WARNING: These are HANDBOOK POSTS -- WRITTEN A LONG TIME AGO by some great women with great thoughts and deemed as handbook worthy by FDS mods for a reason. If you feel triggered or disagree with something -- THE SMART THING TO DO IS TO MOVE ON. Agree to disagree and go on your merry way. Stop trying to start bullsh*t in the comment section because I have no patience to deal with you.
Originally posted in FDS subreddit. All rights reserved to the original writer.
Does FDS have a stance on moving in with a boyfriend?
You bet. And you can probably guess what that stance is.
Don’t do it, sis.
Hang on, you might tell yourself. It’s the 2000s. Women have been successfully cohabitating with boyfriends for decades now. It’s not a new thing, and everyone is doing it. Anyway, how else am I supposed to find out if he’s marriage material?
Sis, let me stop you right there. The moment you move in with a boyfriend is the moment you lose leverage in the relationship. You’re giving up your independence in exchange for NO commitment from him. And, you’re setting yourself up to waste your time as a “forever girlfriend.” Here’s why you need to wait until there’s a ring on your finger before you even THINK about living with a man.
YOU’RE NOT AUDITIONING TO BE HIS WIFE.
If he’s serious about you, and doesn’t want to lose you, he will propose. If he’s unsure, but wants to cohabitate anyway, he’s testing you. You don’t need to be tested, sis. You know you’re a high value woman. You know what you bring to the table in a relationship, and eventual marriage. This guy is lucky to have you in his life, and you’re sure as hell not going to audition for the role of his wife.
Anyway, a “Journal of Family Psychology” study suggests that couples who feel the need to have a marriage "trial run" might already suspect their relationship is doomed to fail. Researchers found that this lack of confidence tended to carry over into the marriage, and couples who have cohabitated prior to marriage have a much higher rate of divorce. (thanks u/CuriousCatNYC777).
It’s a WASTE OF YOUR TIME to move in with a non-serious man.
Many men are happy to have you be their forever live-in girlfriend without ever seriously committing to you. This is a major waste of your time and energy, to sink years of your life into a man who was never going to commit to you in the first place. Plus, consider the emotional fall out of having a serious relationship unravel. It takes time to heal yourself, make peace, and then build yourself up to date again. Don’t put yourself in boyfriend purgatory! (thanks u/thewetdog_).
YOU’RE CUTTING OFF YOUR OPTIONS.
This one is obvious. Living together makes it impossible to keep your options open. By moving in with him, you’re essentially saying, “I’m romantically committed to YOU and YOU only, for the duration of this cohabitation even though we’re not married.” What the fuck is that?
YOU’RE GIVING UP YOUR PRIVACY AND INDEPENDENCE.
For what? To save a few bucks on rent, and see if he cleans the toilet? Sis, come on. You’re not really going to give up your safety, security, and solitude to cohabitate with a guy just to see if he’s “the one?” It’s a risky decision: think of how unstable you would feel if the place you call home was insecure because your relationship was falling apart. You deserve peace of mind in your own home, and living with a boyfriend won’t give you that. It will likely do the opposite, when your home is tied to a man who hasn’t committed to you. Get in a fight? You might be out on the street tomorrow.
IT’S A NIGHTMARE TO MOVE OUT.
Ok, so you moved in. It didn’t work out, and now you’re on your own again. Whose stuff is whose? Who gets the security deposit back? If he left the shared space, can you make rent? Do you really want to pay mover’s fees, split up the dishes, track down your socks from his LVM drawers, or deal with a damage deposit with your ex? Instead of a clean break with a guy you never lived with, now you’re texting him, asking if he’s seen your dog’s sweater collection. Meanwhile he’s on Tinder, swiping on Pickmes. Nah, sis.
YOU LOSE POWER.
He’s got you right where he wants you. Your bills and rent are combined, you’ve adopted a dog together, and you cook dinner with him three nights a week. Sounds cozy, right? Except he’s not your husband. He’s just a guy sleeping next to you, sharing your Netflix account, and it’s going to be really, really hard to walk away the next time he does something unacceptable. He’s got you pinned down, and you have severely limited your leverage by combining households with him. It’s not so easy to walk away when everything is intertwined.
THE INEVITABLE RETORTS:
1. “But how do I really know a man, unless I’ve lived with him?”
You’ll never really know him, sis. You can live with a man and all is fine, you marry him, and he still turns out to be a garbage. Maybe he’s clean and takes care of the cats, but he’s abusive. Maybe you live with him happily for a year, you get married, and then he cheats on you. What did all this living together prove? Nothing.
Living together for a year is NOTHING like marriage. Anyway, you can figure out a man’s cleanliness habits or your compatibility by simply spending ample time at each other’s places, or by taking a long trip together. As u/jalepenopancakes said: “I would much rather establish his commitment to me and be absolutely sure that he’s wanting marriage (while having to know slightly less about his habits) than possibly risk getting into a forever girlfriend scenario.”
Or take it from u/idiosyncraticg1: “If you’ve dated for long enough, slept over at his house etc, you should have an idea of what he’s like…At a certain point in the relationship you could spend a lot of time at the guys place. Some weeks I would sleep over at my ex’s place for 4 nights in a row. That, plus travelling, would tell you everything you need to know about the guy before moving in together. Obviously there will still be surprises after the move in, but they won’t be as large and scary if you’ve spent proper time with the guy beforehand.”
And, finally, as u/luna_kuma smartly pointed out: “The truth of the matter is that: you don't know. There is no guarantee that your seemingly HVM will not one day flip the switch on you. That is why the core of FDS is to always be able to walk away.”
2. ”But what if I already live with my boyfriend?”
I hear you here, sis, and I’ve been there. In this case, it’s in your best interest to start thinking about the inevitable move out if he continues to waste your time as a forever girlfriend.
Remember: a man who wants to marry you WILL PROPOSE, so don’t fall for the sunken cost fallacy.
You need to have financial resources in place. Know what your housing options are in the surrounding area. And, of course, make sure he knows you don’t depend on him. Casually bring up the possibility of signing a lease with a good friend. Make it clear that you’ve got options. Talk about how it might be nice to rent a little apartment down by the river. You shouldn’t give him an ultimatum, but by making it clear you’ve got other options, he might wake up and realize his beautiful queen has the ability and desire to go her own way. If he’s afraid to lose you, he will man up and propose. Otherwise…you know what to do.
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