Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“When Should You Move in with a Significant Other?”

This is an old one from the forums, but I thought it was worth re-visiting and discussing, especially since many of you may have missed it the first time and it’s an issue a lot of people face eventually.

Moving

When do you think is a reasonable time to start discussing moving in with your SO? I’d love to hear some people’s personal stories about moving in with their boyfriend/girlfriend if you’re willing to share. Did you feel like it was too fast/ not fast enough? Did the relationship lead to marriage? At this point I’ve lived with a few SOs and it hasn’t worked out for one reason or another. I don’t think the amount of time we waited before moving made much of a difference necessarily. I’m in a relationship right now that has been amazingly easy and wonderful right from the start. I’m looking for something that lasts, and I don’t want to ruin it by rushing anything. However, we spend every night together at each others places, and I’m starting to get a little worn out with the going back and forth and I think he is too. I feel like we’ll inevitably have a conversation about moving in together at some point. How long do you think people should date before they move in together? — To Move or Not to Move

There isn’t really a universal time frame for moving in together that works for every relationship, but in general, if you’re even thinking about moving in with someone before you know the answers to these five following questions, you’re moving too fast:

1. Does s/he see a future with you?

2. Does s/he want children?

3. What are his finances like and how does he handle money?

4. Does s/he anticipate moving to a new town in the next three years?

5. Has s/he lived with a partner before and if so, why did the relationship end?

You say that you have lived with several SOs, which indicates to me that you either move quickly or don’t see cohabitation as a step necessarily toward a longterm commitment but as a step toward convenience. The fact that the only reason you cite for wanting to move in with your current SO is that you are worn out from traveling between your two apartments certainly suggests the latter may be the case. And convenience just isn’t a good enough reason to move in with someone.

As many of us know, breaking up is hard. It’s exponentially harder when you share a living space with the person you’re ending a relationship with. Breaking a lease — or waiting until the end of one even though you’re so ready to move on — dividing belongings (and even pets), and untangling your integrated lives, all add salt to the open wound of a broken heart. Why risk putting yourself through that if you aren’t at least committed to the idea of spending you future with someone? Why move in with someone without feeling strongly you’ll still be together in five years? Because you’re tired of forgetting your shampoo at your apartment? Buy another bottle to keep at his! In fact, buy a separate set of everything you need to feel comfortable and put-together to keep at your partner’s place because that’s cheaper and easier than moving out of a home you share with someone you’ve fallen out of love with.

I speak from experience. When I was 24 I moved in with a boyfriend. We hadn’t discussed marriage. We hadn’t even discussed the next year. But we liked each other — on some level we even loved each other (we said we did, anyway, and I think we believed we did) — and we both wanted a fresh start in a new town. I picked Chicago and he decided to come along for the ride. Financially — and emotionally — it just made sense to share a place together. We didn’t move in together because it was the natural progression of our relationship or because we imagined a future together and wanted to test the waters of co-habitation. We moved in together because it was convenient. And that is a big reason why I stayed in a dead-end relationship about two years longer than I should have. It was just too inconvenient to break up. We shared furniture together! He helped with the bills! I’d gotten used to his financial support.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t move in with someone just because you’re already spending every night together anyway. Don’t move in together just because your lease is up and you figure if you pooled your money, you could get a much better apartment than either of you has now. Don’t move in together just because you need someone to help with the bills and you’re at the age where you’re starting to feel funny about having a roommate. These aren’t good enough reasons.

Move in with someone because you want to grow old together and sharing a home is a big step toward that. Move in together because you want to practice living in the same space before you get married. Move in with your partner because you want to share as much of your lives together as possible and you want to create a home that reflects who you are as a couple. But before you move in together — even for these solid reasons — make sure you do these 15 things first. They may potentially save you a lot of heartache … and packing tape.
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225 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 9:11 am

    Love this advice, Wendy. I don’t know any couples who have move in together for convenience/to save money that have stayed together long term. Sometimes it’s worth putting up with inconvenience to do what is right for your relationship. And if you are really getting tired of going back and forth, don’t see each other every night. I know that’s not an ideal situation but it helps with your day to day commute. My BF lives 30 mins from me and we see each other once during the week and then stay together at one persons place all week. We keep bathroom essentials at each others house so the packing is minimal. Or you could switch on/off weeks.

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    • avatar

      Christy June 20, 2013, 9:12 am

      As someone who switched day-by-day and now switches on a more weekly basis, the switching weeks is really not burdensome. It’s especially nice having an incentive to finish the dishes and do the laundry before you leave for the week.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 9:18 am

        I HATED with a fiery passion the switching, but it made way more sense then rushing into living together!

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 9:23 am

        I once lived with a boyfriend who refused to switch with me at all. That should have been a huge red flag to me about how selfish he was.

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      • avatar

        applescruffs June 20, 2013, 10:40 am

        Me too! I think I can count on one hand the number of times he stayed over. At first his place was so much nicer and more convenient to everything I didn’t mind, at least not too much, but then I moved closer and he still didn’t want to stay over…jackass.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 10:42 am

        Assholes! It sucks being the only one living out of a duffel bag constantly. (Because of course he wouldn’t give me a drawer or closet space at his house.)

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      • avatar

        applescruffs June 20, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Oh no, that wouldn’t be ok. God forbid you feel at home at the place you stay at every weekend.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Correction: Almost every single day.

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      • avatar

        applescruffs June 20, 2013, 10:41 am

        Oh oh! And I have a dog who he didn’t want to stay at his house. SUPER convenient. Double jackass.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 3:59 pm

        Yikes, that IS really inconvenient.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl June 20, 2013, 9:14 am

    I might be a little different than most, but I didn’t move in with my SO until we were engaged. Part of that was logistics, but I wanted to be completely committed before we took that step. I had a few friends in college that leaped into moving in with the BFs and GFs and ended up miserable mainly because they had not worked out an exit strategy so were stuck (in one case, she was living in a one bedroom apartment with her ex and neither of them had enough money to break the lease). In my mind, there is no formulaic timeline for moving in together. I think it needs to be organic and happen when you realize that beyond dating this is the person you want to spend the rest of life with.

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    • avatar

      csp June 20, 2013, 9:38 am

      I didn’t live with my husband until we were married. On our honeymoon, we met all these couples and we were the only ones not living together. I believe I had a shorter dating period because of that.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. June 20, 2013, 11:55 am

      I have never lived with anyone (except roommates) but I have decided for myself that this is what I would do.

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    • avatar

      MissDre June 20, 2013, 11:56 am

      I feel the same way, but I find a lot of people disagree with me. My boyfriend and I have been together 3 years now and are discussing buying a house next year, but I definitely want to be engaged before we take that step. I agree with you wanting to be completely committed, and that’s what an engagement means to me.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 11:58 am

      we’re the same way. We’re definitely moving in together by next spring due to jobs, but we’ve agreed on engagement by then.

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      • avatar

        Christy June 20, 2013, 12:48 pm

        Your job too? Details!

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    • avatar

      Riefer June 20, 2013, 12:48 pm

      Same thing here. Especially since I owned my own condo. He asked me to move in about a year before we got engaged, and I said no. What am I going to do, sell my condo and move in with him? And then I’d have to pay him “rent”, instead of putting equity into my own home. Doesn’t make sense. Even if I hadn’t had the condo though, I wouldn’t have moved in until we were engaged. It’s the only way to know for sure that you’re both on the same page. And I don’t mean engaged like “we’ll get married eventually”. I mean engaged like we’re in the middle of wedding planning and it is for sure happening within the year.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 9:15 am

    “We didn’t move in together because it was the natural progression of our relationship or because we imagined a future together and wanted to test the waters of co-habitation. We moved in together because it was convenient.”

    So so so many people do this, and IMO it is a TERRIBLE idea. I personally wanted to wait until we where engaged to live together, but due to some seriously shady stuff at my apartment complex we ended up moving in about 4 months before we got engaged. It obviously worked out, but I’m glad we waiting until over 4 years into our relationship to take that step.

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  • avatar

    csp June 20, 2013, 9:15 am

    LW – two things I would say. If you don’t feel comfortable getting into the nitty gritty of finances (student loan debt, cc debt, how much they make) then you aren’t ready. Honestly, Really have the marriage conversation. I have had many, many girlfriends who moved in with their boyfriends as a step towards marriage and if anything, is slowed the process way down. These women thought they were sold a bad bag of goods. It bread resentment and only two ended up getting married.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 9:22 am

      I think the issue is that a lot of women assume moving in with their boyfriend means he is taking the next step towards marriage, but the men don’t think that way at all. Or they may even think of it as a convenient way of slowing down marriage talks (which is cowardly, if you aren’t ready just say so). People just need to discuss what moving in together means before they do it.

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      • avatar

        csp June 20, 2013, 9:36 am

        you are absolutely right. There is so much miscommunication about moving in together. I am not saying don’t do it but make sure that you do it with your eyes wide open.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 20, 2013, 9:37 am

        Yes. Totally agree.

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  • avatar

    TECH June 20, 2013, 9:17 am

    It’s funny, I used to be of the opinion that people should wait a long time before they move in together. Now, I think it has more to do with life experience and making sure you are on the same page in terms of goals. I know people who moved in rather quickly and are married now. I know others who waited a long time to move in together, and are broken up.

    If you are serious about wanting to get married, I would never move in with a guy unless I felt sure we both wanted to get engaged soon. Otherwise, you are opening yourself up to too much risk and heartbreak. Many women see moving in together as a step towards marriage. Some men don’t. That might sound like a sexist comment, but it’s one I’ve observed time and again.

    Lastly, be sure to protect your financial assets. Have a contingency plan if you have to break your lease. If one of you owns property, talk about whether your money would go towards paying the others mortgage, and how comfortable you are with that.

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    • avatar

      Morgan June 20, 2013, 11:20 am

      I think it’s a better (and less problematic) generalization to say don’t move in together unless you both have the same time frame for getting engaged ( if you’re someone who wants to get married or can get married, of course). For example, I live with my boyfriend, but neither of us see engagement on the immediate horizon because of the uncertainty of grad school and where were even going to be next year. Once we figure that out, then we’ll have a better sense of where getting married fits. But it probably will be 3 to 4 years realistically. And that’s fine, we’re both still pretty young.

      I think the point was that while I wouldn’t say don’t move in unless you are close to being engaged I would say don’t move in unless you have talked timeline and are on the same page.

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  • avatar

    ktfran June 20, 2013, 9:19 am

    I haven’t read any of the response yet, including Wendy’s. But for me, personally, I wouldn’t move in with someone unless I knew we were on the same page about our future, i.e., we want to spend the rest of our lives together. That doesn’t mean I need to be engaged, it means we have had honest conversations about the current us and the future us and we want the same things from each other. I also, personally, think it’s a horrible idea to move in with someone out of convenience, which is something I think you’ve been doing LW. I understand it may work out for some, but I don’t think it’s the case for a lot.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 20, 2013, 9:26 am

      Ok, so Wendy’s response was perfect, as usual.

      Also, I have lived with one boyfriend. Well, fiancé. We waited until we were engaged to live together and I still ended up not marrying him. But that’s a whole different set of problems.

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  • Copa

    Copa June 20, 2013, 9:33 am

    Having made a similar mistake to Wendy when I was 23, I think her advice is great. I don’t think my now-ex and I *thought* we were JUST moving in together to make things more convenient for us — we’d been together for a couple years! we were in love! and had recently adopted a kitten! and were Talking Marriage! — but in hindsight, convenience was all it really was. He moved out of his place and into my (small) apartment and, since we hadn’t really discussed anything practical, it slowly became a nightmare. After about a year, we’d started fighting more, communicating less, I started to feel like he was mooching, etc. I spent a lot of 24 trying to make a relationship work that just wasn’t working. Then we broke up, and it sucked (it was my first big break up AND my first big breakup from a live-in relationship all at once and HOLY CRAP I was a mess), and it dragged out, and we fought about the dumbest stuff ever, like what we should do with the TV from the living room.

    I don’t think we broke up BECAUSE we lived together, but I do think living together made things more difficult to end and more difficult emotionally. I truly look back on that relationship, which ended not even 2 years ago, and think we were a couple of idiot kids. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way — like that “practically living together” and “actually living together” are REALLY different even though they don’t SEEM *too* different — which I’m glad for in an odd way. I’d live with someone again, but now know I’ll never move in with anyone again without discussing things. My advice to you would be to do the same. I don’t think there is any rule for how long you need together before having this discussion — though I think somewhere between 1.5 and 2 years would be the earliest *I’d* do it — but I think having a real conversation about it is necessary.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 20, 2013, 9:35 am

    “We didn’t move in together because it was the natural progression of our relationship or because we imagined a future together and wanted to test the waters of co-habitation. We moved in together because it was convenient.”

    Yeah, I’m with Wendy and everyone else, that the statement above is a horrible reason to move in together. When my husband and I met we lived in the same city, but at opposite sides, and with traffic it could take 45 minutes to drive to eachother’s places. It was super inconvenient. I had a roommate situation about 9 months in, and could have easily justified moving in with him because I needed to get out of my place ASAP, and it would have been soooo much easier. But I didn’t. I got my own place (4 blocks away from him), and we took our time. We eventually discussed moving in about a year before we actually did it, and with the stipulation that we were working towards marriage.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle June 20, 2013, 9:35 am

    I didn’t live with anyone until I got married. We got married on a Saturday and the day after the honeymoon was over we hired a moving truck to move my stuff. Been 7 months and we recently bought another house together and it couldn’t be better!

    He and I lived 45 minutes from each other for the 2.5 years we were together before we got married.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 20, 2013, 9:42 am

    I’ve been with my S/O for about 3 and a half years now, & we’re only talking about finally living together now (we both live with our parents still, about 10 minutes away from each other). To be honest, we would have loved to move in sooner, but he got fired the first year we were dating, wrecked his car the day before I graduated college, then we were both out of work for the summer, then I got *this* job but wrecked ~my~ car, then he finally got a job but had no money saved, & the job was 40 minutes north of where we live & I work…so…yeah. Moving in together became NOT a smart option, nor convenient. And now he’s afraid he’ll get fired from this job right before getting tenure (like they did to him last time) so I think he’s hesitating to make any financial commitments. And I was hoping to get a more “Real” job before making the financial commitment of paying 1000s of dollars in rent per month? And we also need to figure out a budget & finances, but I have no idea how (I’m fairly good at managing my own money, but I feel like the budget would be more for his sake because he’s bad at budgeting by ear or whatever you wanna call it)

    UM sorry, I just made this all about me & my problems. The good thing is we’re both on the same page about how committed we are to EACH OTHER, I guess (also thanks Wendy, for linking to the 15 Things, I need to read that right now…)

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 20, 2013, 9:45 am

      Also, after hearing from people here about how nice it was living by themselves…I almost want to do that before moving in with him?? I would love having my own place, to decorate, & come home to NOBODY, but I hate sleeping alone at night & I like having my boyfriend around. Can I poll you all on how important you think it is to have a “living on your own time” before moving in with a S/O?

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      • avatar

        bethany June 20, 2013, 9:52 am

        Totally different for everyone. It was very necessary for me, and I loved every single second of living alone. But some people hate it, so…. I think only you know if it’s something you need to do.

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      • avatar

        Christy June 20, 2013, 9:54 am

        Well, if I’m recalling your story right, you’ve not lived out of your parents’ house since you graduated, right? I think the roommate stage is a pretty shitty one, honestly. Going from having roommates to having my own place has been great, even if I still haven’t spent a night alone.

        Honestly, I’m doing a lot of thinking and not a lot of typing, and I think that having your own apartment is kinda hard at first. You have to furnish it, feed yourself, and remember to pay all your bills. And like, that would be a big transition to make first-time with a partner. It would be hard in a way that wouldn’t be 100% necessary. Does that make sense?

        ETA: I love living alone, and I’m glad I’m doing it before officially living with anyone. My mom always emphasized the importance of it, because she never got to (she’s never ever lived alone) and she really laments that. So that probably impacts how I feel.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 20, 2013, 9:57 am

        My cousin moved in with her significant other after living with her college roommate for nearly 10 years. She doesn’t fill likes she’s missing out on not living by herself.

        I really, really like living by myself, but I honestly don’t know if it’s something you NEED to do. I mean, my mom has never done it, but she does like the occasional fishing or hunting trips my dad takes.

        Sorry, this doesn’t help much.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 9:58 am

        Hmm yeah, I was just kinda wondering because I never thought I would go straight from my parents’ house, right into living with a boyfriend? But life works differently than you imagine, I guess? Sorry to hijack this today, but all of this shit has been on my mind lately.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 10:00 am

        I flipping HATED living alone. I don’t think I “learned” anything living alone, other than that I don’t like it. I also don’t see a big value in living with roommates- the roommate and you dynamic is so different from significant other and you, I don’t think a lot of “skills” or anything are learned.

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      • avatar

        Christy June 20, 2013, 10:21 am

        I think you learn something about interacting with other adults as adults, and how to fulfill responsibilities like paying rent on time, and maintaining a certain level of cleanliness, and some measure of compromise.

        I think there’s a lot you learn, but that often, the biggest lesson is “I don’t want to live with roommates.”

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 10:32 am

        It’s definitely possible to have that experience, but I didn’t at all. I already was responsible enough to pay bills on time, wash my dishes, not have sex on the common living room couch when all the roommates are home- and both of my roommates where not. So, sure you CAN learn those lessons, but it’s not a guarantee. I’ve learned a lot more about communication living with my now husband than I did with the roommates.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:31 pm

        I could never live with roommates. Thank god I don’t have to. My 2 “roommates” (aka family) are too much as it is! haha

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      • Copa

        Copa June 20, 2013, 10:39 am

        I think the thing I needed to know, that I could only really, truly figure out living alone, is that I could support myself on what I make. I don’t know if that’s considered a skill, but to me that lesson has been very valuable. My pay is fine — not awful, not great — but I had a lot of bills that were really easy to pay when I lived at home for 1.5-ish years between graduating from school and moving back out. I planned as best as I could before actually moving out (and waited as long as I did because I knew for a little while it wasn’t the most realistic plan), but I still needed to know that I could support myself 100% because I think that’s something everyone should know how to do (and be confident that they can do it).

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 10:45 am

        yeh this was my reasoning for living alone, even though its more expensive than roommates.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 20, 2013, 10:14 am

        I loved living alone for the first 1.5 years of grad school. LOVED. I’ve been living alone for ~6 months now and like it less. In school, I never felt loney cause I always had work to do or someone to see or a boyfriend to spent the night. Now, in my mid-20s, I find it lonelier; I see my friends less frequently than when I was in school (not to mention my friends have mostly run from my state because of the economy) and my day-to-day is very routine: leave for work at 7:45, home a little after 6, dinner, gym, sleep, repeat. I see my boyfriend once a week and on weekends (sometimes less if one of us has other weekend plans, like a trip or something). I don’t hate it enough to seriously consider roommates again (I’ve NON-seriously considered it, though), at least not with a stranger. One of my best friends just graduated from grad school and if she finds a job locally we’ve tossed the idea of living together out there, but she still has no idea where she’ll be. So, yeah. I don’t LOVE it anymore. But I think it’s worthwhile.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 10:24 am

        i think my experience was kind of tainted, but the only time i lived by myself was in a tiny prison cell of a studio apartment in a city i had never even visited before on my externship in pastry school. i hated it. coming home to an empty house is not all its cracked up to be. i hate it now, actually, because jake works nights so i always come home to an empty house. i mean i have my cats, but they cant talk back, you know?

        although i guess that was the summer i discovered wendy because i was on my computer for hours and hours on end, so it wasnt all bad?

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 10:39 am

        I knew I would hate living alone, and I didn’t feel any sort of burning need to have my own place to decorate. I went straight from a college roommate to my then-fiancé even after long-distance. It couldn’t have been a better choice for us. It would have been an absolute waste of resources to live separately when neither of us wanted to. It could certainly be important for some people, but I don’t think it’s a blanket rule for everyone.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 10:45 am

        i cant even decorate the place i have now…. so…

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 10:43 am

      I don’t mind living alone and I wanted to live alone to know that I could support myself, by myself. So if something ever happens in the future where I’m alone again I’ll know that I can do it without doubting myself. That being said, living alone is more expensive than living with others. With roommates or a SO you split rent and utility bills. So maybe you would have a $45 bill for internet/cable. When you live alone that can be over $100/month for internet and cable. You have no one to talk to when you get home besides your pet (if you have one). If you don’t feel like you need or want to do it then it’s not a necessary stepping stone to life. I have friend who I know will never live alone, and that’s what works for them.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 11:12 am

        Replying here ’cause it’s toward the end, but thanks to all of you for responding. I think I just don’t want to feel as though I’m “missing out” on anything, but knowing myself, I often have these ideas about what I “should” be doing & sometimes I don’t even consider what I’d actually ~prefer~ to be doing/or what makes more sense (if any of that even makes sense…)?

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 12:03 pm

        totally makes sense! Just do what you want to do or what works for your specific life.

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy_84 June 20, 2013, 2:18 pm

        I wouldn’t say you need to live on your own, but it is nice to know that you can. That you can take care of yourself, pay your bills, run your household on your own. And you learn your tolerances for messiness when you’re not accommodating anyone else’s preferences. But I’ve lived alone for the past 5 years and love it….not everyone does.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:32 pm

        If its possible financially, I think living alone is the best. I miss it. Its so funny how some people hate it. Can’t relate.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:49 pm

        I also think it is good for everyone to do that for a little bit at least. People should know that they can handle being alone. I think that’s very important and if people don’t learn that, they tend to glue themselves to the first suitable person just so they don’t ever have to be alone.

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  • avatar

    rachel June 20, 2013, 9:57 am

    Ross and I moved in together after about a year, because it generally seemed like a good idea. The funny thing is, we didn’t have any idea whether our relationship would last more than a couple of years, because we both would be finishing up our phds and moving who knows where. We knew that we had something great, and that we would enjoy living together for the time we had left in Colorado. It just turned out it was great enough to keep going after the moving. Man I miss living with him.

    I did live with one other boyfriend, my ex from college that I’ve talked about a bit on here. That was a bad idea because I think it kept us together longer than we should have stayed together, because we convinced ourselves that we worked when we didn’t. Luckily when we broke up, he was out of town, and stayed there, so I just had to send him his stuff and I got to keep the cat.

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  • avatar

    TheTruth June 20, 2013, 9:58 am

    I actually just read a study related to this. Apparently, moving in together before marriage results in a higher divorce rate, except for when the partners have already decided to get engaged.

    Of course given modern society this might be unrealistic. My advice would be to not move in together until both parties feel that the relationship is going to be long term.

    I suspect most people can tell pretty early on in a relationship what its potential is. If in doubt that it will last, then do not move in together.

    (Sort of proud that I didn’t use any snark at all in this comment)

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 10:09 am

      This article has some pretty interesting numbers

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/04/news/la-heb-more-americans-living-together-before-getting-married-20130404

      -For 40% of the women surveyed between 2006 and 2010, these live-in relationships led to marriages
      -The women in the most recent survey averaged 22 months for their first stint at living together (after which they either got married or broke up).
      -Among the women, 48% told interviewers that they were living with their significant other but were not married to them.
      -Women living with their significant others are also more likely to get pregnant now than in years past

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    • avatar

      Kate June 20, 2013, 11:14 am

      @TheTruth: I think their hypothesis for why couples who lived together have a higher divorce rate was something like, when people move in together without a clear sense that this is who they want to be with, meaning they moved in for reasons other than that they’re sure they’re making a long-term commitment leading to marriage, they are more likely to end up getting married out of inertia… Like, here we are living together, it makes sense to just get married, that seems like the right thing as opposed to breaking up and splitting everything. So because they kind of fell into marriage as a result of living together, rather than being committed to marriage before moving in, they’re more likely to divorce.

      Sorry if someone already mentioned this! I think it goes along with what Wendy said in her response, about why NOT to move in for reasons other than that you know you want to be with the person.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 11:35 am

        yea, i agree with that, and also because of the pressure to get married, and especially the pressure if you are living together but your family doesnt believe that is right. i think that we will see in subsequent generations this trend be reversed, because the overall marriage rate is going down, and thoughts about marriage being the be all end all to life is changing. and, i dont think that my generation will be the one to push/shame marriage on their kids, so this will happen less and less.

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    Miss MJ June 20, 2013, 10:00 am

    This may be atypical. Mr. MJ and I moved in together after about a year, and it was completely due to convenience: we were both moving to a new city to go to law school, why not just move in together, since we’d be together anyway and we’d need roommates and who wants to live with someone random? We got a two bedroom place and both put out names on the lease, even though he moved about 6 months before me (I had an extra semester of school). We hadn’t talked about getting married, blending finances or any of it; we were really just treating like you would treat any roommate relationship when it came to the technical stuff: names on the lease, evenly split rent and bills and groceries, etc. We were just roommates who were dating. That was 13 years ago. We got engaged after law school (so 3 years) and married 18 months after that (had to save to pay for wedding). Point being, I wouldn’t necessarily say don’t live together because it’s convenient/cheaper/makes sense. But, if you do, be sure to treat the details like you would any other roommate relationship. Not every relationship lasts forever and it’s okay to live with someone you don’t immediately see yourself marrying, if you both understand that’s what you’re doing. I think the problems may crop up when one half of the relationship thinks living together automatically leads to getting married. Like everything else, communication is key.

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      Eagle Eye June 20, 2013, 10:09 am

      I think that we posted at the same time, lol, good to know things worked out for you in the long run!

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    Eagle Eye June 20, 2013, 10:08 am

    Um, erp, well, um, my boyfriend and I definitely moved in together for the sake of convenience, which, for the record, it did make a ton of sense for convenience reasons to move in together…we also did not discuss anything before doing so and just kinda took the leap (1 year into our relationship, 4 or 5 months of which had been Asia – US long distance)… 3 years later we’re still going strong and I love him to bits…but maybe we’re the exception? Not the rule?

    When discussing it with my parents recently, it turns out they moved in together before marriage for similar reasons to my bf and I, and they’ve been together for something like 33 years and married for 30 of them. So, maybe it just runs in the family?

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    Sara June 20, 2013, 10:16 am

    My husband and I didn’t live together until we were married (super traditional, I know). Moving in together was a really fun and safe time for us since we knew we were super-committed and had the support of all our friends and family. It’s possible to have all this commitment and support without marriage, but, for me, I really appreciated how “official” our commitment was/is.

    After two years of marriage, we moved to different states for jobs. We each got a one bedroom apartment, and visited each location once a month. Now my contract ended, and I’m living in “his” one bedroom apartment for the summer until we move. All my stuff is in storage. The kitchen doesn’t have my favorite pan, my slow-cooker, or even my apple slicer (changed my life!). It feels really unbalanced. Everything feels like “his.” It’s not fun. I mean, it’s not terrible, but it’s not the best, either.

    So, in conclusion, my advice is two-fold: (1) make sure you feel committed to each other and supported by your community and (2) make sure you have enough space and make sure that the place feels like it is truly home to both of you– not like you are on a really long “switch week.” Because, as others have noted, switching can get old.

    Good luck!

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    Sunshine Brite June 20, 2013, 10:17 am

    I admit I was quite hesitant and am glad it’s all worked out with Wyatt and I. His lease was up a little too soon for comfort and I’m not able to float my apartment myself and still eat so it was some level of convenience. But at the same time we’d talked marriage and were on a path where living together at a similar time to when we did would make sense.

    Right now we’re engaged with a wedding in less than a year and we found a nice smaller apartment to make ours rather than one where we didn’t mix our things as well since I had a roommate previous to him moving in. Plus it’s $200 cheaper per month to save for a house.

    Plus, he gave me an out and just about stopped the move-in process since I’d never lived alone. I’d lived with roommates while I was out of college, but I heard that that was different. I think I would’ve liked to live alone, but this was the right path for me in the long run.

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  • katie

    katie June 20, 2013, 10:19 am

    ok, so i guess maybe im in the minority, but i dont think that moving in together out of convenience is a huge sin… but the caveat is that you both have to understand what you are getting into and with what intentions. and that should be applied to any situation of potentially moving in together. if, like a few people said above, the woman thinks this is leading towards marriage, that should be a known fact. if the man doesnt, that also should be a known fact. if its all for convenience, let that be known too, ect. i think that if you are just honest and upfront about your expectations, wants, needs, ect, it still can work out even if you arent headed for marriage-ville.

    jake and i moved in together after we graduated college. we both had decided that we didnt want to continue at the college we were at, him because of money, me because i wanted a different career path, and so we decided to find work together near somewhere i could go to college. we didnt really take moving in as a step towards anything, it was more out of convenience, i guess, but more it was about we both had the same plan going forward and it just kind of worked. we also were pretty gung-ho about getting married then, i guess, but then after we moved in together we both really put the brakes on that, lol.

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      Eagle Eye June 20, 2013, 10:26 am

      Yeah, we had a similar logical structure, different reasons but moving in together just made sense at the time…so we did.

      We are pretty open to talking about our relationship and where its headed, we probably discuss it, organically, at least 1x to 2x a year, and we’ve figured out the financial stuff as we go. We’re so broke though, it almost doesn’t really matter…

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 10:31 am

        ha, me too! we discuss it organically, and figured out the finances as we go.. haha

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      GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 10:47 am

      I don’t think it’s a HUGE sin or anything, but I think both people need to go into the living together situation with their eyes wide open. And unfortunately I think that’s where the issues, like always, come up- the lack of communication that happens before most people move in together. You guys laid it out there, knew you where moving in for the convenience and that matched both of y’alls morals/ideals. I know for me, moving in was a definitive step towards marriage (which I communicated to GatorGuy and he believed the same thing). So, neither is right or wrong but both people have to be super clear about their expectations BEFORE moving in.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 10:51 am

        yea, i mean, thats the first rule to be successful at relationships, right? just put stuff out there and be honest. thats how FWBs can work nicely, how marriage timelines work for both people, how open relationships can be fulfilling- everything.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 10:56 am

        Yeah, it’s the first rule of any relationship (romantic or otherwise) but time and time again people manage to screw it up!

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        Eagle Eye June 20, 2013, 10:57 am

        Yes, I think that’s very true, I also think that when you deviate from the norm you just need to talk more about stuff…just since you won’t have that ‘tradition’ for you to fall back on.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 20, 2013, 11:05 am

      Good points. I think people also have to realize that while the living arrangement may be convenient, the potential breakup would be much less convenient. And hopefully keep in mind that that inconvenience shouldn’t dictate how long the relationship lasts.

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      lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 11:25 am

      I think they key both parties knowing the other’s intentions. So long as both are ok with the idea of only doing it out of convenience, and that it doesn’t mean you are on the marriage track, I don’t see much wrong with it either. I mean, its really no different than having just a roommate I guess.

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    RunsWithScissors June 20, 2013, 10:25 am

    My ex husband and I dated for 5 years before we moved in together. Clearly, that didn’t end well.

    I lived with roommates for a year after we broke up, then by myself for a few years. I met my current husband a few years after my divorce, and we moved in together after about 2 weeks. It was quite a whirlwind, but where living with my first husband was out of convenience (before we were married), it was different with my current husband. It was just…I don’t know. Right? That hardly seems to encompass it. That was 4 years ago, and I’m as happy today as I was then. I think I knew more about myself, what I wanted, and what was right for me at 30 than at 18.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie June 20, 2013, 9:27 am

    We moved in together about a week into the relationship having known each other for 12 years. That went on for 8 years while I struggled to repair my finances. One New Years day I said “Ya want to get married this year” She replied “Sure, why not”. It was romantic as all get out and this Aug. we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary. Whatever works for you is just that.

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    mmcg June 20, 2013, 10:40 am

    I think Wendy is right on. I just want to add that if you’re on the fence its probably not a good idea. If you and your partner are on the same page about the future, etc I would still recommend a tester phase if at all feasible. my now husband and I lived together for a summer – we were long distance and getting very serious and wanted to see how things might work with us in the same place. the key being that it was time limited for a few months… so our finances, etc never got joined and there wasnt the pressure of staying in a bad relationship because we still had our own place. Its an option and I found it to be very illuminating!

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    GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 11:01 am

    Has anyone had to deal with parents having strong opinions about this? Like my in-laws firmly believe you shouldn’t even spend the night in the same room before being married and my parents firmly believe you should live together before getting married.

    We where SUPER nervous to tell GatorGuy’s parents we where moving in together. I almost cried I was so nervous. They where pretty mature about it actually and MIL even joked that she was thankful what we had to tell them wasn’t that I was pregnant!

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    • katie

      katie June 20, 2013, 11:03 am

      haha, this doesnt answer your question, but when i bought my new car i went to surprise my mom and sister, and my mom totally thought i was pregnant. god that was so awkward.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 11:07 am

        So, since you had an unconventional upbringing are your parents cool with your living together? Just out of curiosity- you don’t have to answer.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 11:22 am

        well, my upbringing was because of my dad, and he is actually way traditional, but like, so far in that direction we werent “allowed” to date men of minorities, he and his friends always talked about “finding” me a husband, ect. my mom, on the other hand, is just such a hippie she doesnt give a shit about anything as long as you are happy.

        i think that by now my dad has understood that i do what i want and i dont believe what he does, so he just keeps his opinions mostly to himself and definitely doesnt try to impose rules on me- that 100% backfired when i was younger. i think he just gets it better, now. so no, he never said anything about us moving in together when we did (and he did support us in the way of giving us lots of stuff he had been “saving” for me- pots and pans and stuff), but what he DOES do is call jake my husband, my “betrothed” (gross), talks about our “martial home” and shit like that because to him, i guess, we are married already.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 11:24 am

        Wow, your parents sound like polar opposites. Interesting.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 11:33 am

        Wow. That’s interesting. Also interesting he calls Jake your husband now. GatorGuy’s parents are super traditional as well and HAD to have that legal document signed before they would consider our relationship “legit”.

        Betrothed is a gross word.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 11:39 am

        well, i think its a similar thought process, but my dad goes by the old testament “knowing”/sex = marriage. so if your having sex you are married in the eyes of god, or whatever.

        i do always correct him, though. i mean, we are not married yet, and by choice. jake is not my husband yet, that is a fact. but, i guess too, my dad goes by religious marriage vs. legal marriage- my mom and my dad were never actually legally married, and my dad has performed marriage ceremonies that would not be considered legal because he doesnt have whatever licensing you need, obviously.

        and yes, betrothed is gross.

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      lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 11:09 am

      My mom is anti-living together before marriage. She never commented on me doing it though, but she did with my other sister (who lived with 2 boyfriends so far) and my brother when he told her he might (he never ended up living with his gf though). She minds her own business about me, but she doesn’t allow my siblings to share a bed with their partner in her house when they visit…so they just stay at my house, haha.

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    • Miel

      Miel June 20, 2013, 11:14 am

      The first time I visited my boyfriend, we spent some days at his dad’s place, and obviously in the same bed. The dad was fine with it. When my boyfriend visited me at my parent’s place, I sat them down and said “he is sleeping in my bed” because that was the only acceptable option for me (and I would have paid for a hotel room if they hadn’t agree).

      And then like… a year later ? My boyfriend’s mom (who is divorced from his dad) asked if we were sleeping in the same room when we visited each other… She was 100% sure we weren’t. We all wondered on which planet she was living.

      My boyfriend and I slept in the same bed before even having our first kiss. (Thanks malfunctioning hotel reservation system).

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        Christy June 20, 2013, 12:53 pm

        Gf and I slept on the same couch, and then a few times in the same bed, before even having our first kiss. This was thanks to collective chickenshittedness.

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      bethany June 20, 2013, 11:27 am

      I was really nervous about telling my parents, because they’re religious, and my brother waited to move in with his wife until they were married. BUT- a bunch of my mom’s friend’s kids had kids out of wedlock/lived with eachother, so I figured she’s get over it. I told my parents over Christmas that we were planning on moving in at the end of the summer. In my mind, I thought that if they knew that we were planning that far ahead they would have more time to get used to the idea. I also told them that we had discussed getting engaged within 2 years of moving in. I was also in my late 20’s at that point and had been financially independent for a long time, so really, how upset could they be?

      They took it way better than I expected.

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        bethany June 20, 2013, 11:30 am

        Oh, and before we were married we slept in separate rooms at my parent’s house. I can’t remember if we did when we were engaged. Frankly, I didn’t mind at all. I love having a bed to myself! It’s like a mini vacation.

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    • Copa

      Copa June 20, 2013, 12:04 pm

      My parents do not mind boyrfriends spending the night, but do not allow me to spend the night in the same room with a boyfriend, even in my mid-20s. I don’t really mind, cause their house/their rules. It’s not a huge deal since I no longer live with them. Plus, they’re both so traditional/religious (dad)/don’t discuss things like sex/relationships EVER, so I think I’d honestly feel way more awkward sharing a room/bed with a boyfriend/fiance in their home than being in separate rooms. I think I’ll even feel awkward if/once I get married, honestly.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee June 20, 2013, 12:15 pm

      Yes, my husbands parents were super traditional, so much so that his older sister lied about sleeping in different bedrooms when she lived with her fiance for two years! I mean, really? What parents would believe that? They didn’t take it as hard as I thought, but their first visit to come see us was super awkward. His mom just assumed I slept in the guest room and kept apologizing for being in my way all week. Finally, I had to tell her that my clothes are just in that room because I have too many and I have never slept in there. Cue awkward silence. lol

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  • Miel

    Miel June 20, 2013, 11:08 am

    Reading this thread just made a big ball of emotion grew in my stomach. My boyfriend of two years and I are playing house this summer for a full month. He just moved in this new city like… last week, began working at his first job this Monday, and my summer is free so I decided to come live here for a month, to help him with moving and spend time with him.

    We are usually a very-long distance couple so we are used to spend 1-2 weeks together at a time, in complete proximity, but the living arrangement is just SO DIFFERENT. I feel like I just understood what everybody has said about living with their partner, because now I have a taste of what they say. It’s been what…. four days of us living together ? and already, we had to make adjustment, because we were spending less quality time together than normally (and “normally” means 3000 miles apart).

    I’m just so glad we are in a committed relationship and that we decided to “test the waters” for a month. I’ll be moving in my own apartment (two states away) at the end of the summer, but at least, the living together part will have been tested. I think if we didn’t love each other and saw a future for us we would have broken up after one week in the same house. This is not similar to “go on a vacation together” or “spend every night together”. I don’t know how people did that just for convenience, it would have never worked out for us.

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      MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:59 pm

      It can be so challenging to go from LDR to living together, even for a short period of time… for me it was the realization that every time I saw my now-husband it was like vacation/sexy/fantasy time every time and then when we moved into together… well you just can’t maintain that level of excitement.

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    GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 11:19 am

    Is it obvious that you would share a bed at your parents? Do other people agree?

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      Cara June 20, 2013, 11:38 am

      No, I don’t think it is obvious. I feel like it is up to the parents because it is their house. My parents are pretty conservative and my sister and her fiance sleep in separate rooms when they visit, and my boyfriend of almost five years and I stay in different rooms. My boyfriend’s parents are a lot more relaxed about it and at their house, we usually both stay down in the basement, but I am on a pull-out couch in the family room and he’s in a bed in the office. But, one time, because there were 13 of us staying there are the same time, he and I ended up sharing a room with twin beds. But, my boyfriend’s brother had a surprise baby with his fairly casual girlfriend (they’ve since married and had another child), so I think his parents are a lot more relaxed than they used to be.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 20, 2013, 11:46 am

      I think it would be obvious, but that’s me. I don’t understand parents who feel the need to separate coupled ~adults~ to different rooms? I mean, why? But that’s because I grew up in a house that pretty much always allowed it, & my current boyfriend’s parents don’t care either (my ex’s parents didn’t either, but my ex always felt “weird” & wanted to stick me in another room whenever I slept over. I honestly was not okay with that)

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed June 20, 2013, 11:58 am

      In my house it is just because of my parents, but I would respect the rule at other people’s houses. I’ve just had a very liberal upbringing, so that’s what I know. I mean when my now ex boyfriend came for a weekend one summer, my dad’s only concern was that the bed wasn’t going to be big enough (it was a twin).

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      kerrycontrary June 20, 2013, 12:01 pm

      Their house their rules. My current boyfriend is the first person that has shared my bed at their house, but I think that’s because I’m older now and we ran out of space when my siblings and their spouses were home as well. He and I do not share a bed at his parents house, and I don’t stay over his apartment when they are visiting. It’s a pain but it saves us from arguements with them (they are conservative), and honestly it’s not a huge deal to sleep apart for a few nights.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:14 pm

        Everything you said happened with us. We shared a bed at my parents (first BF to do so) but not at his. When we would go for family weddings they would offer to pay for separate hotel rooms for the girls and guys (so his sisters and me in one room and him and his sisters BF/fiancé in another) because they where SO against it. We just cooperated because it was easier than fighting about it. It was never for more than like 4 nights in a row. Now that we’re married we’ve stayed over at their house for one night and it was honestly really weird to stay in the same room. We’re doing a family trip in August and I’m sort of freaked out to share a room with him for a week in the beach house.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:04 pm

      I don’t think it’s obvious. Personally, I think it’s silly that “their house, their rules” applies to whether two grown adults can share a bed, but parents like to think of their offspring innocent and in perpetual childhood.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Yep – “their house their rules” doesn’t mean that their rules are necessarily reasonable or in touch with reality.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

        I think “their house, their rules” is fair. It’s just like any other rule an adult visitor would have to follow in someone else’s home.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:11 pm

        I can’t see any parent extending the “no sleeping together unless your married” rule to non-family guests. I mean maybe some do? But it seems kind of rude.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:18 pm

        My husbands parents have extended the “no sleeping together unless your married” rule to non family house guests. Same way they extend the coaster rule to anyone who enters the house. It’s not rude if it is consistently applied to everyone, all the time.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:27 pm

        I still think it’s rude – especially if the couple in question lives together – the host is making a judgement on their life/lifestyle.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:28 pm

        I feel like it also depends on what accommodations you have. My parents each have their bedroom and then one guestroom in their houses. So, if they split up a couple, then one person would have to take a couch. Sleeping on a couch isn’t a big deal, but I feel like it’s more awkward when there’s a clearly a bed they could be sleeping in that they normally share with the person who is sleeping in it.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:35 pm

        My aunt has a beach house that we stayed at once, and my cousin asked me, very uncomfortably, where we would like her to set up our sleeping arrangements. I guess it was their polite was of asking if we would sleep in the same bed. I thought it was very nice of them, since I know they are not cool with it, but since they weren’t my parents, couldn’t exactly say so. We stayed in adjoining rooms for that trip out of respect.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Now that I think about it, I think I’d be much less annoyed if my aunt and uncle required separate rooms. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they’re more sheltered and polite?

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Why do you think “their house, their rules” is silly?

        To me, it’s the same as someone asking your to remove your shoes when entering their house or to use coasters. When you go into someone’s house you’re basically agreeing to follow their rules, weather your an adult or a child.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:12 pm

        it’s not silly in that it’s their house so of course they can make the rules – but that doesn’t mean that their actual rules aren’t silly.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:16 pm

        I agree the rule is silly, but if that’s the rule then the only respectful thing to do is follow it or make arrangements to stay somewhere other than their house, right?

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:20 pm

        Yeah, I wasn’t suggesting breaking the rule or disrespecting it. Just that I thought it was silly.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 20, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Oh. FWIW, I agree that the rule itself is silly even though I was raised in that kind of household. I’d just started seeing my boyfriend when I was in the process of finalizing my move-out, so there was a little bit of overlap between relationship and living at home. It was short-lived, but my mom made it so awkward! Holy crap! I never brought him home to spend the night (and won’t unless we become more serious), but the first time I spent the night at *his* place, my mom gave me a hard time. At 26. I felt so guilty I *almost* came back home just to ease the guilt. It was ridiculous and made me glad I was leaving.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Also, I just cringe in general at “their house their rules”…I picture someone saying it to me in a sing-songy, chiding fashion. hate it.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Actually if my parents decided to be ridiculous about something like that, I’d tell them that I guess they will just have to come to my house for visits from now on.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:20 pm

        I never said “their house, their rules” is silly.

        I just personally think that making rules about whether two adults can sleep in the same room is. Like bcamber said, it’s a rule that likely wouldn’t apply to people other than their children. Like my stepmom’s friend would never be told she couldn’t sleep in the same bed as her live-in boyfriend when they visit.

        I’m not saying I wouldn’t follow the rules or that parents shouldn’t make them, but this one just seems kind of silly to me.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Well it’s pretty shitty, IMO, to not apply the rule across the board, with all house guests family or not. The rule can be stupid/silly but to only “enforce” it some of the time is even more stupid/silly.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Because the rule is usually less about non-married people sleeping in the same room, and more about pretending that your sweet innocent children don’t have out of wedlock sex.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:35 pm

        Hmm, I guess my in-laws are the only one’s who truly believed it was about non-married people not sleeping in the same room and not just about their kids being “innocent”. I mean they actually have said that- “We’re not dumb and we know y’all share a bed when you’re not here, but we appreciate that you respect that we do not believe in pre-marital co-habitation for anyone.”

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:42 pm

        I think my parents would feel the same way, but I just feel like they would have more of a stake in me following the rule than other people. Like it would bother them more if I wasn’t living their values in their home, and would feel like it wasn’t their business with other people.

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:35 pm

        I’ve known plenty of folks for whom it was about non-married people and had little/nothing to do with their children. I can call it silly, and think if you don’t want to abide by it and you have the means to seek other accommodations then you should do so, but I can’t imagine insisting that you have to sleep together or insisting anything if you are being offered a free place to stay. It would be like insisting to smoke inside the house when it’s a no smoking environment.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:32 pm

        Yeah. I guess I just feel like some parents are much more comfortable enforcing rules on their children than adults in their 50s. Or that they may feel like they have more of a stake in the bed-sharing because they don’t want their children to go against their values, whereas other people aren’t their business.

        But my stepmom enforces a lot of rules on me that she wouldn’t enforce on other family members and nonfamily guests, so maybe it’s just my family.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:39 pm

        Really? I think its really silly to apply that rule to people that aren’t your children. In fact, I think I’d be offended and just not stay there if some random relative or friend told me we couldn’t sleep in bed together. Parents are another story I think.
        Even with my mom, who would not allow her kids to sleep in bed with their gf/bf at her house, would never tell another couple that in her house. I do think that’s beyond rude.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:41 pm

        How is it rude if it’s a house rule? I guess I just don’t understand how it can be such a huge offense if that’s what the homeowner’s rules are. If you don’t like them/won’t follow them, stay at a hotel.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:47 pm

        Well obviously one would have the choice of staying at a hotel. I’m not saying they wouldn’t. Not my point.
        I’m just saying I think its very rude to tell a non-family guest that they can’t sleep with their partner. Its basically saying I think what you are doing is very wrong, and will not tolerate it in my house.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:48 pm

        Its a judgment on them, and there is no denying that.

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I don’t think it’s judgy as long as they are consistent… and depending on the state if they relax the rule for same-sex couples who don’t have the ability to marry.

        I am just trying to imagine anyone who wasn’t married shacking up in my grandparents house… would not have happened, because it would have been offensive to my grandmother, not that she was necessarily judging others.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:56 pm

        I don’t think it’s a judgment. And I never felt judged. It’s just saying in my house this is how I live. If they were like giving a lecture on how you’re going to hell- yeah that’s judging. But asking you to be respectful of their rules while spending the night at their house isn’t judging.

        Same thing with grace- like asking you to be respectful during grace even if you don’t believe in it, that’s not judging your belief system. It’s just asking a guest to be respectful of the homeowners.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:58 pm

        Actually, I think that’s a fair argument. Good points.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 1:05 pm

        I think they’re good points also. Though in my mind, the bed thing is somewhere in between being respectful of them saying grace and actually having to pray with them. It’s more participatory than just sitting silently. But I’m not saying it’s definitely LIKE being made to pray.

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        Amber June 20, 2013, 1:30 pm

        “I’m just saying I think its very rude to tell a non-family guest that they can’t sleep with their partner. Its basically saying I think what you are doing is very wrong, and will not tolerate it in my house.”

        Totally agree. And I just wouldn’t stay there. And I would probably question why I have such people in my life to begin with, really…

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 12:22 pm

        I agree that “their house, their rules” shouldn’t apply to whether two adults can share a bed—to me, it’s crazy that people would impose their own…I want to say “hangups” here, but maybe “conservative ideals” is better? onto the guests of their house.

        Which is to say, I wouldn’t be all “fuck you!” if I was ever asked to sleep separately, but I would go to a hotel instead.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:26 pm

        I guess I just don’t see it that way- like if I go to my now in-laws and they want to say grace (which we don’t do) I’m respectful and follow the “rule” by not eating until grace is said and being quite during the grace. They should get to live how they are comfortable in their own home, just as you and I should in OUR respective homes.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:32 pm

        Yes but it’s part of being a good host to make concessions to ensure your guest’s comfort as well.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 12:41 pm

        That’s funny, I was gonna write a longer response & “saying grace” was the comparison I thought of, too— but anyway, still, I don’t think it’s the same? Because, to me, one is table manners, & the other is bedroom/sleeping arrangements. So the former is for everyone’s meal comfort (meal comfort? haha I don’t know what to call it…) & the latter is kind of just…imposing on your guests.

        And I guess, I also just do NOT get what would be “uncomfortable” about it? I mean, presumably, your (collective “your”) guests would be disappearing into a room, so, out of sight/out of mind, right? Would having an unmarried couple share the same bed in your house really, like, plague your peace-of-mind? (again, collective “your” really meaning “their” as in, anyone who runs his/her house this way)

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:42 pm

        Yea, I don’t think its the same at all. You can choose to still be “you” by not saying grace, but being quiet during it.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:43 pm

        I know for my mom, the biggest (but not only) reason she doesn’t like it is because their are still young kids in her house and she feels its a bad example for them to see that.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Depending on who you are, yeah it could really bother you. In my in-laws eyes, us staying in the same room unmarried was “rubbing their noses” in our decisions and like throwing it in their faces.

        And I don’t get the big argument of it being such a discomfort/imposition to have to stay in separate rooms. Like, it’s not that hard. I did it for 5+ years (1.5 we where living together too).

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:54 pm

        I haven’t really seen anyone say that it’s really difficult. I just oppose it on principle, not because I find it super uncomfortable.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 12:55 pm

        No, its not hard to stay in separate rooms at all. Nor is it hard to just stay at a hotel. The point is not either of those though, its just that regardless of all of that, I think its rude and judgmental to do to non-family guests.

        I’d likely just go along with it because that’s just easier, but I definitely would feel that they are telling me that my life choices are wrong. Probably next visit I would stay at a hotel.

        I get why your in-laws would feel that way, but isn’t it “rubbing your noses” in their decisions also. Like they are throwing their choices and judgment in your face too?

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 1:02 pm

        I never felt judged once. And sure it may be putting their belief system in our face, but when they come to our house we follow our own house rules and they have to too. It’s just about respecting the homeowners wishes.

        Another example- you go visit someone who keeps kosher, you would never knowingly throw down a block of cheese on their meat counter. Just because you don’t believe in being kosher doesn’t mean you would a- disrespect their house rule and b- that they are judging you for not keeping kosher.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 2:16 pm

        You would seriously pay $100 a night (or however much a hotel costs where you live) just to sleep together? Man, you guys must have some seriously good sex.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 2:18 pm

        I could seeing paying for it on principle, not necessarily for the good sex.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 2:19 pm

        yea, i would assume its just the principle of it, not literally because you cant spend a night away from your partner

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 2:25 pm

        Yeah, haha, it’s the principle for me. Pretty much like, oh hellll no, nobody is going to tell me I can’t sleep with my partner.

        That’s where the imposition part comes in, for me. It’s not that it is SO difficult to sleep apart (although my boyfriend & I do ~always~ sleep together if we’re in the same house, no matter how impractical aka on a narrow couch) it’s just that I don’t want anyone else making decisions about my private life? I know that sounds DRAMATIC, but I dunno. I think my head would explode if I was staying over somewhere & the head of the house was like, “by the way, only married couples in the same room!”

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:31 pm

        But they aren’t making decisions about your private life, they are making decisions about the rules in their home.

        Like I posted above- if you went into a kosher house you would respect that but wouldn’t assume them keeping kosher (and in turn asking you to while in their house) was a comment on your personal life/a judgment on you. It’s just the house rules.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 2:36 pm

        this is the same argument that people make about businesses like hobby lobby being able to restrict what services women can and can not have access to.

        to me, it comes down to who is being effected by whatever is happening. the person who owns the house is not being effected in any way by having two people stay in separate vs the same room/s. similarly, the people who run hobby lobby are not effected if someone chooses to go on birth control or have an abortion. so, i think that the people actually effected should be making the decisions, because it is, after all, their own life/situation/whatever that were talking about.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:41 pm

        I don’t think someone asking a guest to sleep in different rooms can be compared to a company trying to deny a constitutional right. I mean really? One is a corporate entity, the other is a private individual. Worlds apart.

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:44 pm

        I don’t see the comparison… personal home =/= business.
        It’s my house, and I’m paying for it, I can have some say into what happens inside and if people don’t agree they are welcome to find a free place to stay elsewhere.

        Everyone is referring to how judgy it is for the host – but what about the judgments that are coming from the potential guests!?! For some it is just about being in denial about how old their children are, but for many it is a deeply held personal belief that y’all think someone should just give up on so you can shack up conveniently?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 3:08 pm

        But it is a deeply held PERSONAL belief, that should not be imposed on guests. (It’s different than the kosher example of personal beliefs—slapping cheese on the meat counter would affect the people who are trying to live a kosher lifestyle by tainting everything.)

        & like we all said below, it’s not like guests would actively put of a fight, I’m sure, it’s just that the rule itself is…oppressive?

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 3:16 pm

        But Fabelle, it’s a personal belief in a PERSONAL home. They have the right to believe and enforce what ever they damn well please. Sure it’s not exactly the same as keeping kosher, but at the same time keeping kosher is a personal belief.

        GatorGuy’s grandparents don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Would I ever bring a slab of bacon into their home and cook it for myself? No, because it would be disrespectful to them- even if I wasn’t asking them to eat it. Heck his mom don’t even make food that has bacon in it, in her own home, when they are coming to dinner out of respect.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 3:23 pm

        I really do not understand the argument here. It seems really ungrateful to the people hosting you. It’s very generous for someone to allow you to stay with them, so it seems pretty awful to complain about the nature of the accommodations they’re giving you.

        @Katie, The difference with Hobby Lobby is that an employee works there in exchange for wages and benefits. A houseguest who just shows up and maybe helps with the dishes shouldn’t have all these expectations.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 3:25 pm

        ta, would it be ungrateful of you to not want to stay at my place if I forced you to do something you weren’t comfortable with? Of course not.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 3:27 pm

        Oh, I’m not saying it’s ungrateful to not want to stay somewhere. That’s kind of one of my points here. As a guest, you have the option of staying somewhere else, so if you choose not to do that, you shouldn’t be put off when the free bed comes with some rules attached. It’s all about choice. Either take the free place and be grateful for it without complaining or exercise your choice to stay elsewhere.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 3:42 pm

        This juxtaposition of feelings came up in another thread on another topic, but disliking a rule you have to follow doesn’t make you ungrateful. Being grateful for a place to live doesn’t mean you have to love every decision that your host makes.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 3:48 pm

        Okay, I feel like at this point I should probably just dip out of this debate, becauuuse, yeah, my next move is about to be comparing frying bacon in the kitchen, to having sex in the living room? or something? So I think that’s where everything disintegrates, haha

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 4:56 pm

        my only point is that the people who are actively making choices about their lives should have agency over said life.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 2:36 pm

        yes but those rules affect a very private part of your life.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:43 pm

        I mean I just disagree. It’s not “affecting your private” life to sleep in a different room for a night. How is it? What are YOU loosing by respecting the homeowners rules. Precisely nothing.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 2:45 pm

        You are losing the idea that people will respect your personal choices, and you are losing a night with your partner, which is probably your norm.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:50 pm

        You are also disrespecting the homeowners personal choices (if you where to put up a fight about it).

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 3:25 pm

        Just pointing out that the guests would be losing something. You said they wouldn’t be.

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      • katie

        katie June 20, 2013, 2:33 pm

        yes, exactly- i make my own decisions. thankyouverymuch.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 2:21 pm

        I was just making a joke, but it clearly didn’t work. haha I don’t have $100 a night to throw down on making a statement, and if I did, I would never spend it that way.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 2:27 pm

        Well, we might sleep in the car, in that case. I’ll have to ask my boyfriend about this later, & see what he says, but we both have a defiant streak so I could totally see us being like, “Welp, good-night!” as we carry blankets out to the car.

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        bcamber June 20, 2013, 2:30 pm

        Yep, it would be the principle of it.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:41 pm

        I probably wouldn’t just based on the rule. But my mom’s house is tiny, and it would be manageable if my partner and I shared the guest room. However, if I had to sleep on the couch with the cat jumping on me and my mom roaming in and out because of her insomnia, I might consider a hotel instead.

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:39 pm

        Using your logic – would an adult be ok to ignore the house rules and insist upon smoking? I don’t think so… but it’s a weird line between hosting and being respectful of your host/guests and clearly we all see the line differently. 🙂

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:43 pm

        It definitely is a weird line. In terms of your question, I would compare the bed rule to a rule that no smoking is allowed on the property at all (as in outside or inside). Smoking inside affects those who live in and own the home much more than sharing a bed behind closed doors does. It’s a difference between not believing in smoking versus not wanting to be affected by smoke.

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:46 pm

        Whereas I think that the homeowner should have the last word on what affects them, or makes them uncomfortable, or not… because it is their home. I would expect the same courtesy in my house, so maybe I’m just coming at this from the golden rule side of things.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:53 pm

        I think they have the last word, but that doesn’t mean that what they’re asking isn’t overstepping.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 2:47 pm

        Smoking & eating kosher & acting polite while others say grace are just all very NON- analogous examples to me (although you’re right that clearly, we’re all seeing the line differently). Like katie said above, 2 adults sleeping in the same room, the same bed in your house does not affect others in the house (like, say, smoking would)

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:48 pm

        YOU don’t think it would affect others, but shouldn’t someone be allowed to say what affects them in their own home?

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:56 pm

        My point exactly, in your own home you get to make the rules no matter how crazy they are and you get to decide what makes you comfortable. Any one who comes into your home either respects it or leaves. No matter how nuts your rules are perceived by others.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 2:59 pm

        And yes, if I still wanted to stay over, you might find me outside with the hose & some soap, but I’m still gonna think it’s batshit.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 3:01 pm

        I’m SO inviting you over and telling you to use the hose outside.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 3:00 pm

        Oops, meant to reply to myself below.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 2:58 pm

        Of course, which is why I wouldn’t be like “muahaha, guess what, we’re gonna sleep in the same room anyway!”

        BUT I think it’s totally mind-boggling that someone would think they SHOULD have a say? And I don’t think it’s valid for anyone to feel uncomfortable about 2 adults sleeping (sleeping! not even necessarily fucking!) in the same room. To me, it’s more akin to a rule being like, “you can use our bathroom, but not for # 2.” Or “You have to shower with the hose outside, we don’t allow guests into the shower. That’s the rule!”

        (yes, I know my examples are getting extreme, but that’s where ~my~ line is on this issue..haha)

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 3:05 pm

        I think that if the 2 grown adults are taking advantage of a free place to stay they can put up with the house rules… or stay someplace else, or not visit if they feel that strongly.

        I would feel differently if it was a diverse group of family or friends renting a house together – then being told where to sleep or who with when I’m chipping in would be unacceptable – but to push back when someone puts me in a twin bed and hands me my towel before heading downstairs to cook a family dinner. NOPE.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 3:07 pm

        ” I don’t think it’s valid for anyone to feel uncomfortable ”

        But you don’t get to decide if my feelings are valid.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 3:13 pm

        I don’t get to ~decide~, of course, but I do get to have an opinion about it & decide what to do with myself from there.

        And, to reiterate (this is more to MMcG) I don’t think anyone here is saying they’d “push back” against the rules. All of us arguing this point have said we’d go along with it, or go to a hotel. No one is saying we’d argue with the head of the house or sneak off into our partner’s assigned room. I’m more just condemning the whole idea of even having this rule (condemning it on the internet! Not to the people who own the house! To be clear ;))

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 3:33 pm

        “I’m more just condemning the whole idea of even having this rule”

        I mean that’s a ludicrous statement. Really? It’s basically saying anyone who believes that “rule” is believing the wrong thing. We can’t go around condemning people’s beliefs (which in this case turn into a house rule). That’s pretty rude, IMO. It’s one thing to disagree, another to say a belief is condemnable (even if you are just saying it on the internet).

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 3:36 pm

        Grown adults should be able to sleep in the bed together if they so choose. It has no bearing on anyone else. Just because something is a “rule” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be condemned. I mean, not to go all Crazy, but there were rules against black and white people marrying. Should that have not been condemned because it was a rule once? (yes I see how extreme that is, but just for arguments sake)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 3:40 pm

        But GG, I’m not condemning the belief itself, only the translation of the belief into a rule for other people (maybe you see the two as the same thing, but I’m just hoping to clarify)

        Not believing in sharing a bed before marriage—that’s valid. All beliefs are valid; I do not condemn any. I only condemn the imposing of said beliefs onto others.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 3:57 pm

        This is exhausting.

        @LBH your black white thing is irrelevant because they where being denied the right to marry, not being forbidden to spend the night together in a private residence. Systematic denying of a basic civil right vs a personal belief in a private home. Apples and like ham sandwiches.

        @Fabelle “I’m not condemning the belief itself, only the translation of the belief into a rule for other people” People get to make up their own rules for their own houses…end of story.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 4:00 pm

        Yeah, condemning something just means to express disapproval. People certainly can disapprove of other people’s rules.

        Homeowners have a right to make whatever rule they want, but you have to accept that not everyone will agree. That’s a fact of life for anything that anyone chooses to do. It’s not wrong to disagree.

        I had a right to tell my uncle not to lead us in prayer before lunch in my apartment, because I’m not Christian, but I didn’t. I would feel rude doing that and like I was assuming that my beliefs are so much more important than his just because I live there and he doesn’t. If he were doing something malicious, like berating someone for not being Christian, then I’d exercise my rights, but less than that isn’t important to me.

        Obviously some people think their beliefs on premarital sex are important enough to enforce on guests, and that’s their right. But I have a right to think it’s a silly rule, which is the only thing I was claiming.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 4:03 pm

        GG, no one is saying people don’t have a right to make their own rules, of course they do, its just that some “rules” can be considered rude/judgmental by the guests. I don’t get the argument here. Fab can say she feels they are being rude to her, just like the hosts can make up wacky rules. Its all opinions and feelings, which people can all have, even if they differ. I wouldn’t blame Fab for being offended.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Lindsay- Condemn has a much stronger meaning than “disapprove”. Per Merriam-Webster: “to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation”.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Also GG, the black white argument holds water. It was NOT a civil right always, only after it was condemned. Someday maybe it’ll be a civil right for unmarried couples to stay in bed together.

        My point was just because something is a rule does not mean it is right.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 4:06 pm

        No, LBH it doesn’t. Denying someone anything based solely on their race at a governmental level, is different than a person making rules in side of their own home.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 4:12 pm

        You don’t seem to be getting my point, which is that just because something is a rule at any point, doesn’t mean it should be a rule or that it is an acceptable rule. Just because blacks and whites weren’t allowed to marry, doesn’t mean that that was a good, acceptable rule, which is why its no longer a rule. Again, stating that something is a rule doesn’t make it a good rule or a fair or right rule.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 4:19 pm

        @LBH, I understand what you’re saying, and I just disagree when it’s applied here (not about interracial marriages. That was obviously a bad, bad rule). Something as inconsequential as who sleeps in what bed isn’t hurting anyone when that person has a choice on it. I have a rule that no Taylor Swift will be played in my car or our apartment. Is that unfair to Taylor Swift fans? No. They can choose to drive themselves if they want to listen to Taylor Swift. It’s not taking away their choice.

        I just think that as adults, we should take the set of facts as they are and accept that the choices we make have consequences too. We can’t have our cake and eat it too, and there’s nothing unfair about that (when it applies to inconsequential things, not actual injustices in the world). This whole attitude just seems entitled and ungrateful.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 4:23 pm

        ta, The overall idea is silly to me, but I of course agree that if its your house, its your rules, take it or leave it. I can certainly understand why some would be very offended by the rules though, and they are just as entitled to feeling offended as the host is to making up whatever rules they want.
        ps loved your T. Swift rule. My daughter would NEVER get in your car, haha

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 4:32 pm

        I can’t reply to TA because this thread has gotten way too insane, but @theattack—I think the two sides are just seeing it as two completely separate things. You & GG & MMcG are viewing it as a house rules/hosting/respectful guest thing, whereas me & the others are seeing it as more of a—I don’t know how to compress it into one phrase, so—“sex negative”, I guess, thing? And I think the differences are more exaggerated because I can literally ~not~ even imagine being asked to sleep separately, as a guest, & you guys *have* been (& sometimes still are?) asked to sleep separately, so you CAN imagine it, & to imagine causing a fuss about it is, like, not ever something you’d do? Which is fine, I’m just saying I think that’s why this argument got SO crazy.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 4:37 pm

        And for the record, I do believe in “house rules” & will follow them! That’s just not where my thoughts stop on this topic? if that makes sense? so I’ve been arguing more about the mindset behind it.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 4:39 pm

        Ahahaha. This debate has gotten so out of control. But it’s hilarious at the same time. I didn’t realize this was going to happen when I called the rule silly.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 4:47 pm

        @Fabelle, Ahh okay. I’m okay with opposing the mindset and don’t think that’s ungrateful or anything. The line for me is opposing the concept versus opposing a host’s rule or thinking they should change the rule for you even if you don’t ask, etc. I think it’s a stupid concept for couples to have to sleep separately when they already live together, but I don’t think anyone should let me do that if they’re uncomfortable with it, and I shouldn’t be bothered by it if they don’t allow it. Does that make sense?

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      • theattack

        theattack June 20, 2013, 4:53 pm

        @LBH, I’m glad your daughter would never get in my car. Stranger Danger. If she did get in my car, I would have to have a chat with her mother. 😉

        Really though, I don’t know how you handle the Swift.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Well, I don’t think Fabelle was literally saying that idea of having this rule is evil.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 4:18 pm

        Thank you! Yes, I ~disapprove~, & I think it’s “wrong” only in the sense that it’s wrong-headed, in my opinion, to extend your beliefs onto others. Even in your own home. Especially about something private like sharing a bed.

        But like, OF COURSE people get to make up their own rules about their own houses. I’m not arguing to that point, just the idea behind it. And like Lindsay said above, I can disagree with the rules— while following them, if I stay— just as the homeowner can enforce the rules even for guests who don’t believe the same thing they do about premarital sex/bed-sharing.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 20, 2013, 6:07 pm

        @theattack That makes sense, yeah! I definitely would not expect the rules to be changed for me, & if I decided to stay, I wouldn’t complain. And let’s be real, I can talk about sleeping in the car or getting a hotel, but if it was my in-laws, I’m sure I’d just stay. I think the whole thing was just so hypothetical to me, that it was easier to be forceful about it? Where you & GG, I think, have an actual reference point in your own lives, so I can see why it’s (or was at first) more about the rules.

        Okay, definitely, definitely done talking about this now!

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:59 pm

        Of course, people can say anything affects them, even if it’s technically untrue. Nobody here is suggesting that guests disregard the rules.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 4:05 pm

        OK, I’m out! I can’t do this anymore, haha. My arguments are about to get kind of crazy and nonsensical. For the record, if I ever have someone willing to put up with my parents for a couple days, we’ll sleep in separate rooms if asked.

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      bcamber June 20, 2013, 12:06 pm

      It’s obvious to me – I guess because my parents never made an issue of it? If my parents said I couldn’t sleep in the same room as my BF, I would laugh and then go book a nearby hotel room.

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      rachel June 20, 2013, 12:11 pm

      I think it’s obvious in my own life, but I can imagine different types of parents/upbringings where it would not be.

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    • mandalee

      mandalee June 20, 2013, 12:19 pm

      Yes, to me it’s obvious, especially if you live together. I mean you are two grown adults who support yourselves and live together, what kind of shenanigans do they think you are going to cause in their house? Honestly, out of all the places in the world I would want to have sex, the last place in the world would be my mother-in-law’s house.

      From when I was a teenager, my parents allowed my boyfriends to sleep over and were way over the top about respecting my privacy. I remember being 18 and passed out after my prom and my mom called and called my phone because she left something in my room but didn’t want to disturb my boyfriend and I since we were up so late. I can not imagine my parents prohibiting me at 26 if I wasn’t married from sharing a bedroom with my boyfriend. I’d feel like they didn’t respect me as an adult to act appropriately in their house.

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      temperance June 20, 2013, 12:42 pm

      My parents are hardcore evangelical Christians, so I was not even allowed to be alone with a boy (like, on the front porch). I was explicitly not allowed to stay over with my now-husband, so we stayed at his mother’s house instead.

      Then my brother’s girlfriends were allowed to sleep over, because “he can’t get pregnant”. Apparently if I wasn’t doing it in their house, I wasn’t doing it.

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        Christy June 20, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Ugh, that’s both gross and terrible.

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      Christy June 20, 2013, 1:21 pm

      It was obvious for my family. Well, it’s obvious at everyone’s home except my mom’s dad’s condo. They have two twin beds in their guest room, and even his sister and her husband sleep in the twin beds when they visit. So every guest of theirs would be in the same situation.

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    • katie

      katie June 20, 2013, 2:04 pm

      well ive said this before, but i think that is an extension of sex-shaming, not seeing children as fully autonomous adults, and putting marriage up as the only key to have a real, successful, worthy life. so i dont like it.

      marriage is not and should not be the defining thing of your life. you can structure your life in any fashion you want, really, and for someone to invite you into their house as guests and then tell you that your chosen lifestyle isnt good enough for them to be considered valid is really shitty.

      jakes mom did that for like, one or two visits, when we were in college. one night we got in really, really late and just went down to the basement to sleep where it was dark, and she didnt say anything. i dont know what she would do now that we live together. but just in principle its ridiculous. thankfully jakes family doesnt stay at each others houses, so i wont have to deal with this.

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        lets_be_honest June 20, 2013, 2:11 pm

        I agree. I have to say, I’m really glad my mom has always been very respectful of the way I’ve chosen to live, even though I know it is not the way she may have preferred. She’s very strict when it comes to that stuff, but has never once commented on my choices.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:26 pm

        You raise good points. It makes me wonder what parents would do if you and your partner decided that you didn’t plan to get married ever. Would you be sleeping in separate rooms 10, 15 years down the road?

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        MMcG June 20, 2013, 2:47 pm

        If your parents really believed in marriage and you decided against it, I think there might be more issues there than who was staying where over Easter 😉

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 3:04 pm

        Hahaha, so true.

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    • theattack

      theattack June 20, 2013, 2:20 pm

      It’s always been obvious that we WOULDN’T be allowed to share a bed. My mom is freaking out because we’re visiting her this weekend for the first time since we got married, and she’s acting weird about “letting” us sleep in the same bed.

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        GatorGirl June 20, 2013, 2:24 pm

        It wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it would be. We just put our bags in the same room, and otherwise it wasn’t obvious. We usually stay up later and get up later than his parents and sleep with the door closed. So there wasn’t an awkward walking into the room with them watching or anything.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I think I mentioned this on another thread once, but my friend’s mom tried to convince her that sleeping in a separate room from her new husband would be a good idea. Didn’t work.

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        Eagle Eye June 20, 2013, 3:53 pm

        heh, for all my parent’s hippy pretensions, it freaks out my dad to have the bf and I share a room when we visit, so the one time we did, the poor boy got stuck on the uncomfy couch. Since then, we’ve been together for 4 years, living together for 3 and since marriage/ weddings aren’t that big of a deal in my family, its more the principle of the bf and I sharing a bed which freaks him out – I worry that he’ll just NEVER let us share a bed in the house.

        Its awkward too, since my parents live on the other side of the country, so my bf just never visits with me (and they actually come out to see me fairly frequently).

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      rachel June 20, 2013, 3:38 pm

      I think it’s so funny that anyone would care so much about this issue – on either side. Like it doesn’t make sense to me that people would be bothered if their guests sleep in the same bed. Who cares? I hope you were planning to wash the sheets no matter how many people were sleeping on them. And if Ross and I were staying over somewhere and it was requested that we sleep separately, I’m sure we would exchange an eye roll with each other, but we would comply, because they were being nice enough to let us stay over in the first place. I mean, it’s one night, or a couple, just go with the path of least resistance.

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        Christy June 21, 2013, 11:33 am

        I’m also not about to have sex in my mother’s house. Like, just because you are sleeping in the same bed doesn’t mean you are fucking. I just want to be able to cuddle, that’s all!

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    Emily June 20, 2013, 11:30 am

    My BF and I have lived together almost five years (!) now and it’s great. We had been together three years before we moved in but we were spending every night together and the double rents started to seem ridiculous. I agree with Wendy’s advice as usual! Important to discuss what you want in the future and also to figure out things like bills, groceries, etc before hand. i.e. are you going to split everything? buy your own stuff? what about house things like toilet paper? Etc. Seems trivial but the small stuff IS the every day stuff and it’s better to just be OPEN and communicative from the start.

    Anyway, I love cohabiting! It’s the greatest. 🙂

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    Amber June 20, 2013, 11:35 am

    When and If you should move in with someone depends on what your goals for the relationship are.

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    Tinywormhole June 20, 2013, 11:46 am

    I’ve lived with 3 SOs:

    SO #1: I was 21, we’d been together for two years, and I had just moved into a new place and he had to move out of his, so he stayed with me and just never left. I think both of us knew at the time that was the intention (and boy was my mom pissed!) We stayed together two more years, and during that time the feelings that there was just more to a relationship than I was getting grew stronger, and I finally broke up with him and moved out (by then we were in a different place, with other roommates too). In that situation, moving in together felt right but at that age I didn’t really know myself well enough to visualize the future.

    SO#2: This guy was basically my rebound from #1. He was a friend at the time, and I thought I knew him pretty well, but in hindsight I was selectively ignoring some undesirable personality traits. Anyway he filled in some of the holes in my past relationship, and at the time I thought I was madly in love. We moved in together after only five months, and by a couple months after that I started to realize I’d made a mistake. It took about six more months for me to break up with him and by then I was like “get the hell away from me.” So that was the lesson that feelings in the first few months are hormone-fueled and cannot be trusted.

    SO#3: After I broke up with #2, I started spending more time around friends again, and he had gotten out of a long term relationship around the same time so was around more also. We had been acquaintances for years but really got to know each other better over that next year, and both felt very much like we were similar, and just “got” each other. Then one day we discovered the physical chemistry was there also, and that was it. By then I’d had enough experience to know that I needed to wait past the initial hormonal rush before making any big decisions, but at the same time I knew it was very different and I pictured spending my life with him. I knew he was feeling the same way but taking some time to think it through also, due to the difficulty of ending his prior relationship. After a year and a half we decided it was time to live together, and it was the easiest decision I’d ever made.

    #3 and I are happily married now (the other easiest decision I’ve ever made), but 2.5 years passed from the move-in to the engagement, and that caused me some grief. We didn’t discuss marriage/timelines (only in the general sense that we both knew this was it), so I was expecting that to happen sooner than it did. I may not have made a different decision if I’d known it may take that long, but my expectations would have been adjusted. So as difficult as it may be, I’d get that out on the table upfront if that’s important to you. Also, you don’t state in your letter how long it’s been, but give it a year at least to make sure you’ve reached hormonal equilibrium before deciding. You may be impatient now but that year will give you a lot of peace of mind later.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee June 20, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I think all the topics Wendy listed are great. I moved in with my now-husband when we were dating for just under a year. We were 22 and 24, so we were pretty young. I knew I wanted to live with someone before I married them, so I was really open about that fact with him from the beginning. We knew that moving in together was a step, and that we felt we needed to become more financially stable together and mature in our relationship before marriage happened. I don’t think I would have felt comfortable moving in with him if I didn’t have at least an idea of where things will go.

    The one area that we didn’t account for as much as we should have was finances. We were newly college graduates and while he had a great job, I went through periods of unemployment, underemployment, etc. It was really hard to figure out what to do with money when it was so unbalanced. It’s really important to have those talks *before* you move to save yourself a year or so of adjustment period if you don’t view money and financial contributions the same way.

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    temperance June 20, 2013, 12:36 pm

    Don’t do what my husband and I did – we moved in together after less than a year of dating. It worked out for us, we’ve been together 8.5 years and were married this past March, but it was really, really hard at first.

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    AliceInDairyland June 20, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Well, I am about to move in with my farmer after dating for almost 3 years at that point. We will see how it goes (hindsight is 20/20) but I think it’s the best decision for us. Farmer asked me to move in after we had been dating for a year and a half (to move in at 2 years) but I ended up saying that I wanted to wait a year and try living by myself in the city. I did that for a couple reasons: 1) I was 21 at the time that he asked, and would be barely 22 when I moved in and I felt like that was just kind of young 2) I had always wanted to live by myself, in a cool neighborhood and just see that I could do everything by myself 3) I take moving in as basically saying “yep, this is it” (which he does too, he just knew it earlier than I did) and I am a snail at relationships so I wasn’t ready for that.

    Now, almost 3 years in, we have had all the discussions mentioned above. We have been through a lot of ups and downs, and gone through a serious road bump and survived. We have a better sense of each other’s rhythms of life after 3 years that I wouldn’t have had at 2 years. We have a plan in place for our future, so moving in to the big busy home owned by his mother is just a temporary stepping stone with REAL timelines in place.

    I will feel like I am living with someone and creating a life with someone, not just adding on to someone’s life… Does that make sense to anyone else? That was really important to me, and something the farmer didn’t really get at first. I’m not just an addition to what he is doing, we are doing this whole thing balls-to-the-wall together. Every step I want to know about, talk about, and decide on together. And we have been doing that extremely well, and so I am ready to make this fantastic life together.

    Side note: The other day I was talking about something and I said that we needed a name for the little house we were moving into, that way it wouldn’t be confusing what we were referring to. And he just looked at me, and said “Lets call it ‘our house’ because it is our house.” And that probably would have filled me with scary-grown-up-terror like a year ago but it made me feel all mushy now. Which I think is a sign I am going in the right direction.

    (Okay, that was long)

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    rightasrain919 June 20, 2013, 5:09 pm

    BF Rain and I have been together since last October and will move in together in early August. Out of the “15 Things” list Wendy wrote, the only one we haven’t checked off is #8 (by default).

    I think the most important thing that’s led to our choosing to take this step was that our communication is good when we’re together and apart (he lives ~30 minutes away). We’ve discussed our career and life goals, the ifs of children, financial priorities and how those tie into our goals. While we’ve spent over a week together (Brave BF went to Christmas with my maternal extended family less than 2 months after meeting), we both know living together is an entirely different situation with new challenges.

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    BreezyAM June 20, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Honestly I don’t think I’d ever live with anyone again, ever. Like even if married. MrAM and I often wish we lived in side by side duplex houses sharing a huge yard, exchanging kids as needed, sharing meals, wandering over to have sex as desired, and then retiring to our private spaces to decorate as we wish and to watch whatever tv we wish. Me on 24/7 HGTV/DIY, him on GoT and Spartacus (I can’t watch that shit; triggers the hell out of my PTSD. He’s required to watch it with headphones on in another room).

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    Crazy in Love June 24, 2013, 1:51 pm

    I’m probably going to be the minority here, but as an older woman (44), when I met my man at age 41, I had been previously married for 20 years and had dated enough jerks to know what I was really looking for and I had decided to not “settle” for anyone! I met my man on a Saturday evening. We met at a little bar/grille. I was new to the area. We immediately hit it off and stayed out until 2 AM singing karaoke. The following day, I invited him to my home for dinner where I made him a nice meal. We quickly became inseparable. The home I was living in had no air conditioning. It was summer and it was horribly hot. We had been dating for two weeks and he invited me to stay with him for the remainder of the week while my landlord purchased an airconditioner for me. I agreed. At the end of that week, I got ready to pack my stuff to go back home and he told me he didn’t want me to leave. So… I didn’t. We stayed in his apartment for about 6 weeks then moved into an apartment we picked out together. Did we go through some adjustments, yes, of course. But we fell in love quickly and so completely. We were married this year on Valentine’s Day and we are both the happiest we’ve been in our entire lives. True love does happen and sometimes, moving in is “right.” We got lucky.

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