The Living-Together Transition
Q: My girlfriend and I are moving in together next month after dating for one year. It's the first time for both of us. Our relationship has been great so far: we have fun together, keep the lines of communication open and still get hot for one another. Still, living together is a big step. Any advice on navigating this new level to our relationship? --John, 29
Dr. Susan: Living together is a big step indeed. It's a lot like marriage but without the commitment and the vow to work things through no matter what. You've dated for a year. When you've lived together for a year, that will be two years of being together. That's just about when the shininess of many relationships seems to wear off (if not sooner). I'd suggest talking with your girlfriend about expectations, yours and hers. She may see this step as getting closer to marrying and having kids. When might you see that happening for you, if you've even thought about it? Also, talk about the realities of being roommates. Is one of you messy and one neat? How do you plan to manage expenses? My advice is to continue to be honest with each other, no matter how things pan out.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.