May 30, 2011

Shacking Up

I'm the type of person who approaches life like a lion seeks out his prey. I'm an excellent stalker when it comes to a goal I have in life or a big decision I'm going to make. I become obsessed with that particular goal/decision, learning all that I can before I leap into action. I ask advice from everyone around me; I learn from other's mistakes and ask for guidance from God. My next big decision involves another person so this time it's twice as complicated.

Ever since I could remember I have always wanted to be engaged before I moved in with someone. I felt as though shacking up would taint the relationship. Maybe what I felt wasn't in vain because statistics show couples who move in together have a higher divorce rate than those who wait until after they're married/engaged. However when all signs but one point to YES what's a girl to do?

My roots always take me back to my religious identity. I know in my heart shaking up is wrong in God's eyes. I know that he has favor on his children who obey him. Like my Momma always says, "God don't bless no mess." After thinking long and hard I realize that I really want God to bless my relationship in the best ways possible. Not only do I want him to bless my relationship but, I want him to bless us both individually.  

Moving in together means more to me then just having a roommate. When we move in together we are committing to a future together that will end in marriage. It is a very big deal and people have different pieces of advice based of their own experience.  Every relationship is different it is hard to compare your relationship with another person's relationship experience. So when I ask others advice I usually take it with a grain of salt when it comes to some complicated situations like this one.

After much thought and research these are the questions you should ask yourself before you decide to move in with your significant other:

1. Why do I want to move in with him?
Moving in together is not a legitimate goal. However, building a future and being the other half to your soul mate should be. Moving in together is the beginning of the joining of two people that will become one and if that's not your goal then maybe you are not ready to move in with each other.

2. Can I accept their flaws?

This is where unconditional love comes into play. Once you move in with a person their flaws will be magnified, so it is better to talk about each others flaws early on and figure out if you are ready to accept it on a daily basis. Also, you have to genuinely like your mate as a person and not just in a romantic way.

3. Have you already addressed the problems that you are already aware of?
If there is something you have a major issue with, it needs to be addressed before you decide to move in with each other. Otherwise it may cause a major conflict in the relationship later on because you will not be able to just get away from them like you could have when you were not living together.

4. Is your long-term goals compatible with your mates?
Religion, family, career, traveling and spirituality all have to fit in together. Do you want to provide for each other? What are the liabilities your mate is bringing with them and are you willing to take them on as your own? All of these long-term goals need to match up with what your partner wants for their future as well.

Living with someone is a big commitment. If you’ve already answered some of these questions and you are not certain about the answer you may need to take a step back. Think hard because this decision will affect your relationship. When making an important decision like this act like a lion and look before you leap.

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