Hey, it’s Tiffany again, here today to discuss a difficult topic – should you move in or move on? You’re in a long-term relationship and you may be wondering if it’s time to take that next step. I’m not talking about marriage. I’m talking about cohabitating – living together – shacking up. Before the 1960’s, the mere thought of it was socially unacceptable. But times have changed. In fact, today nearly 70% of couples live together before tying the knot. Should you move in or move on?

Does Cohabitation Lead to Divorce Later?

Until recently, many experts believed moving in together before marriage made couples more likely to either never marry at all, or end up divorced. But a 2014 study busted that myth. According to new research from the Council on Contemporary Families, cohabitating does not increase the chances of divorce, and it probably never did. What does lead to divorce, regardless of whether or not you lived together before marriage, is entering a committed relationship before you have the maturity and experience to know you are with the right partner — in other words, couples who marry too young, too soon, or for the wrong reasons. So where do you and your partner stand? Should you be moving in…. or moving on?

Not Sure about Moving In? Try a Test

If you think living together is a good way to test the waters, you probably are not ready. Yes, you will learn about all his habits, like whether or not he leaves the toilet seat up (a deal breaker for some of us), but if you feel in any way unsure about a guy, do you really want to be tied down to a lease with him? It’s really hard to move out once you’ve moved in. Instead of moving in to test the waters take a trip together. You will be able to determine your full-time compatibility, on a temporary basis, and without making a major commitment. You could also take Gregg’s advice and spend a few days visiting his family! Don’t forget, this is Tip #4 in a recent article, Is He a Keeper? Four Tests to Find Out. If he already gets on your nerves, it may be time to walk away. You can’t change him. If you stay with the wrong guy just because you’ve been together for so many years, you might miss out on the right guy who is waiting around the corner. On the other hand, if you love everything about your man and you can’t wait to be together 24/7 maybe it’s time to take the plunge.

All Or Nothing

If you truly are confident in your feelings, and feel mature enough to make the decision to move in together, commit to your choice. Couples who are mutually committed to a relationship and deliberately choose to live together before marriage are statistically more successful when it comes to making it stick. Don’t unintentionally slide into it. Don’t spend the night five nights in a row, buy an extra toothbrush and claim a drawer in his dresser slowly over time. Go about it the right way – all or nothing at all. By making it a conscious choice instead of an unplanned accident, you will both be happier in the long run.

Be Realistic

Of course, moving in together when you are already engaged is a bonus. But when that’s not the case, there may be a little voice in your head saying, “Why would he buy the cow if he can get the milk for free?” If he still hasn’t put a ring on it, maybe it’s time to have a serious talk about where the relationship is going. Perhaps neither of you is ready to say “I Do” just yet, but does he see himself married to you in the future? Obviously, it may seem like the next logical step to you, but does your man agree? Don’t just assume you are on the same page. If he is nowhere near ready to even talk about marriage with you, be realistic. If you feel the same way, and you still want to go for it, well then, go for it. Move in together. Just be sure about what you really want, and make it clear to him first. He may never be ready and again, you are not going to change him. If that works for you, don’t sweat it. But if it does NOT work for you, don’t expect miracles if you move in with him anyway. You will only drive yourself crazy and waste precious time on a man who will never be your husband.

Should You Move In or Move On?

There is no “one size fits all” answer when in comes to deciding whether to move in or move on. Follow your heart (and your gut) and do what’s right for you. As long as you are mature about your decision, you can’t go wrong.

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