Ah, the big question. No, not that one. The one about cohabitation. Should you? Shouldn’t you? Will living in sin enhance you and your woman’s relationship or destroy it? Potential hazards lie on both sides. If you move in together before popping the question, she might constantly pine for a ring, and a breakup could be extra messy. On the flip side, if you don’t, when you realize she constantly cranks Clay Aiken and eats crackers in bed, it’s too late to do much about it. Teetering on that high relationship fence? The answer lies in an honest look at your situation. So sit back, relax and let this checklist help you decide to sign a lease… or change the locks.
1. You should move in if… half your wardrobe, plus an extra razor and shaving cream have already taken ownership of her apartment space. You shouldn’t move in if… you’re afraid to leave your toothbrush at her place for fear she might get clingy.
2. You should move in if… you’ve already talked extensively about your future together, and even the possibility of marriage. You shouldn’t move in if… the thought of buying an engagement ring sends you running for a sink to lose your lunch into.
3. You should move in if… you’re open to change in your personal environment: new bedding, artwork and perhaps a little furniture rearranging. You shouldn’t move in if… you’d rather take up residence in a skid row halfway house than surrender your life-size poster of Alessandra Ambrosio—and accompanying dresser shrine.
4. You should move in if… you’d be happy to host both your friends and hers for the occasional casual party. You shouldn’t move in if… you need to keep your friends away due to her regular vodka cran-induced handsy-ness and/or you need to keep her friends away so they don’t induce a breakup by planting another girl’s earring on your nightstand.
5. You should move in if… you’ve spent great lengths of time together, at home, on vacations and even with each other’s family. You shouldn’t move in if… the majority of your dates have taken place at McFadden’s.
6. You should move in if… you’ve met each other’s families and enjoy (OK, at least tolerate) spending time with them. You shouldn’t move in if… every time she says her mom’s stopping by, you make up a last-minute meeting or friend crisis to avoid crossing paths.
7. You should move in if… you don’t mind sharing the remote, even if it means a few hours of Real Housewives each week. You shouldn’t move in if… you’d require two separate TVs in one room so that you can each watch your favorite shows separately.
8. You should move in if…you know how to do your own laundry and are willing to take on the task (including hers) now and then. You shouldn’t move in if… you visit Mom regularly just to make sure you have clean clothes.
9. You should move in if… you reserve a majority of your nights for hanging out with your girlfriend (even if some of those nights are in a group). You shouldn’t move in if… you limit “couple time” to once a week.
10. You should move in if… you’re ready to split the cost of groceries evenly, regardless of who makes more money or who does most of the shopping. You shouldn’t move in if… you were planning to label your milk with your initials.