Shacking Up: Another Perspective
Shacking up or living in sexual intimacy without being married, remains a popular alternative for couples while dating. Some feel living together is the crucial step before making the ultimate commitment, and enjoy the benefits of combining living spaces. For example, frequent access to sex, a boost to savings accounts, discovering new levels of intimacy, and more. In a struggling economy, the option may seem ideal in the fresh stages of the relationship (you know, when nothing your “SugarHoneyIcedTea” does is annoying). Consider the following points when ordering the U-Haul truck:
1. Spending Habits – Viewing first-hand how much is spent on life expenses can alter your perception of a future together. May want to discuss spending that $300 at Whole Foods or Magic City, where before, living alone it never mattered.
2. Personal Space (How much is needed per individual/ how to provide it) – Everyone needs time away from their partner, either spent alone or with friends. Living together teaches how to respect the other’s space and preferred time away.
3. Personal Hygiene (cleanliness, secret idiosyncracies) – Knowing your partner’s cleaning habits, products, and procedures is essential. Essential!
4. Work Ethic/ Responsibility – A lazy streak may weigh heavier if it prevents day-to-day accomplishments, slows hustle for generating more income, or the reason for not paying what’s owed. When couples decide to share responsibilities, not pulling one’s weight can be a huge issue. It’s all fun and games till time to split the Comcast bill.
Once the lust fog settles and a couple becomes comfortable as lovers and roommates, some things become soberingly clear and unavoidable. Not trying to be Cynical-Cindy, but allow me to divulge a personal aside. *Adjusts spotlight for monologue*
Over a year ago, a younger, naive, and delusional version of myself met a man. Immediately enamored, ignoring the world and our better judgement,
we decided I allowed him to move into my spacious apartment. The rationale was quite simple. Economically–it served better to combine our efforts, we were attached like Krazy Glue and wanted to know more about one another. Besides. It was going to be FUN?! Duh. In the midst of our hormone-fueled planning however, I blindly disregarded a major factor, his character. Character, the foundation for most relationships, tells you the most about a person, and is usually revealed before you’ve ever split the cost of groceries. So, if he’s lazy, trifling, un equally yoked and ridiculously loyal to a busted pair of Timbs, (oh, wait. Overshare. Excuse.) you should pick up on that while in the “courting” stage, prior to moving in together. After that relationship crashed and burned (bittersweet subject) I vowed to never be that foolish again, especially without an engagement ring. A personal affirmation as I’m only interested in settling with the ONE, so till further notice I’ll be living alone.
Living together is a serious step that requires careful thought and organization. Cohabitation without horror stories can occur, as some couples approach it like a trial-run for marriage. However, there are no set rules for when or if a couple is ready, nor is it necessary before marriage (contrary to popular belief). Couples are tested in relationships regardless of their address, and people show their true essence if you simply wait and observe. Placing the focus on character, values, and the actions of your chosen should serve better than stressing over designating underwear drawers.