Cohabiting for the first time - any tips?
 
 

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Cohabiting for the first time - any tips?

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  • Cohabitating for the first time
  • Horse cohabiting Girl

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    11-27-2012, 10:11 PM
  #1
Started
Cohabiting for the first time - any tips?

I'm moving cities to live with my partner in December - we've been together 20 months but I've known him for over 6 years. He has a young daughter (2.5 years) and is her sole carer.

He will be returning to work early next year (he's been working on and off, but has had a few bad injuries that kept him out of work for a while). That's fine with me, because I'll be working from home and I'd like to see him be able to get back into the workforce - as much as he loves being with his daughter he does need some structure to his day. And I'm a terrible workaholic so having something other than work to focus on will be good for me.

Neither of us are particularly romantic - although we love each other very much there is no way we'd be having candlelit dinners together... Sometimes he tries too hard and forgets that I'm a bit...uh...masculine in my activity tastes (I like watching sport and good car shows, fixing stuff, fiddling around in the workshop and similar things). But we both love horses, fishing and camping - and we'd like to travel overseas one day if we ever have the money. So we do have a lot in common as far as interests go. And while there are a few differences we also have similar taste in houses, cars, food, beer and a lot of other stuff - which is all great!

And I'm pretty messy, he's pretty neat (but not obsessively so) - so I'll need to pull my act together! But I've lived with people before (guys and girls), just not people that I was in a relationship with.

Anyway, enough of the overlong infodump. Hope you had the patience to read...

Even though I think we're a good match we both know it won't be easy and that we're going to have to work at it, and have spoken about this a lot. So, any tips for cohabiting? Anything we should do to make sure we keep communication good, reduce stress (things'll be a bit financially tight for a while), make the best of our similarities and differences, and just generally stay together and keep the ship afloat?

Fair few wise ones on this forum and I've found a lot of other forums and articles on other sites have been useless for me as they tend to be very "romantic" and just not at all like either of us (and they really don't seem like the stuff most guys would actually appreciate in truth).

(Gents, feel free to chip in along with the ladies - I'd really value your input.)
     
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    11-27-2012, 10:27 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Get things in writing. Division of rent, other bills, food, etc. There are pros and cons to having both names on a lease when not married.

You don't think of it, but a marriage license is a contract and there are reams of law based on that contract. You want at least a little protection when sharing a household with anyone.

Are you going to be a babysitter to his child, too? Might want to get expectations related to that spelled out and in writing. Division of housework? Address any issues as they come up.

How's that for non-romantic? I'm very pragmatic and have heard all sorts of tales of woe from men and women who ended up quite unhappy when they shared housing with a boyfried/girlfriend. Sure it happens to married people, too, but they have laws to protect their basic interests when things go bad.
     
    11-27-2012, 10:28 PM
  #3
Started
Remember that he's not psychic and can't read your mind.

Don't try to change him/his habits/his routines.... all at once

Accept that by moving in with a 2.5 year old, your life is just about to become secondary to hers - in very way the sooner you get over this, the better.


Apart from that - have fun! It's a great adventure ahead of you
     
    11-27-2012, 10:44 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Make sure you have the money figured out; who pays for what, or if you have a joint bank account, you want to be sure you are on the same page as to how to prioritize money.

Will he expect you to be a "step mom" to his daughter? If so , he will need to allow you to discipline her from time to time. Certainly, you cannot be without some say-so in how the girl is treated, but neither can you step in and start telling him how to parent.
Will the girl's mother be on the scene? I'd want to be sure she isn't going to be intruding into your life.

Is this cohabitating a prelude to a marriage?
     
    11-27-2012, 10:48 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Donot have anything joint. Either property , utilities or accounts. Also you are going to have to set some ground rules with the child from the get go. Course they will probably end up getting ignored. Id at least insist on your own space especially if you have to work from home.
     
    11-27-2012, 10:57 PM
  #6
Banned
Yikes, I am about to agree with Joe. Don't set up joint finances for now, wait to see how things work out if you want to do that later on.

I'd want really firm guidelines on who is expected to pay for what - and the child care arrangements.
     
    11-27-2012, 11:19 PM
  #7
Started
Thanks everyone!!! Fantastic tips in there! Woohoo! And not a scented candle or rosepetal trail in sight!

We won't be having joint anything - mostly because I have a much better credit rating and higher earning capacity, but also for the other reasons mentioned. He's good about me disciplining the little one and gets pretty cross if he thinks I'm being too soft on her or excusing bad behaviour (I try not to! I have a lot of younger siblings and had no problem there but it's just about me getting used to it all). His job is in racing though, so he will actually be home a fair bit during daylight hours and the little one knows to entertain herself so it's more just a matter of keeping a good eye on her.

Given my higher earnings I'd be happy to pay a bit extra because it'd be very hard on him to pay equal everything (at the moment he gets concessions as a single parent, so for him it's an increase in living expenses whereas for me it's a substantial decrease - especially as our new place is not in stupidly-expensive Sydney...). I will be having a "study" - while I'm fine working in noisy spaces we're both people who need our own space so we're not constantly on top of one another.

Tiny, he'd like us to get married but for me it's neither here nor there - if it means something to him then sure, but otherwise there's no fuss. Even though she's not allowed to call me "mum" by her mother, I am determined to treat her as I would if she were mine (and that includes disciplining her!). But he's far too good at parenting for me to even think about telling him what to do...

Rosie, I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where my parents, while they have a very good and strong relationship, saw us as first in their priorities, so I have always seen the little one as No.1 among the three of us. And thanks for the tip about him not being a psychic - that's been the one cause of (momentary) friction in the past, me thinking that he understood what I was trying to convey even though I was doing a c**p job of communicating it. So I'll have to work on that.
     
    11-27-2012, 11:41 PM
  #8
Weanling
Ok so you're not a girly girly romantic type, but by cohabiting I assume you have a sexual relationship too and not just room mates?
First thing is cohabiting really doesn't indicate if a marriage will be successful. Been there, done that. Lived together for 2yrs and everyday was laughing and talking and we even slept together in a twin bed for the first year always snuggled and happy. Within 30 days of the wedding it was like someone had pulled a bait and switch. Totally different person.
Anyway that being said, if he wants the same thing you do being aware of keeping communication open and ongoing and working together to keep things afloat then why not just get married? Marrying a best friend with common interezts and having each others back over the years is probably one of the best marriges anyone could want in reality.Having someone to share your happiness with and someone to lean on when you need to lean is priceless.
That being said, I really don't care if single people live with somebody different every 2 years, if it's not fun anymore you can just walk as the other person is adult and can do the same thing and can take care of themselves.
The only reason I'd suggest making it legal instead is because there's a young child involved.I have a 4yr old granddaughter and her daddy will move in with any woman that will support him in an instant, then that becomes Chloes home too on his weekends and holidays, it takes maybe 6 months to a year for these women to wise up and kick him out but by then he's got Chloe calling the woman mama and thinking she has a brother and then all of a sudden one day she doesnt have a brother anymore or the other mama. When this stuff happens repeatedly is it no wonder a child grows up with problemx?
Anyhow, I wish you nothing but happiness but at least consider that a great friendship and comittment to working together is a great foundation for a marriage and a better life for the little one. And it's much easier to just have a roommate than cohabit, at least then your only obligations are financial.
     
    11-27-2012, 11:43 PM
  #9
Weanling
Ok so you're not a girly girly romantic type, but by cohabiting I assume you have a sexual relationship too and not just room mates?
First thing is cohabiting really doesn't indicate if a marriage will be successful. Been there, done that. Lived together for 2yrs and everyday was laughing and talking and we even slept together in a twin bed for the first year always snuggled and happy. Within 30 days of the wedding it was like someone had pulled a bait and switch. Totally different person.
Anyway that being said, if he wants the same thing you do being aware of keeping communication open and ongoing and working together to keep things afloat then why not just get married? Marrying a best friend with common interezts and having each others back over the years is probably one of the best marriges anyone could want in reality.Having someone to share your happiness with and someone to lean on when you need to lean is priceless.
That being said, I really don't care if single people live with somebody different every 2 years, if it's not fun anymore you can just walk as the other person is adult and can do the same thing and can take care of themselves.
The only reason I'd suggest making it legal instead is because there's a young child involved.I have a 4yr old granddaughter and her daddy will move in with any woman that will support him in an instant, then that becomes Chloes home too on his weekends and holidays, it takes maybe 6 months to a year for these women to wise up and kick him out but by then he's got Chloe calling the woman mama and thinking she has a brother and then all of a sudden one day she doesnt have a brother anymore or the other mama. When this stuff happens repeatedly is it no wonder a child grows up with problemx?
Anyhow, I wish you nothing but happiness but at least consider that a great friendship and comittment to working together is a great foundation for a marriage and a better life for the little one. And it's much easier to just have a roommate than cohabit, at least then your only obligations are financial.
     
    11-27-2012, 11:49 PM
  #10
Weanling
Oops, sorry for the double post.
     

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