By Atika Lim
Moving in together before marriage. Yay or nay? (Photo: Gettyimages)
Lately, my partner *Mark, 31 has been making jokes about us moving in together when our leases run out some time next year. Disclaimer: Mark knows that I’m a little wary of things moving too quickly in our relationship, and has been making jokes about moving in together, marriage, and more to annoy me.
Now, while I’m fully aware he’s kidding about us cohabiting — we have, after all, only known each other for six months — I can’t help but think there’s some truth to what he’s saying.
Living with a partner can be amazing. Not only are rent and bills cheaper, the idea of coming home to someone you love, is just plain lovely.
Still, having lived with partners before, I know exactly how messy (and sometimes risky) living together with someone you’re romantically involved with can be.
Take for example my toxic involvement with a guy who was cheating on his girlfriend with me. When his then-girlfriend found out that he had been cheating, she promptly moved out of the home they shared, leaving him to foot the rent, utilities, and more. Eventually, he moved out as well. Looking back, he once blurted out that one of the reasons he was still with his girlfriend was because he needed her help to pay rent.
While living with my ex, *Jack, 28, we would often get into petty fights over chores, and other miscellaneous issues. Soon, living together was taking a toll on the relationship. At the onset of the pandemic, we had no escape from each other. From work stress to mood swings, we were, in some ways, victims to each other’s negative energies. Long walks around our condo became my respite. Often, I’d take about two hours to run “errands” so I could have some time alone.
Jack was also homesick a lot of the time because he could not travel back, and while I sympathised, it was also becoming painful to take on his emotional burden.
Eventually, I suggested he speak to a therapist because the strain was too much.
Cohabitation can bring out the worst in people, and I’ve seen it first hand, which makes me anxious about the prospect of moving in with Mark because I don’t want to end up ruining a good thing.
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