"Bliss is when we are together...
So why not have the bliss forever" by Bhaswati
Living together has become an ideal and preferred arrangement for most couples in a long term relationship, in fact even more so than marriage. Couples find it an economical and practical decision and also take is as a trial run to check their compatibility with each other. Although it might sound a win-win situation for both the parties, but there are also certain downsides associated with this kind of an arrangement, especially if you are used to your space and independence. Some men find living together to be too domesticated and others might find it too constricting and claustrophobic. Men might foresee living together as a situation where their valued independence flies out of the window.
It is however not too difficult to overcome the downsides and make it an enriching experience for both the partners. Moving in together could be a fun experience, provided you are open to certain changes and also if you have discussed the nitty-gritty of the arrangement. The idea is not to rush into anything hasty but make an educated and calculated decision.
Take off the rose colored glasses: Moving in together is a big decision and requires a lot of maturity and understanding from both the sides. If you are getting into this arrangement with blinders on; hoping to find happily ever after without any glitches, than you need to think again. Living together has less romanticism attached to it than the practicalities of life. It means sharing the hurdles of life together and to get to know how you both fit in with each other through all the stages of life. Although there is a certain kind of romance attached to the fact that you get to be with each other all the time, but that same fact can become a thorn at your side after a certain period. So, you will need to think about this decision practically, instead of romantically.
Decide your boundaries: If you want to live with your girlfriend and at the same time have a little male space of your own, it is better to make it clear in the beginning. A house is usually dominated by the women in the family and you will see traces of their presence everywhere. So, if you are used to only seeing your electronic paraphernalia lying around your living room, then it might come as a shock to see girlie magazines and a potted plant lying there instead. You will need a personal space to brood alone and do whatever men are used to doing in their own space, and which will become a little difficult after you move in. So, set the ground rules beforehand and you will have much peace later.
Keep the romance alive:
It is difficult to have the same kind of intensity and eagerness in a live-in relationship that what you usually have when you are dating the person you are really smitten with. You will not have the same kind of anticipation that you earlier had; when looking forward to your dates, which is quite natural. It is therefore more important to make an effort to keep the romance alive when you are living together. You should think of ways to surprise your girlfriend by planning something nice, once in a while. You should also take advantage of the fact that you are staying together and get to know each other even better. The fact that you have the time and opportunity to make love should not make you feel less passionate. You should explore each opportunity to get more close to each other.
Be independent but act responsibly: Living together does not have to mean that you are staying in a prison but at the same time it means your carefree and irresponsible days are over. If you are used to staying out late at night without informing a soul then you will need to change that habit because you are staying with your girlfriend. Living together makes you both responsible for each other and because you have taken the step of moving in, it means that you are mature enough to take life on a more serious note. It doesn't mean that you have to curtail all your activities, that are something that you will need to discuss with your girlfriend, but it certainly means that you have to keep her informed about your whereabouts. It is not about losing your independence but about being accountable to the person you love so that she does worry unnecessarily.
Define your space: It is easy for your life to become too reliant on each other when you are living together and this becomes detrimental for both you and your partner. You should be close to each other but at the same time have your own life to live. You should not be living out of each others pockets or have a dependent relationship with each other. It is important to meet and socialize separately and have that personal time without your significant other being present all the time. This does not mean that you don’t love each other anymore, in fact staying apart and having your own time and space will ensure that you have stronger feelings for each other.
Talk it out:
Image courtesy: gettyimages
If you have made the decision of staying together, you will need to sit together and come to a mutual agreement about the arrangement. It is easy for the girlfriend to get carried away with her plans; which usually happens, leaving the boyfriend struggling to find his bearings. If you are feeling the same way about the decision, then maybe you should postpone it for sometime till you get your feelings sorted and arrive at a mutual consensus. It is important to discuss even the smallest of things and get any unpleasant disagreements out of the way. This way, you can also avoid the small bickering and blaming game which comes later in the relationship.
Like any other relationship live-in has its own pros and cons but with a little care and effort it can prove to be a rewarding and enriching experience.