Moving In With Your Girlfriend – What to consider

There are a variety of theories about whether or not two people in a relationship should live together before getting married. Many people are motivated by their religious beliefs when it comes to whether this is acceptable but I would like to take a practical approach to making this decision and explore the impact to the current relationship and future of the relationship.

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I have a couple of friends who had very different feelings about moving in with their girlfriends while they were dating. One of these friends was living in Los Angeles and had been dating his girlfriend for about 2 years. Both of their leases were coming due at a similar time and they discussed the possibility of moving in together. Los Angeles is an expensive place to live and neither of them had particularly large incomes, so the financial benefit was certainly a factor. However, the financial impact may have had a stronger impact for him than it did for her. I can’t help but wonder if he was more focused on a the financial impact while she was focused on moving in together as the next step of their relationship before marriage. They found a one bedroom apartment in Marina Del Rey and decided to go for it. The new apartment was a nicer place in a nicer area for both of them and they were paying less in rent.

This arrangement went well for two years as they got along well and had compatible living styles. However, as time wore on, my friend didn’t seem to get any closer to taking the next step with a proposal and this seemed to wear on his girlfriend. Due to the lack of advancement in the relationship, he moved out after two years and her sister who traveled a lot for work moved in to share the apartment. It was obviously a very difficult time for both of them when he moved out and while he was interested in continuing to date, she put an end to the relationship. Now you could argue that this experience wasn’t a bad thing as they both enjoyed living together for much of the two years and they got to enjoy a nicer place. However, the difficulty and disappoint when it ended was certainly much more sever.

Another friend of mine in Seattle had dated a girl for a couple of years and decided he was ready to propose to his girlfriend. They both lived in the same city while they were dating and when they got engaged but they believed they should wait until they were married to live together. He had to move for work about 8 months before the wedding so they had to adjust to a long distance relationship. This proved to be a lot to handle, especially considering the critical stage of their relationship, and they broke off the engagement. After a few months, they did end up reconciling and decided to put the marriage plans on hold for a while. She ended up moving to Seattle and they did move in together while they were dating again.

Personally, through my own experiences and observing the experiences of some of my friends, I think it is a good thing to move in with a girlfriend, but only if you are fairly certain that you will propose to her. You will never know someone the way you do when you live with them in any other way and I believe its good to fully understand the commitment you are making when you propose to someone. Living with them gives you a much clearer picture of what your life together will be like. However, if you are dating a woman and you are not sure where the relationship will go, even if it is a serious relationship, you should probably avoid living together. Also, while its tempting to think about the financial benefits of living together, this should not be considered when making the decision. The bottom line is that there is no right answer for everyone, but hopefully these stories will help others fully think through the consequences and impact of living with a girlfriend before getting married.


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