s a lot for me but I don’t want to keep him unsatisfied.

DY: You know, your question raises a point I’ve always made in discussions about couples and sex. People put too much stress on sexual chemistry/compatibility — something that can get better with time — and not enough stress on libido compatibility. Honestly, I don’t know what to tell you. If you start sleeping with him more, you’re going to eventually feel like he’s only with you for the sex. But, if you two slow down, he might start to feel like you don’t value him or his needs. It’s a tricky situation, and I think the best way to handle it is just for you to tell him exactly how you’re feeling.

Marie: That’s exactly what’s been happening. I talked to him about it.. Told him let’s try going a day or two without it. Omgnesss was he cranky and kept bringing it up. Like we can have sex for two hours straight he cums 6-7xs and still in a hour maybe less ask for more.

DY: Yikes, lol. He must have a lot of…energy. I mean, if you’re already doing it pretty much every day and he’s still pressuring you for more, I’d remain him that he could always put his hand, a laptop, and some Vaseline to use.

Jamilah: How soon should I tell a man that I am a woman that wants to be only in a committed relationship. I don’t want to scare a man off but at the same time I don’t want to waste my time or his.

DY: Information like that should be shared in the first couple of conversations. You don’t have to blurt it out, but I do think you should find a way to insert it into the discussion. Like you said, no sense in wasting your time or his. Plus, the only guys who’d be “scared away’ are ones who weren’t considering that in the first place.

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