Monday, March 31, 2014

Living Together

I'll confess, I've been a little resistant to blog about this because I have a child who has recently taken this plunge and my husband and I had mixed emotions when this was tee'd up.  I guess I was holding on to the old dogma that the statistics for cohabitating before marriage and divorce were linked and not in a positive light. And quite frankly, I just wasn't psyched about it. I'm a bit old fashioned. But according to the Center for Disease Control, a new report done in 2010, shows otherwise. So....Now that it's been a couple of months, (and we really didn't have much say in this) it's OK. After all, they're adults, they've known each other for a long time, they clearly love each other and they were steadfast in their belief that this was a necessary "next step." Kathy from KCHblog shared a link with me from CNN that offers 19 things to do before you move in together.  She gave me the gentle nudge I needed. (Thanks Kathy).
So what are the reasons to move in together? Is it that different from when we were 20somethings? Has the economy made this more of a "go to" situation than ever before?
If you Google or Bing "living together" a number of sites come up. Take some time and read through them. They trend toward the extreme right as well as to the left. The other interesting thing to note are the dates that the entries were made. 
The bottom-line? The decision to move in together is extremely personal, it shouldn't be taken lightly. As a Mom, ask questions, be sure the couple have really talked honestly about what this means, what kind of commitment it is, because it is a commitment. Money and budget have to be discussed. 
Who's paying for what?
How are expenses being divided?
What are joint purchases? Who "gets" those items if the relationship doesn't work out. (No one wants to talk about this. Tough stuff.)
Communication is key! (That's true in any relationship).
Personally, I think a couple who has a commitment to each other: that they will hang in there through thick and thin, and that the "end game" is marriage and staying together, have a much better chance of "making it." This is hard work, it's not easy and it should be recognized that this isn't marriage. Until you're actually married, you don't really understand that. But we all know couples that tried "the living together thing," found out it wasn't "meant to be" and split. And then of course, there's divorce.  But we do know couples that did live together, got married and are still married and are now advising their twenty somethings on this! There's no right or wrong answer.
The 19 items listed by CNN are interesting springboards for conversation.

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