Maybe you’re thinking moving in together before you and your partner get married and spend eternity together sounds like a good idea. When you move in with this person before tying the knot, you get to test out what your life will like sharing the same space. You can discover if they’ve been hiding any unbearable quirks and GTFO before you are legally tied to them. And if you’re splitting rent on a one-bedroom, you’ll probably save a little money, too. What could go wrong?
[Insert horror movie music here]
What could go wrong? So. Many. Things. And it’s not about living in sin, because this is a choice that transcends any particular religion. Plus, it’s not my place – or anyone else’s – to condemn two people who love each other for the lifestyle choices they make that will affect no one else. If you choose to move in with your partner before marriage, you won’t end up in a fiery pit rocking tattered clothing, but things could still get ugly. So here are some things to consider before signing a new lease with your love.
1. Solitude should be embraced.
It doesn’t matter if you have a roommate or you live alone – you currently have your own space that is just yours. Don’t take that for granted. Your bedroom is just yours, so there’s no compromising on gender neutral duvets or whether or not that framed Idris Elba poster should come down (it shouldn’t!).
If this is the right person for you, you’ll be living with them for a long time, possibly for the rest of your lives. Soak up that alone time while you can in a home that you decorated just for yourself.
2. It gives you a way out if you need it.
Until you’ve had all the difficult and potentially unpleasant conversations that come with planning a life together and getting married (do you share the same political views? Will you raise your kids to be religious? Do you even want kids?) you shouldn’t tie yourself to them via a rental contract. Sure, breaking a lease is easier than getting a divorce, but still, you’ll feel like you wasted your time if you buy a new couch together and then find out you want extremely different things in life.
3. You get to live on your own schedule.
When you live with a roomie or alone, you can come and go as you please. You could work as a third shift editor and not disturb anyone else with your odd sleep schedule. But when you’re married, you’re a family. You’re a team. It’s not impossible to work odd hours or do whatever you want at any time of day, of course. Married couples do those things all the time. But it’s easier when it’s just you.
4. Convenience isn’t romance.
Rent is expensive no matter where you live. So when couples move in together, they usually save a big chunk of change by splitting the cost of a one-bedroom. But deciding to live together is a big deal, and it’s a supremely romantic way to declare your love for each other to the world. As with a marriage proposal, you want it to come from a place of enthusiastic love, and not lackluster convenience. It’s a decision that binds you two together, so shouldn’t it be when you’re really ready to live alongside this person and not when you just need to save some money?
5. What’s the rush?
You’re in love. Your love has lasted beyond that initial infatuation phase and has grown into something real. You’re excited to begin your life with your partner and want it to start right now. I get it. But having both of your names on the mailbox will come once you’re married. Embrace the sanctuary that you created on your own while you have it.
6. It gives you something else to plan post-wedding.
You don’t have to be born an organizer to get sucked into the magic and misery that is planning a wedding. It’s an all-consuming task that could easily double as a part-time job. But once the wedding day has passed, there’s nothing left to plan. No Pinterest boards to obsessively update. It’s a relief, sure, but it’s almost like you need something less stressful to plan in order to manage the mental transition. How to decorate the house or apartment you and your new spouse have not yet moved into is the perfect project!
7. You’ll probably have to downsize eventually.
Unless you can move into a bigger place together – and most Millennials can’t because we’ve spent too much of our funds on avocado toast, LOL – you’ll have to downsize some of your stuff in order to make room for theirs. We can all do with less stuff, but it’s kinda nice to have your own closet, isn’t it? Cherish that closet space.
8. It adds excitement to the newlywed phase.
Envision marrying the person you’re with, and once the wedding celebrations conclude, you begin your lives together by literally beginning your lives together. The high of your wedding day will remain when you pick a home, move in, and decorate it, as a team. It’ll be way better than just coming home to the place you already had and getting back into all the same routines you had before. A new life would be way more fun in a new home, right?