Why I Don't Live With My Boyfriend Even Though It'd Be Cheaper

Illustrated by Emily Turner.
by Maya Kachroo-Levine

It seems like if you’re of a certain age and have been dating someone for a while, people think you should be living together. If you're not in a religious family, moving in is what you do when you’re “serious.” I find this idea overwhelming.

Most of my friends who are in relationships (including the ones who have been in relationships for less than a year) are moving in with their significant others, and it sometimes feels like I’m falling behind. My boyfriend and I have been together much longer but still do not live together.

It’s not that I’m opposed to watching my friends move in with their partners. Our 20s are when we all have to accept that we’re moving at different paces — not just in our relationships, but in our careers, financially, and in terms of general adjustment to living on our own. We aren’t “falling behind” just because we aren’t doing something in sync with our closest friends.

Related: 7 Questions To Ask Your Partner About Money (Before You Get Married)

Yet when everyone moves in, even if they’ve been together half as long as my boyfriend and I have, it makes me feel like I’m not as "serious" as they are. There’s some little part of me that’s tempted to move in just so that I, too, can be part of the circle with the other couples — those who we assume "know where their relationship is going" because they live together.
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I honestly just haven’t moved in with my boyfriend because I like my life as is, and am not ready for it to change just yet.

But I do know where my relationship is going — as much as anyone can. I honestly just haven’t moved in with my boyfriend because I like my life as is and am not ready for it to change just yet. I have faith in my relationship; we have nothing to prove to ourselves or to each other in terms of commitment. It doesn’t even depend on us being in the same place necessarily (if tomorrow I decided to move back east, we would be okay). And if that means I’ll occasionally feel like my friends are trumping me because they’re apartment-hunting with their S.O.s, I will have to live with that.

The biggest argument on the side of moving in — and the biggest argument against everything I just said — is that if you and your S.O. spend most of your time together and eat together, you’re effectively paying two rents and two grocery tabs when you could be paying one. My rent right now is finally decent, but I would probably save a couple hundred per month on rent if I moved in with my boyfriend. I’d also save on gas, groceries, and utilities.
Illustrated by Emily Turner.
So, needless to say, moving in is tempting. I think I’ll eventually give in to the temptation, but it can’t be just because I want to save money. It has to be because I’m actually ready for that step — and not just in the effort of keeping up with people around me or making myself feel more mature. Because right now, I don’t think paying more every month not to live with my boyfriend is a waste of money.
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I think eventually I’ll give in to the temptation of moving in, but it can’t be just because I want to save money. It has to be because I’m actually ready for that step.

While I’d love to save $400 per month, I love being on my own more. I love getting to work in the same room as my roommate. I love retreating to a room that is just my own. And I love not having to share my closet. When I move in with someone, the hope will be that we will always live together — and if that’s the case, I love appreciating the time before that happens.

There is a lot of time ahead of me that can be used to shack up with someone — whether my current boyfriend or someone else. But that also means there’s a limited amount of time when I can live with friends in a moderate-to-shitty apartment in the city. There is something wonderful about being a young woman living her life, with her roommate, for that special time. It’s a chance to explore life and see the world in a way I’ll never have a chance to again. And savoring that, to me, is more worthwhile than saving that $400.

Next: 10 Things You Need To Do Before Buying Your First Home
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