IN THIS ISSUE:
Is It Time to Move in Together?By: Lori Ann Davis
In my work as a relationship coach, this question comes up frequently. Clients have worked on dating readiness, practiced their dating skills, and have found someone that they believe is the right one. Now they are wondering if it is the right time to move in together.
This means different things to different couples. For some, it means making that leap to a life time commitment including marriage. For others, marriage is not a step they want to take but the commitment for a life time partner is the same. Both are looking for that one special person to spend the rest of their lives with.
This is the key to deciding if it is time to move in together. Living together is not generally helpful for pre-committed couples. If the motivation for living together is to find out if you are truly compatible, you are not ready. You can find out everything you need to know about someone from dating. Yes, there will always be things you do not know until you live together, but these are generally areas you can work out if you are truly committed to the relationship.
It is time to move in together when you are in a committed relationship and you both agree to be all in! There are no back doors or exit strategies at this point in the relationship. You are 100% committed to spending the rest of your life with this person. How do you know you are ready?
You have taken the time to really get to know each other. You know your requirements and deal breakers and have discussed them. You and your partner have requirements that match and you feel secure that this relationship is the one you are both looking for.
Do you envision the same lifestyle? Have you discussed what your day to day life will look like, how and when you will vacation, how you will deal with children and extended family, social activities, friends, retirement plans, and all the other things that go into joining two lives? You do not have to match lifestyles in all these areas but you do need to talk about them and be comfortable with a lifestyle plan you co-create.
You have had your first fight and survived! Yes, every couple is going to have a fight every now and then. In the beginning of the relationship, this is a milestone. Can you disagree passionately about something, can you get your feeling hurt, or can you have a big misunderstanding and work through it? This tells you a lot about your commitment level and skills for conflict resolution.
Have you talked about how you expect to run your life as a couple? Have you discussed where you will live, how the bills will get paid, who will cook and clean, and other daily living topics? It is important to talk about these issues as part of the discovery process of dating. It is much easier to talk calmly about these areas before you move in together. Yes, there will be tweaks and adjustments after the fact, but at least you know you have the same values regarding these issues before you live together.
Have you taken a vacation together? It does not have to be a fancy vacation but there is nothing like spending 24 hours a day with someone in a new environment to learn a lot about each other.
Can you communicate openly with each other about your needs, desires, and wants? Are you being yourself around this person or do you still feel like you have to hold back so they will like you? We want to put our best effort into relationships always, but it is also important to be able to be ourselves completely and feel accepted for who we are. Having open, honest communication is how you grow in a relationship.
Quality time together
Are you spending enough quality time together already? Are you past the honeymoon phase in the relationship? If so, and you feel secure in the relationship you have created, then it might be time to take the next step and move in together. This can mean marriage or not depending on your beliefs and preferences, but it should mean you are 100% committed to the relationship.
If you are still wondering where you relationship stands and what the next step is, I can help. Contact me to schedule a strategy session.
Copyright © 2017 by Lori Ann Davis and the Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS empowers singles and couples to live richer, fuller, happier lives by helping them create unstoppable relationships. Lori is a Certified Relationship Specialist with over 25 years experience. For more information visit www.lorianndavis.com
How do couples stay sane during the holidays?
I just got married 6 months ago and now that the holidays are almost here I am going crazy with all of the demands from our families. My family has always had a tradition of getting together on the actual holiday and refuses to try to get together on a different day. My husbands family is doing the same thing. They both think if we don't choose to be with them for the holiday then we are rejecting them. They live too far apart for us to be with both in one day. My husband and I have been fighting about this for weeks now and I don't know what we are going to do. Any suggestions would be welcome.
I am so glad you are asking this question. There must be literally thousands of newly-weds out there grappling with exactly the same issue, desperately trying to please everyone, fighting about whose parents to honour first, not seeing the solution because they are so caught up in the middle of it all.
Let’s look at what is happening here. You have got married, which means you are a new family. There is so much to be grateful for. This is your very first Christmas together. It is a time to bond and craft your very own traditions. What would make Christmas special for you and your future children? It is natural for parents and parent in-laws to fight as they both love you and desire you to spend Christmas the way you always had, however, things have changed. It is a letting go process and it is uncomfortable for all, but necessary. As you said, it is physically impossible to be with both families on the same day. Even if it were possible, the fight would still be on for whether you go for lunch or dinner. Make sure you communicate in various other ways how much you love and honour them and then do what is best for your new family, prioritising and pleasing each other, without feeling guilty.
Has this been helpful? As you start looking at yourselves as a new family, you will see many of the perplexing issues ahead of you in a new light. Have a great Christmas.
Judith Halmai | http://www.marriagesuccessacademy.com
Jill Marie responds...
Holidays can be emotional times and are notorious for creating more upsets, even breakups, between spouses and family members than any other time of the year. Having a large family, I can understand the issues and concerns that comes with wanting to please everyone.
Fighting is surely the result of the pressure you both are feeling. But remember, you came together to as a team—so rather than fight, let’s consider brainstorming on solutions, instead. It’s important to be considerate of each other’s thoughts and feelings while brainstorming, as well as to be mindful of overriding to your partners ideas with your own opinions.
Here’s a few brainstorming ideas that might help curb the tension:
1. Alternate Dates: Pick and chose a date to spend with each family (ie; spend Xmas eve with one, the Xmas day with the other) and then alternate those dates each year thereafter. Sometimes spending a different day than the usual with the primary family members allows for a more intimate setting.
2. Xmas Pot Luck; Ask the families involved to consider meeting on a date and time at a specific location (like a church room, or local event space, etc) that is convenient for everyone. All it takes is one or two coordinators, and several volunteers to help set up and clean. One of my clients did this, and although it didn’t provide the same atmosphere as a home, she said it still felt “homey” because of the family members who attended. It also made it easier for parking and cleaning - plus gave them more room for everyone to enjoy sitting around a large circle to open presents, play family games, group announcements, etc.
3. Host It Yourself: Have the families come to YOU. Of course, this requires having a home that is big enough to accommodate everyone.
These are just some brainstorming ideas to get you started. Again, your FIRST goal should be to eliminate the fighting tendency in your marriage and instead choose to work together towards finding a solution.
Hope this helps!
Jill Marie Hungerford | http://www.TheBodyWhisperer.Rocks
Dr. Wendy responds...
Congratulations on your marriage! It's nice to be wanted except when everyone wants you at the same time! Your families are each used to having you there to celebrate the holidays with them. Now you are a couple and you will celebrate holidays together as a couple. Your families need to understand this.
How can you both involve your extended families in coming to a peaceable agreement about holiday visits? Is it time to get out the calendar and plan multi-year schedules? If you can’t be with both families on the actual day, can you plan a special visit on another day on alternate years? Might your two families agree to get together in one place? Another option is for you and your husband to celebrate on your own without either family!
You can be creative with your solutions. My extended family used to get together every Thanksgiving Day. The traffic was always terrible for people coming from all directions. Now we get together on the weekend before Thanksgiving and my husband and I host a Friends Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day (his family is 2 states away, so we see them every summer).
Let your families know that you love them, you want to spend quality time with them and you can only be in one place at one time. Reassure them that you are not rejecting them if you spend the holiday with the other family and make sure you plan quality time with each family throughout the year as best you can.
I wish you well and hope you enjoy a peaceful holiday season!
Dr. Wendy Lyon | http://www.drwendylyon.com
The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
Radical Marriage Book - Get your copy now!
for innovative relationship information, tools and strategies for couples
|Darlene Steele | Editor, Couple for Life News | CONTACT DARLENE
Copyright © 2017 by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved.
Feel free to share this with others as long as our contact information and authorship is included.