Under One Roof

December 6th, 2010

Shackin' Up

This was mentioned in a recent post and Ifeel like it got overshadowed by the bigger topic.

I keep hearing stories about people who dated for 3, 6, 9 months and then decided to live together. Which, to me, seems fast. But then everything has been sped up, hasn’t it? The courting process, the dating process, engagements. We’re not waiting around anymore. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not. It used to be that people moved in together because they believed the relationship would be permanent. It seems like now people move in together because it’s convenient. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. Is this a sign we’re less commitment phobic than we were or just more lackadaisical? Or is it the economy. :)

For me, living together is a step towards long term commitment. But it seems like many people nowadays live together out of some sort of convenience. A few months ago we discussed the phenomenon of how couples in the middle of a divorce who live with their exes under the same roof.

Are more people living together simply for financial reasons? Because they both live bust lives and living together allows them to spend more time together? or as a trial run for something more long term?

What are you reasons for living with someone?

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26 Responses to “Under One Roof”

  1. JC Says:

    I think more people are moving in together for all three of the reasons you posted. Times are tough, shared bills is helpful. Times are tough and people are working more, longer hours, second jobs. On a cold winter night having someone to come home to is like easier to having to go and meet someone at their place or a bar. I think in the long run that some still believe that living together before marriage is a good idea.

    When I lived with my ex I did it because I wanted more time with him.

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  2. Lottie Says:

    I guess it depends a lot on the individual, but I personally would rather live with friends than a partner right now. Or maybe with more than one partner? But if I had to live with just one other person I would go bonkers!

    I currently live on my own, but me and some friends are trying to find a huge house together to set up a housing co-op. We’re going to need 7 bedrooms, so it’s tricky! Some of us are in relationships with each other, but that’s not why we want to live together. We like the idea of shared bills, shared cooking and good company. And if we’re spending less, we don’t have to work so hard at 9-5 jobs, and we can have a better quality of life. :)

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    • Krystee Says:

      I love this idea! No matter what the outcome for some, for most it would improve the odds of not making a mistake in a future relationship all because you won’t feel so lonely that you just jump into something that appears to look good, you will feel more fulfilled with the friends you are close to in the house! Not that anyone was thinking this, but it has its rewards!!!

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  3. seekingpeace Says:

    My boyfriend of 7 months and I have just started to broach the subject. He wants to go to a couples therapist to talk about how to do it right this time, as we have both been married before…more than once. I’m not exactly sure what his primary reason is for moving in together – I suspect it’s more romantic than mine, because sharing the finances makes a lot of sense to me. We both make decent incomes and could be saving all the money he’s putting into his rent and utilities, a considerable nest egg for vacations, retirement, etc. He lives an hour away also (but works near me), so saving him the commute also makes sense. We currently spend only two nights per week apart anyway. We both have children, so we are not making the decision lightly. Our intention is to be dating a full year before making the decision – all this is preparation.

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  4. Trouble Says:

    I can’t personally imagine living with someone that I wasn’t at least engaged to, but I guess I’m old-fashioned. There would have to be some certainty on my part that things were going to last. I have kids, though, so the last thing I want to do is to let people into their lives that aren’t going to be around next year.

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  5. myself Says:

    I think it depends on age.

    People who think that there’s less time to wait, or have done this before and this one feels right.

    I like living alone, it’s going to be a tough decision for me to move in with another person…so it’ll have to be a while for me to feel comfy about it.

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  6. Craig Says:

    I like this site a lot better. It’s much less cluttered and easier to read. Now on to the topic at hand: Moving in with someone before you’ve been together at least a year is unwise. As the saying goes: only fools rush in. I moved in with my lady because after a year together, seeing her just on weekends simply wasn’t enough anymore and by then I knew she was the one.

    Men move in with women for convenience more than for financial reasons. I doubt many women would move in with a guy that needs her for financial reasons. As we learned from reading this blog, most women aren’t getting involved with a dude that isn’t self-sufficient and financially needs her cohabitation. You ladies all seek a guy who’s a provider, no? Whereas some women may do it for financial reasons in addition to those who do it for convenience. Women rely on men financially all the time – hence the “sugar daddy” phenomenon. But rarely do you see that arrangement reversed. That being said, I for one can attest that living with a woman is a huge financial windfall for a guy, however unintentional. You don’t go out as often, so you save a fortune on dinners and dates. I’m talking $500-$800 a month more in my pocket – that’s a lease payment on a new BMW.

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  7. Saj Says:

    I used to be all anti living together but when I did try it worked out pretty good.

    My motivation for living together (which happened really really quickly) was that my monthly rent was going to start going up and my boyfriend at the time was moving to my city to be with me and needed to get set up in something new anyway so figured why not just let him stay with me. At least I can start saving up for some furniture with sharing the costs plus he did 100% of the cooking and his fair share of cleaning so there wasn’t any negatives to bringing him in. We also had agreed ahead of time that if our relationship wasn’t going to progress to something more permanent in a year he would move out.

    I can see how this would be scary with a lot of unknowns or a messy person so I lucked out that I was living with someone mature who pulled his own weight.

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  8. Lottie Says:

    Craig, perhaps we live in completely different worlds, ‘cos I know I have a selection of bizarre and fascinating friends, but those are some pretty stunning gender generalisations. In this small sample alone we’ve already got some women who move in with people for financial reasons, and I’m sure we’ll see some dudes who’re moving in with their partners because they want to be close to them or whatever.

    I’m 24, and for a while I was with someone much older than me, and I had a higher income.

    What I mean to say is, I am a bit defensive because the way you seem to see the world is very, very unlike the way it looks to me!

    Lottie

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  9. JC Says:

    I have to agree with you Lottie, especially in these times I have seen a complete fair share of both genders needed financial help.

    Also not every woman wants a provider. Most women will get into a relationship taking care of ourselves and our bills, and our children and what we ask the man to bring to the table is companionship…but that is just me.

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  10. Craig Says:

    Lottie – I live in the world of NYC dating. Some women here do enjoy a dude taking care of all the expenses, and that’s a fact. However in most cases women here are financially independent – but they expect the man to be as well. If you’re not a guy who lives well on his own, you’re gonna be shit outta luck on the dating circuit here. In this town, you better be looking to move in with your lady because you want to be with her, not because you need her to share some of the bills. These are not generalizations, nor are they absolutes. But they are the norm based on experience.

    JC :I have to agree with you Lottie, especially in these times I have seen a complete fair share of both genders needed financial help.
    Also not every woman wants a provider. Most women will get into a relationship taking care of ourselves and our bills, and our children and what we ask the man to bring to the table is companionship…but that is just me.

    And yet that view doesn’t seem to apply in most cases when the check comes during dates.

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  11. JC Says:

    Craig, like I tell the men I date…”not all women are like me.”
    I wasn’t always like this, it wasn’t until I found myself unemployed and broke that I began to see how one sided relationships can be. Every body wanted to be around me when I was working but it was as if I was going to latch on to their money bags because I wasn’t working. I have always provided for myself but I now make it a rule to spilt the bill or take turns paying the bill.
    Honestly I have had to argue with men over paying because most feel it is a knee in the groin.
    So it isn’t that women aren’t reaching for the check…men aren’t letting go of it…

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    • LadyD Says:

      So agreed on that, JC! The last few times I’ve tried to pay the bill, the men actually got OFFENDED! Needless to say, these weren’t the wimpy Seattle men I’ve come to know; they were both NY born ‘n bred. Hmmm . . .

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      • seekingpeace Says:

        Count my boyfriend in this group – he’ll “allow” me to pay for some things, but he sees my insistence on it as offensive.

        So I’ve had to learn how to accept graciously. ;-)

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  12. Lottie Says:

    Craig and JC: I guess, like with anything, there are vast cultural differences! I’m in the UK, and I’m 24, and in my social group we are pretty fair about stuff like splitting the bill. Whether someone works or not has very little to do with whether or not they’re dateable, and income only really makes a difference if two people are living together and one person isn’t pulling their weight domestically, or similar.

    I can imagine that a lot of men might like to hang on to traditional roles to be romantic, by insisting on handing the check. And I can imagine there are women who like to feel taken care of. But to say that all women are like that is surprising to me. Perhaps it depends on the social circles you move in. :)

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  13. JC Says:

    Lottie :

    I can imagine that a lot of men might like to hang on to traditional roles to be romantic, by insisting on handing the check. And I can imagine there are women who like to feel taken care of. But to say that all women are like that is surprising to me. Perhaps it depends on the social circles you move in.

    Sadly it is a cultural thing because from my sister to my friends all think letting the man treat always is perfectly fine. I do hate generalizations, though.

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  14. JC Says:

    Also I think more is pride than romantic notions, at least with the men I have encountered.

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  15. Erine Says:

    I am going to have to agree with Craig on this one. I am a girl still in my 20′s and I can attest that yes, the dating scene in NYC is such that a man is almost expected to have a good paying job (by NYC standards) and his own place. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying this, but this is how I feel and how a lot of my female friends feel too. Now, I take care of myself 100%, I have a full-time job, and I cater to my own needs fully. Yet, if I meet a guy of a certain age who is still living with roommates or always wants to split our dinner bill, I just don’t think I would be able to “cope.” There is just something off-putting about a man doing that, same as a woman who bad-mouths a beautiful woman who’s just walked by is.
    Men of a certain status (a.k.a the NYC crowd) want to date a woman who is attractive and well-groomed, and women who are attractive and well-groomed want to date a man who is financially secure. I remember last spring, shortly before I met my current BF, I went out on a date with a guy (first date) who meticulously calculated the tip and told me to get the tip while he was getting the check. He got the check, the tip was of a much lesser amount, but the fact that he did that just made me cringe – I couldn’t help it, I wasn’t a gold digger, I wasn’t planning on quitting my job and becoming his full-time expenditure, but it was off-putting.

    Now, there is a problem when a woman becomes delusional. I’ve seen some successful Manhattan women of a certain age who still expected to be taken out to the most coveted spots and showered with jewelry by handsome corporate sharks. Then you have a problem.

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  16. myself Says:

    Ok. I’m speechless on Erine’s response. And thankful I *don’t* live in NYC.

    Wow that was cringeworthy.

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  17. Paula Says:

    As has been mentioned here a bunch, the NYC dating scene is really skewed. Probably the NYC living together scene is probably skewed accordingly, both in relation to whether it’s being done for financial reasons, and also whether more people live together without rushing to marriage.

    There was an article in the paper here this weekend about a local university finally allowing students of the opposite sex to be roommates — not just coed dorms, but coed rooms, as long as they know each other in advance. We may be a few years away from it, but we’re moving to the point where “living together” will not be a big deal at all, and part of the virtually required natural progression of the relationship, if people are going to be living with people of the opposite sex from age 18 or 19 on.

    I think we’re almost to the point where it isn’t how Moxie and Trouble view it, a step towards long-term commitment, and this economy might just tip it over the edge.

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  18. JC Says:

    Erine :

    Men of a certain status (a.k.a the NYC crowd) want to date a woman who is attractive and well-groomed, and women who are attractive and well-groomed want to date a man who is financially secure.

    IMO, being financially secure and always paying for a date are two different things.Yes I want a man that can hold his own. But as a couple we are both sharing in the activity so why is it the responsibility of one and not the other to foot the bill? When I go out with my female friends I split the bill so why does it have to be different because at the end of this meal I might go off somewhere and have sex? When couples marry don’t most have joint bank accounts?
    To me it seems very one sided. And since I live in NYC if standing by this belief means I stay alone so be it. I don’t want to be in a relationship where something as trivial as who pays for the meal causes an up roar, lol.

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  19. Saj Says:

    NYC seems to be a pretty awful place when it comes to dating. People seem waaaay too status oriented and preoccupied with their image rather then just enjoying life. I read somewhere that happiness with wealth can be correlated to having more then your peers rather then having a fixed amount.

    So now you have everyone packed into a small place like sardines and seeing what everyone else has that you don’t. It’s just going to make you envious or bitter compared to other areas that are more spread out where you don’t have to run into other peoples displays of wealth and attractiveness as often.

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  20. Vox Says:

    You are right about that, Saj. Standing on line at one’s local Starbucks, one may find a guy wearing a $1000 watch, a guy wearing a $100 watch, and one wearing a $10 knock-off he bought on the street. If you are the type always in search of the bigger, better deal, NYC will frustrate the hell out of you.

    As for the rest of this thread, Craig is definitely right. (As is the person who said that women are expected to look attractive here.)

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  21. Harold Says:

    If it’s right, you know, and waiting is silly. So is moving in together without commitment.

    My wife and I met in January, married in August. In 1978. 5 kids later, we’re still together and stil happily married.

    If you have to pose the question, “Is this the right thing to do?”, the answer is no.

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  22. Zim Zum Says:

    I/M/O I would wait at least one year of dating before you move in together. Perhaps staying overnight or on weekends is a preliminary way to see if things will work out on a temporary basis.

    Whatever you do, don’t co-mingle funds and buy an apartment together during the dating stage. If you do break up, that will be a difficult asset to recover. Save that until you are either engaged or after you finally do marry!

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