The prospect of moving in together can sound very exciting and alluring. Cohabiting represents a whole new stage of the relationship when we begin to share our daily lives, learning more about our partner’s ‘quirks’ and effectively committing ourselves to sharing our physical and emotional resources. In our enthusiasm though, it is easy to neglect taking the time to truely explore our compatibility. Sometimes in a ‘whirlwind’ romance our passionate and all-consuming emotions simply takes us there and before you know it, you are doing ‘house’ together.
Taking the time to explore your partner’s values, beliefs and attitudes towards life and relationship is necessary to ensure that you are not setting yourself up for disappointment or hurt or even, in some instances abuse.
Here are 9 questions to consider and explore both privately and with your partner before you take this next step:
1. Do you feel respected in the relationship?
- Are you listened to?
- Do you feel heard?
- Do you feel understood?
- Does your partner accommodate for your needs?
- Does your partner make spend quality time with you to nurture the relationship?
- Is your partner respectful in the way they speak to you and behave towards you?
- Do you feel safe with them?
- Do you feel proud and comfortable in social situations with your partner?
If you answered in the negative to any of these questions it is important that you address this before you move in together. Believing that your partner will change once you have moved in together is self-deceptive and sets you up for significant emotional pain and frustration. Talking to a counsellor will assist you to clarify this issue.
2. What expectations/assumptions do you each have for the other?
- Does your partner have certain expectations around the roles that you will perform in the household context? Do you have your own expectations or assumptions?
- With regard to independence in the relationship, to what degree do we give up our independence to become a team?
- How do we each experience the others family? Do you want to stay close to family? Does your partner like your family? How will their attitude effect you?
3. How does your partner talk about the opposite sex?
- Are they respectful or demeaning? If your answer is in the negative, it is likely that your partner will eventually treat you with equal disrespect.
4. Do you know what your partner’s short-term/ long-term goals are? How might they impact the relationship? How might they impact you?
- Is this a long-term or short-term relationship?
- Do they want children? If so, when?
- Do they want to travel? If so when?
- Do they want to be married eventually or prefer a de-facto relationship?
5. What is your partner’s relationship like with their parents and siblings?
- Are there any unresolved issues? How are they dealt with?
- How do their parents deal with conflict? How does your partner deal with conflict?
- How does your partner communicate within their family context?
Getting to know your partner’s family dynamics will give significant insight into how your partner is likely to react in your relationship, how they communicate and negotiate. Why not consider a couples session with a Family Therapist to learn and understand more about each other’s family dynamics?
6. Does your partner have a religious preference? How will that impact you and your relationship?
- Do they adhere to particular rituals?
- Do they hold to certain beliefs?
7. What is your partner’s relationship to money?
- Is accumulating wealth a significant driver? How might that impact you and your relationship?
- Does your partner talk to you about their finance?
- How will you use your financial resources in relationship? Is it a shared resource or independent of each other? What might that say about the relationship and the level of trust?
The issue of finances within the relationship is a common theme of couple counselling. Becoming familiar with your partner’s attitudes and behaviour towards money is necessary for the health of your relationship.
8. What are the ‘rules’ about our relationship?
- Is our relationship exclusive or does one of us want a more open relationship?
- How will we share our material resources?
- How will we negotiate time together and time with friends, family or independently?
Questions such as these are often only assumed but never discussed and therefore have the potential to become major stresses in the relationship.
9. How does your partner react to the word ‘no’?
- Are you allowed to say ‘no’? Do you fear repercussions if you say ‘no’? Where there is strong coercion or manipulation or physical violence is applied so that you feel like you have to move in, that you have no alternative, it is a sure sign that everything is not as it appears to be. Seeking out a Counsellor to talk about this will give you further clarification and support.
Are you thinking about moving in together’? Do you want to take your relationship to the next level? Do you need the support of a professional to assist you in creating a healthy relationship? Contact Colleen 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW.