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Our First Place

I was recently asked how long one should wait before posing the question to their significant other about whether or not they are ready to move in together.  I had no idea what to say to her.  I didn’t exactly follow a logical path with my husband.  We talked online for about a year before developing serious feelings for each other, but it wasn’t as though we spoke consistently.  We both were also dating other people at the time and not exactly flirting or trying to make things happen.

Eventually, my husband wrote a blog about his breakup and I hate to say it, but I was happy.  I stopped seeing my interest at the time, which was easy because we had never taken things further than kisses and sharing concerts.  We made things official on November 18, 2007.  He came to see me that next month in December and at that point, after about 40 hours together, we decided we were going to be married and live in Indiana.  Two months later I was here.  Two months after that, we were married.  I moved a thousand miles to be with a guy who I had barely spent any time with.  We’ve now been married for 4 and a half years.

I’m fairly certain that my path with my husband means that I am the last person that should be giving advice on how long one should wait before taking that step in their relationship.  But in all honesty, even if I did have a more typical courtship with him, I still don’t believe I could answer that question and be of much assistance.  The dynamics of every individual is different and the dynamics of every relationship is different.  Rushing in blindly happened to work for me, but it spells disaster for others.  Waiting for a year works perfectly for some but would have made me insane if I had to wait with my husband.  There is no right answer.

One of the big problems in deciding when the time is right is making sure what you are feeling is true love and understanding as opposed to puppy love and infatuation.  I’ve been in puppy love, I’ve looked for love with the wrong people, and I’ve been downright confused.  With my husband, however, things were clear.  Things felt different and for the first time, I knew that this was it for me.  That being said, since I had never felt this before, I had no idea what to be looking for and no way of knowing I was wrong in the past about people.  Once I felt the clarity I did with my husband, it seemed obvious, but how was I to know prior?

I’m curious to know what you think.  When did you know the time was right to bring up the subject of cohabitating?  Did you have failed efforts?  Did you succeed?  What would you say to someone who asked you how long they should wait?

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on October 3, 2012, in Love and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. First time was when I was 19 and came to California. My girlfriend back in CT followed me out a year later and we moved into an apartment next to a Weinershnitzel. She worked at the Weinershnitzel and I worked at a $.99 store. That worked about a year before she got home sick and had to go back. I was cool with that. I was liking her less and less every day anyway.

    Then I lived in my filipina girlfriend’s room in her mom’s house. I figured her mom and dad let me do that so they could keep an eye on us. I think I was about 21 at the time and she was 18. That worked out for about a year. Then her parents told me they were sending their daughter back to the Philippines for a nursing degree and there was nothing I could do about it. They didn’t like the idea of her possibly marrying an American anyway since we run up too much credit card debt and aren’t stable. She went back to PI, I took out a $2,000 unsecured loan from BofA to pay off her debts and fly her back to live with me in an apartment I had gotten, she got hooked on crack (shabu) in PI and kept doing it here behind my back. Eventually she had to go to the hospital. I was over it. Her parents shipped her back to PI. It took me a year to pay off that loan after she left. I have been very stable for longer than I can remember and have no credit card debt.

    I lived with my buddy and we got a roomate, this girl who was dating an Alaskan crab fisherman. She was cute. I was busy working back in CT and sending money back to him to pay the bills. Most of the year, when it wasn’t crab season, her boyfriend lived in our apartment without paying like a leach. My buddy ended up sleeping with her during crab season, the boyfriend came home and tricked him into admitting it was okay if he had slept with her by saying, “Bro…it’s okay…I know what you guys did while I was gone, so let’s just put it behind us.” My idiot friend fell for it, the guy actually had no idea what happened while he was gone, led to a fight and everyone evacuating the apartment after putting a few fist punch holes in the wall while I was in CT. When I got back, I had no electricity, no hot water and the house was full of rotting garbage. I had three weeks to move, and I was going to lose my deposit because of the holes. My friend was too chicken shit to come back and help me move and too embarrased to see our neighbors, as apparently while I was gone, my buddy and our girl roomate had also decided to have a four-way with the married couple downstairs. So I had to abandon all my furniture and fish tank and move onto a mattress in my new girlfriend’s, best friend’s, mom’s house (more of an example why crab fisherman should not live with their girlfriend’s in other men’s apartments – all twelve of them currently in this exact situation in the U.S…lol)

    Then I rented an apartment with a girl for three years I think. That went quite well. But as I got older she seemed to get dumber and I just couldn’t handle it anymore, so that ended.

    Then I met my wife. We kept seperate apartments for a year or so, but she would stay at my place from time to time and vice versa. I was poor at the time so I was renting a crappy room in a crappy house with crappy roomates, meanwhile she was a diva in the club scene living in a nice Newport Beach apartment with her girlfriend so I much preferred to crash at her place. Eventually we got an apartment together and combined our stuff which helped, after living in rentals for so long we were sufficiently stocked. Bought some decent furniture. It was a nice apartment next to a bike bath, right next to an outdoor shopping center, community pool and jacuzzi, etc… Brand new complex in a nice city. We had a great time there. Spent many evenings on the balcony having wine talking about work, our strategy for moving up, raises, promotions, how to play some event using corporate politics in such a way to use it to our advantage. We helped each other many times in our careers out on that balcony. We were there for four years. Right around this time we got married.

    We started to look for a house during the last year of that apartment, but the housing boom was on so we had to wait for the crash. We thought it would take a year or two to collapse, so we decided to find a really nice apartment to make our last apartment before the house. We found a unit that was not even built yet and held it. Corner unit facing a quiet tree lined street in the same beautiful neighborhood. It had nobody above or below or on any sides but one…the bedroom wall with a quiet family living next door. It was perfect. We ended up living there for four more years waiting for the bubble to pop and the prices to level off on the downside.

    Then we bought a house together.

    I would recommend to everyone that they live together first. Since I am an athiest, I have no religious compunction that might disrupt my belief in this. IM’ing, texting, sexting, emailing, dating, is about 40% of what you need to know about someone else. The rest is learned by living with them and it is enough to make you think twice about continuing the relationship. I have learned and left a few potentials based on what I learned about them while we were living together and that as time went by we became slightly different people than when we started and it was enough of a difference to warrant a quit.

    This is truer the younger you are as well as what you think about yourself, others and the world when you are 25 will be completely different when you are 35. I also think people need to figure out their physical compatability. I have known too many that found out too late that they weren’t getting what they wanted in this regard from the other side and that almost always leads to problems as well. Sometimes, it’s just unavoidable, that’s just life…things change, external factors spontaneously appear…that’s normal…but MOST of what you need to know about the other person, physically, can be figured out BEFORE big commitments are made.

    Anything after that is just life and the way life is. But it’s always better to eliminate as much of the unknown as you can, that is within your control, because there is plenty that you can’t that is outside your control.

  2. I think if you feel that way you just say ‘hey..I think we should live together’….or ‘move in together’..or..you know whatever way the person wants to word it. If you get a look of shock..you can pull out the ‘why are we doing this’ line….but if you’re like 17-19…maybe even early 20s…..it’s probably not a good idea unless you’ve got back up plans.

    Granted what the hell do I know..my limited experience with this is a chick i was dating that randomly dropped a bomb about wanting to marry me…which i kind of laughed at….as I wasn’t even going there or if i was it was a loooooooong time off …..

    Also I think a LOT of where each person lives can come into play of logistics of it…..obviously if person x has a one bedroom loft or something…moving to there place ain’t a great option..if person b has a bigger place with the extra room…maybe you try the cohabitating as room mates first type thing….I think no one should EVER get a place “together” however until they know they are trying to be together….never buy a house before you’re married or at least deeply engaged…never sign a lease that’s to long or you may end up getting burned….though again as implied..what the hell do I know…i HAVE seen others mistakes though.

    maybe even go the old fashioned don’t live together until you’re married route…but that’s unrealistic for a large percentage of people these days…so being realistic…what I said above….don’t do it until you’ve got something to fall back on and it’s a pretty solid relationship with uber solid footing….or something 😀

    ooh so..yeah..if someone asked me how long to wait..I would say once you’ve got that impulse and spent “15” minutes with yourself really thinking about it..go ahead and bring it up..you don’t have to be “ASKING” so much as bringing up the concept/subject and see how the other person reacts or feels about it…..if they say it’s too soon to think about…good chance they ain’t in for the long haul…if they scream YES! YES! YES! and jump into your arms and hug you….they might mistake that as you saying “so you wanna get married”……so maybe preface it with…’I can see us one day getting hitched but before we take that big leap..how do you feel about moving in with me/me moving in with you/us getting a place together’….yep…

  3. Good point on the lease thing. Ive seen couples sign leases together or even co-sign for car loans and credit cards and nothing is messier and more expensive and foder for the nasty break up mill than combined finances like those.

    Kids usually run up credit cards, and have hight interest loans and it boils down to a blame game on whose idea it was to buy the spatula and every other single item on the cards to shift the burden of who is responsible to pay. Car loans….. Lost rental deposits. Oi, nothing but bad.

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