I know the thought of living with your boyfriend makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, but don't forget, it's a big decision. Hopefully you've read my article "To Live Together or Not: It May Seem Right, But What Does Your Guy Really Think," but in case you were stuck in a desert without internet and missed it, you may want to dig into the archives and give it a look before reading further. If you're familiar with it, here are some more things to think about before signing that lease and moving in with your man.
Beware of momma's boys.
If he's in his 30's and still living with his mother, run! The thing is, mommas' boys have been waited on hand and foot by their dear old mothers all their lives, so they don't always know how to do even the most basic of chores. Nor can they usually think on their own. If you were to make the horrendous mistake of moving in with a momma's boy, expect to do his cooking and cleaning, expect to be compared to his mother and expect her to be around all the time. In short, expect a living hell.
Love doesn't always last.
You may find this hard to believe, but you and your man could possibly breakup. And God help you if you do while you're living together. Not only do you have to go through the breakup, but be prepared to split up anything that you bought together: CDs, DVDs, cats, dogs, hamsters and anything else - it's like a mini-divorce. And by the way, someone has to move.
That stuff called money.
You're in love, but don't forget the really important stuff like money. Before moving in together decide who is going to pay for what. Different couples have different arrangements, but some sort of arrangement is necessary. When Mike, 27, lived with his ex-girlfriend, he paid for the utilities and repairs, she paid for food and they split the rent fifty-fifty.
"Whatever financial arrangements you work out, make sure it's fair," Mike said. "If someone pays more, they expect more." Will the sex still be hot?
The freshness of hot sex with a woman can do strange things to a man. He's like a deer in the middle of mating season. The deer are so drunk with sex, they have no clue what's going on - that's why they're always jumping in front of cars. It's the same thing with your man. Under the spell of your body, he'll do anything you want, including moving in with you.
Enjoy the ride in these situations, both literally and figuratively speaking, but be aware that things could go to hell if the sex goes bad.
Know the car before taking it for a test drive.
Many a woman says she moves in with her guy as a "tryout," so she can be 100% positive she could marry him. That's all well and good, but outside of the fact that you don't know whether or not he uses balding shampoo, you should have a good idea of your man's pluses and minuses before moving him into your life full time. At the very least, you should know without a doubt that he isn't an ax murderer, serial rapist or voodoo doll collector.
If you and your man think of shacking up as a "tryout" for marriage, be well aware that sometimes people don't make the cut.
When Mike, 32, moved in with his girlfriend of one year, she made it clear that it was a prelude to marriage. While Mike was completely open to marriage, he also saw living together as a "test drive." But as the months passed he realized he didn't like the car. His girlfriend, on the other hand, thought she had already bought the car and was devastated when he broke things off.
"When we broke up, she said, Do the right thing and marry me,'" Mike recalled. "I said, I am doing the right thing.'" By living together first, Mike knew that his lady friend wasn't meant to be his wife, and so he avoided the eventual divorce.
John Crawford is a freelance writer, and a friend to women, based in Philadelphia.