Jo Lamble explains why you should – or should not – live together.
No matter how old you are, the question of where your relationship is going may come up at some point. No one wants to waste time if the relationship isn’t progressing. But when you meet someone later in life, it’s not as easy to know what that progression looks like.
While there’s no pressure from a ticking biological clock, there are often adult children to take into account. Plus, we are more set in our ways and not as flexible when it comes to permanently accommodating others in our homes. More significantly, there are usually money matters to consider. Without a binding financial agreement, financial security could be at risk if the relationship breaks down after having lived together for 12 months or more. So it’s worth thinking carefully about whether or not to share a home.
For some people, the relationship doesn’t feel right unless they’re sharing the same bed most nights or, at least, living under the same roof as their partner. But there is a growing group of couples who are together but live apart. They even have their own acronym – LAT (Living Apart Together). That is, the couple are in a committed relationship and may spend many nights together, but maintain their independence by keeping their own residences.
Other couples get to a point where they know they don’t want to see other people, but they live quite separate lives, only seeing each other once or twice a week. They enjoy having their own space and spending time with their own friends and family and only occasionally include their partner in these get-togethers.
As long as you’re both on the same page, it’s up to the two of you to discover what works best for you. Problems arise when one person wants to live together or get married and the other wants a higher level of independence. When you want different levels of commitment or different amounts of time together, it can really damage the relationship. Insecurity, jealousy and resentment can quickly build up and eat away at the positive feelings you have for one another.
It’s very important that you are both honest. There’s no point in agreeing to live apart or move in together if that’s not what you want. At any age, hiding your true thoughts and feelings will cause problems down the track. It may not sound romantic, but if you do agree to cohabit, seek legal advice so that your finances are not at risk.
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