Leave me alone, I don’t want to live with my girlfriend.

October 29, 2009 · 35 comments

I think it’s quite funny how puzzled people become when I tell them I don’t want to live with my girlfriend. I’ve been with Girl Ninja for three and a half years now, and apparently I didn’t get the memo that I was required to move in with her after the first year. People look at me like I’m crazy, or making a big mistake. Everyone, it will be okay, our relationship transcends continual proximity. Here are some of the comments made during these arguments…

“Dude, you’ll save money by living with your girlfriend.”

Really? I beg to differ. If anything it will probably cost me more to live with her. I already have a roommate so my living expenses are split right down the middle. If I lived with Girl Ninja, I gurantee my expenses would go up. Why? Because I’m a guy, and I live with a guy. We don’t care about decorations, good smells, or if our carpet matches our drapes (I know what some of you perverts are thinking right now). I have a feeling my bachelor pad would suddenly become page 43 of the newest Ikea magazine if I moved in with the GF.

“Dude, you’re crazy, I would never marry someone unless I lived with them first.”

Dude, you’re crazy for needing to live with someone first. I would hope anyone that moved in with their significant other, did so because they are absolutely sure that is the best thing for their relationship. If you’re committed enough to move in together, I say you’re committed enough to get married. After all, what’s the difference? So I wait till marriage and move in with the girlfriend, she’ll discover I fart (very rarely of course) and I’ll get frustrated because she folds our towels in a different way then I prefer. I’m sure we will learn a great deal about each other that we didn’t know before, but why do I have to spoil the excitement of marriage by moving in with her early. To require that you must first live with your partner, to me, essentially means “If this doesn’t work out, I’m outta here.” My mentality is “Hey this isn’t working, but I love you and you love me, let’s figure out how to make it work better.”

“Dude, you’ll get to be around your best friend all the time.”

I don’t really argue with people when they bring this up. I get all giddy inside when I think about sharing ALL of my life with Girl Ninja. How fun would it be to wake up next to your best friend each morning or have someone rub your back after a long day of work? Pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me. But guess what. I can be patient. Just like I’m throwing money in to a Roth IRA that I wont see again for 40 years, I can invest four years with the GF without getting all the perks. We are fortunate that we both love each other a great deal, but are not dependent on one another. A little patience will go a long way.

Those are just a few of the reasons people provide when trying to convince me to move in with Girl Ninja. I’m old school, okay? I’m a big boy and I can make my own decisions. It’s a decision I’ve made and I don’t understand why my decision is “crazy”.

Before all the cohabiters start foaming at the mouth, let me be clear, I don’t have anything against people that move in with their boyfriends or girlfriends. To each their own. If you’re sold on the idea of living with your partner, then by all means go for it. This article isn’t about whether living with your girlfriend is right or wrong, it’s about people criticizing me for choosing not to. Let’s open the floor for a little dialogue. Do you, or would you, live with your significant other before marriage? Why or why not?

1 eking out

Agreed. My boyfriend (now fiance) and I have been together since high school. We waited to move in together until last year (we're 25 and 26 now). I used to live with 2 other girls, and it was waaaaay cheaper, because of the fact there was one more person (duh), and because we still lived like we were in college. Cleaning supplies? Furniture? No. Now that my fiance and I are splitting everything down the middle, stuff costs more, plus we're now spoiled by the privacy and space we've got. I'm glad we live together now, but I'm also glad we took a couple years after college to do it.

2 myprettypennies

I agree to most of what you've said. I think right now living together WOULD be cheaper because one-bedroom apartments are cheaper than two. But from day one my boyfriend and I decided we weren't going to live together for religious reasons (our parents would FLIP!), but also because we want marriage to be special. Recently one of my coworkers got married and I asked him how it felt to be married. He said, "It's not that different! We lived together for 3 years and now I just have a ring on my finger." I don't know, that kind of made me sad. Perhaps I have a fairy tale image of what marriage is like, but I kind of want the first few months of marriage to be different and special than what was ever before.

I also don't in any way condone those who live with their significant other. Secretly I'm jealous that I can't wake up to my BF every day. :)

3 Carrie

My BF and I moved in together after almost 3 years of dating. We did it because it sucked not being together. We missed each other. That's all. However, I think all your reasons are very valid and think it's great that you're choosing to wait. :)

4 SS4BC

I agree, I don't think that "moving in together" has to be the next step in the relationship right after the "I love you" part.

Personally, I don't think I COULD live with someone unless I was engaged to them. I wouldn't want them living with me unless we were BOTH committed to the idea that it was a forever thing and we were combining everything for our life together – not just a roommates with benefits situation.

I think it is "too easy" to get married once you're living in and I think a lot of people do it because they feel they "have to" – which leads to divorce. And lucky for my hunches, statistics backs me up on this (ie you're more likely to get divorced if you cohabited before marriage).

5 Sunflowers

@SS4BC – here are some competing studies – http://www.yourtango.com/20086142/cohabitation-doesnt-mean-divorce.html

IMO, I think people who are ok with cohabitating are less religious, thus more likely to be ok with divorce.

Ninja, I find it really odd that people are questioning your decision not to move in. The only time I will question someone is when they say "I hate living with my parents" (I've heard 25 yr olds say this and all I can do is blink at them), "It would be so much cheaper to split expenses with my bf", "I wish I was closer to my bf" etc. When the logical answer to their complaints is "just move in together already!"

I moved in with my bf after a year. It was convenient, it made economical sense – we were driving 2 hrs (or more) round trip to see each other every weekend. We've been together for 5 years now. We don't really care about marriage. We're having a great time, we're very supportive of one another. And unlike with roommates, everything is "ours." I don't have to be careful around their (smelly) couch, or stay away from their drinks in the fridge. I've never had a good experience living with someone (other than with him!).

Bottom line is, I love waking up next to him in the morning, I love having daily support and affection from him, I love having him cook for me (:))and though everything is going great now, it might not in the future (it's not pessimistic, it's realistic). So why would I want to deprive myself of happiness now for potential "specialness" later? IMO, our lives are too short for that.

Having said that, absolutely – to each his or her own. Either moving in is the right thing for you or it's not. It's not something that's "supposed" to happen after saying "I love you" – I have NEVER heard anyone advocate that position. Pretty sure the majority of the US is religious and they would say quite the opposite.

6 Donnie

So what you are really saying is that you prefer your roommate over your girlfriend?

:)

7 Jessie

My boyfriend and I have been living together for about 1.5yrs out of the two we've been together – it's just what worked best for us at the time.

[caveat - we lived together for about 8 months 5 years ago or so when we dated previously]

8 me in millions

I have a friend who moved in with her boyfriend and it didn't work out. Then they had to live together after the breakup until they each found a new place to live. Hello awful arrangement!!! Seeing this horrible situation unfold made me resolve never to move in with someone until I have a ring on my finger and a promise of commitment. It can be an engagement ring, but I'm not moving in with someone until I have it!

9 Anonymous

Long time reader, first time poster.

I started to make a list of the reasons my boyfriend and I chose to move in together, but I realized that wasn't what I wanted to say. What I really want to say is: Relationships are not fairy tales. My reason for pointing this out is because after reading your post, I feel like you might be idealizing living together and marriage in an unrealistic way.

Moving in together is hard, regardless of whether you are married or not. In fact, I know lots of couples that haven't gotten through the first 6 months of it. Sure, the honeymoon stage is great, but once that wears off, it's not all "waking up together" and after work back rubs. Living together is making room in your life for another person, managing money together, sharing household chores, and having to share the same space even when you want to be alone. It takes some of the mystery out of a person, and yes, maybe even some of the romance out of a relationship. It gives you a glimpse, more than anything else can, of what your relationship might look like when you're both 80 – once the passion fades away, are you still fascinated by each other? Do you have things to talk about after the butterflies are gone? Are you really willing to make compromises and sacrifices, even when they're difficult?

My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 1/2 years, and living together for two. We've been through a lot: living overseas, illness, moving cities, changing jobs, deaths in our families, and more. Living together has taught us more about our relationship than anything else has, and what we've learned is: It isn't easy, but its worth it.

I respect your decision and understand your reasons for not moving in with your girlfriend, and to be honest, that's not really what my comment is about. Just know that there is probably a lot you still don't know about each other and about your partnership, and expect an adjustment when you do finally take the plunge.

All the best to you both!

10 Esperanza-To Infinity and Beyond

i love the way you think and totally agree!

11 QL girl

I must admit I was slightly offended when I first heard my boyfriend say that he didn't plan on moving in with me the first chance he got, but I came to understand it after a while.

At least in our case, we're still relatively immature. I JUST moved out of my parents house after 3 years, and he's still living with his. Personally, I'm not ready to throw money into the mix (even after 6 years), and I'd like to enjoy the luxury of living on my own before I even think about having him move in with me.

So yeah, I understand that you're not in a hurry. If things are working out the way they are, why ruin a good thing? (Not that it would ruin it, but I hope you get my point!)

12 444

I think you just don't want her to find out exactly how much you really do fart.

And it was good of you to mention only towel-folding (should be folded lengthwise in thirds and then in half and in half again – anything else is low-class so don't criticize her if she doesn't fold it like a piece of paper) so as to affirm by omission that females don't actually pass gas at all (my brother told me that, anyway.)

13 Mrs E

I didn't live with my significant other before marriage. I lived in the UK and he was in Tennessee in the Army. We lived together 3 days before we married and have been married almost 9 years. So Ninja do what is best for you, not what everyone else tells you is best for you.

14 Anonymous

I think everyone should have the opportunity to at least live by themselves for some time. I could see how moving out of Mom and Dad's home and directly in with the BF could be problematic. If you aren't used to splitting food and bills, it can be harsh reality.

- Courtney

15 Anonymous

Personally I agree with you. Not to judge anyone who chooses otherwise, but I think co-habitation is something best left to married couples.

Don't even think I'd live with the bf after being engaged.

16 ChloƩ

Actually, I don't feel concerned by the whole "live together before marriage or not?" question, since my boyfriend and I don't plan to get married. We don't feel like our love need an official confirmation.

Okay, there are some practical advantages to get married (tax-wise, among others), but I respect this commitment too much (even though we don't plan to get married, I respect the choice of those who do) to take it just for paying less taxes.

Plus we live in France where there is a civil union that brings the same practical advantages as marriage, so we'll probably make that instead of getting married.

17 Dawn

Opinion from someone who has lived alone, with someone, gotten married, gotten divorced and lived alone again. Living alone is cheaper, if you are the frugal type. Two people need more space – a tiny studio won't do, plus you have utilities and furnishings, and I have found that I spent more when I was living with someone because I wanted them to great things since I loved them – so I went halves on things I wouldn't have bought on my own (trips, tvs, etc..) Good for the two of you for finding what works for you.

18 gwenavyre

I'm not sure how much I really believe in marriage. We lived together for 4 years before we got married, nothing changed except for the fact that I can now get on his insurance and if anything happens to the other we can legally give consent. Even the taxes changed hardly at all.

19 Revanche

I tell nosy Parkers that I don't want to give my BF an excuse to break up with me if we cohabitated and it drove him crazy. I doubt it would, but if it did, it sounds slightly more sensible than "I just don't think it's a good idea for me." Or does it…??

20 DogAteMyFinances

I think after a year or two you should know whether this is for life or not and just make a decision. That is also an old-school opinion, but it's just my humble opinion.

21 Anonymous

How you experience living together, either before or after marriage, really depends on the couple. My husband and I moved in together after only 6 months of dating and lived together 2 1/2 years before our wedding. We moved in for the convenience and economic advantages of sharing one house.

When we moved in together there was a learning curve that comes with every new cohabiting situation. We have both grown up a lot since moving in together, and addressed some of those dealbreakers that pop up in every relationship.

Before our wedding, we experienced an unplanned pregnancy and economic hardship together, two experiences which strengthened our resolve and solidified our commitment to one another.

Since the wedding, the biggest change we have experienced has been in our finances. Over the past four years we have become more financially united in terms of goals and approach to reaching those goals. We have learned an immense amount about communicating and how to make compromises between our very different financial strategies.

I personally don't regret for a minute the decision to live with my husband before we got married. The transition to married life may have been smoother than for those who move in as husband and wife, we continue to grow more and more intimate, trusting, and financially capable each day.

22 Anonymous

@myprettypennies-About wanting marriage to actually be special and exciting: YES! Exactly!

I think it's awesome that you have enough respect for marriage and your girlfriend to wait to live together. As a woman, I would seriously question my relationship if my boyfriend thought he needed to "test me out" by living with me before making a commitment! And I would never do that to him, either. We get the same questions from our friends as you do and it doesn't phase us at all. You guys sound like a solid couple who will have a very happy and long-lasting marriage someday.

Keep up the awesome no-nonsense blogging!

Meredith

23 FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com

BF and I moved in together after less than a year.

We were just so comfortable being together that it was a natural transition. We also hate roommates (I mean, strange roomates)

It's totally awesome you respect marriage and want to wait.

For me, I prefer kind of knowing what they are like in terms of habits and attitude at home, so I can adjust early on and ask them to adjust to me as well

It's not that I want to test out the commitment at all, by moving in together.

That way, it isn't a huge stress when it's "official", because it's a lot to deal with at once if you choose to get married (I may not get married either but I will have kids), are newlyweds and living together for the first time.

Anyway, they're right about one thing, living with someone else (GF, BF or neither) def. saves money if you split bills in half :)

24 Foxie | CarsxGirl

Eh, just for the record, I lived with my husband for a month after we met for the first time… Like, I flew out to be with him for a month so we could meet in person. (As if divulging that we met on MySpace doesn't get weird enough looks, right?)

Then we went our separate ways, and lived together again for three weeks in his itty bitty dorm room in England. (On an AFB, he's AF.) Then I went home again, and in '07 we moved down to our present location and have been living together ever since. (Save for his trips and deployment.)

Of course, we're such an odd couple in that we are so compatible it's scary. We're perfect compliments to each other, and we get excited over the same sorts of things. (Bride seats, anyone??) He's totally my best friend, but so is my cat and I live with him too. ;)

Anyhow, it's personal choice… And I've either lived with my husband or not seen him for months on end. I definitely appreciate what I've got!

As for marriage, it ain't all it's cracked up to be… LOL. There's def. a phase you go through where everything's peachy, and then you get to the point where you're like, "Omg, I can't believe that I almost hate you right now when I love you so much." Seriously. I almost think you can't love someone truly until you can hate them at the same time. (I know, that sounds so retarded, but you have to realize that you can hate someone at times and still love them… Shit happens, lol.)

25 graduatedlearning

My boyfriend and I live together…but it's different from most of the other commenters. Basically, we were housemates first. Total, our place was 2 guys and 2 girls. Well, basically, my now-boyfriend and I fell for each other, and started dating. It has been more than 2 years and we're still together. And since we loved the place we were living, we're still there as well. Separate bedrooms, and same number of roommates (though we shifted roommates in the past years due to others going to grad school, buying houses, etc.)

I think in any other case, my mom would be flipping out (i.e. if I moved in with my boyfriend), but knowing we have separate rooms and other roommates makes her feel better. And that way we're kind of in an in between spot, between living separately from each other, and "living together".

26 rubee

I guessed we got the memo to move in after a year of dating then because that was what we did. ;)

In all seriousness, it was just a natural progression – we were splitting our time between each other's places that it made sense to get a place together and we absolutely love it. Not having to deal with messy housemates is bliss!

Financially, we save so much more by moving in together because we're now only paying one rent and we've cut down on eating much.

27 @TiredoBeingPoor

MDT and I live together now, but we waited nearly 2 years. We didn't do it to save money (mainly), and it doesn't have to do with marriage, because we don't really plan on ever getting married (it's a political/religious stance thing, lol). It's just because we like spending time together and it's more convenient than one of us lugging our overnight/school/work stuff across town every other day.

28 TeacHer

Thank you sooooooooooooo much. I just got into a fight with my mom about why me and my bf don't live together, why we're not engaged, blah, blah. I'm only 24! We haven't even been dating two years! Jeez, guess I didn't get the memo either. And apparently because I'm the girl, I'm supposed be pushing for these milestones to happen. Another memo eaten by the dog. I'm so sick of being pressured into living other peoples' lives and choices, it's refreshing to hear someone justify mine.

29 Michele

Isn't there a statistic for the longer you live together before marriage the shorter the marriage? I've known tons of folks that lived together 5 years or more and were married for 2 years before divorce. They expected that person to transition (esp. women) from the irresponsible boyfriend to the family husband. When it didn't happen, the relationship ended.

I like the idea of not living together before hand. I am in my 40's and just don't see the total excitement about it anymore – been there, done that, and got the ugly T-Shirt.

30 Red

Before D moved in with me, I lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment. When we couldn't find an apartment cheap enough for us, we went ahead and moved him into my one-bedroom. I immediately began purging my stuff. I had so much furniture and books and DVDs that I felt suffocated. But after I got rid of things I wasn't using, especially furniture, the place began feeling a lot bigger.

We still live in that one-bedroom, 650 square foot apartment. We split all bills down the middle, which means I'm actually living with 50% less money going toward bills. D lived with his brother before so he's only paying about 30% less. We do not split things like decorative vases. If I want to spruce up the apartment, I buy those things on my own. I just wanted to point out that sometimes moving in with a girl doesn't mean an increase in bills. ;-)

All that being said, it's great that you know what is right for you and Girl Ninja. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to be in a relationship. So good for you for recognizing that! :)

31 Ronnie

My BF and I moved in together almost a year ago, after having dated for 3 years and known each other for 7. Our parents didn't flip, hallelujah, but I won't repeat what my father said. One, it was cheaper for us to live together. I had to move out of my apartment, and the difference between 1bdrm and 2bdrm was $400. Splitting the entire cost was a significant reduction for me. He's about the same, but claims he eats much better! We were also tired of the 35 mile, 44 minute with no traffic at all commute, which caused us to be late because, even though we were exhausted by the time we got to each other, we just had to stay up and spend time together. Ahh, but it's so lovely to wake up next to him!!

There's definitely no right or wrong way to go about it, and besides, you're about to be married (CONGRATULATIONS!!! Totally awesome post!), so you'll have all the rest of your life to wake up next to Girl Ninja. Enjoy it!

32 Jessica

Well done post! I'm a little late on commenting but I know you'll get my reply. My husband ( then fiance) bought a house and I lived in it while he lived at home. We waited on everything as well and let me tell you it was awesome. It still is awesome waking up to my best friend. As corny as that sounds as cliche as it may sound. It's awesome. I'm excited to find a blogger that shares a lot of my feelings!

33 cameronwisdom

I have an issue…I have been dating my girlfriend for 8 months now and we have fell deeply in love…we are both seniors in high school this year and have both got accepted to Kansas State University…we checked the price of the dorms and they are like 8 thousand a year and think it will be a lot better if we were to get a house with another couple in Manhattan, but her dad doesn't want us doing that because he thinks I will get in the way of her education. We are both 18 and I think that it should be her decision on what she wants to do once she leaves her house..im just really stubborn when it comes to these kind of things and don't really know what to do. I know you guys probably don't care but I just cant stop thinking about it cuz I want everything to go the way we want it. If anyone has any advise please reply!! thanks

34 Guest

No way, even if iI had been dating for 10 years! I follow Tom Leykis 101. She can have her place, I can have mine. Keep it separate. Living together only gets messy. I mean what if you break up and you're locked into a lease?

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