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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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