Cohabitation: The Conversation That’s Not Happening

By Ariel Minter

If you took 39 seconds to watch that clip from Scrubs, it comically depicts when one partner in a coupleship starts to “sneak move in”. I have more friends who live with their significant other than those who are married. 

This is an interesting pattern change from previous generations. Most of us Gen Xers and millennials have been there: you spend most of your time with this person, soon your roommate is complaining about watching Greys Anatomy all alone and how your preferred Almond Milk is going bad because “you’re always at your boyfriends place.” And she’s right. You are ALWAYS there. In fact, having to run home to use your favorite face wash and grab a fresh pair of clothes is getting quite inconvenient (not to mention you’re still paying for 1/2 of all the bills even though you’re never there). 

Soon, your lease is coming to an end, and you and your boyfriend have both mutually agreed that it makes the most sense to split the cost of living between the two of you. That, and the fact that you spend all of your time together anyways, become the reason you make it official and join him on his lease. These two logical reasons are what guide you both to make this decision.

I recently read an article that explained a “decisive marriage” is what makes a relationship successful compared to those that do not. What makes any relationship decisive is having those hard conversations before the hard situation comes up. And a lot of those situations aren’t logical at all. 

Here are the top three life transitions that need to have decisive conversations beforehand. And sometimes, it’s the perfect time to have a few sessions with a Life & Relationship Coach, because having “the talk” can be awkward. 

1. Cohabitation

Okay, you get this concept already. Instead of making the decision based just on what makes the most sense for your time and money, it’s important to think about what this means for the long-run and your overall well being. Would you feel like you’re settling, and easing into this dynamic because it is the easiest solution to money problems? Or because you are comfortable and your partner makes you feel “good” (mediocre)? Do you want to share your life with this person? Could you see yourself having a family with them? These are tough questions. 

Are you comfortable asking your partner about these topics? If the answer is no to that question, then it is a pretty big indication that moving in together is not the best solution. 

The Huffington Post wrote this article a few months ago, and this quote still sticks with me:

“In a 2009 study, Dr. Galena Rhoades, a Research Associate Professor at University of Denver, found that those who cohabited before marriage reported lower marriage satisfaction and more potential for divorce than couples who waited until they were engaged or married to make the big move. Through her research, Rhoades posits that the increase in cohabiting couples is resulting in marriages that simply never would have happened in a non-cohabiting society.”

2. Marriage or Life Commitment 

So you’ve met The One. Congratulations! You know it, you think they know it, and you think you might be ready for that next step: a commitment to that person for a lifetime. Again, this is a major life decision, and once it’s made it takes a lot of time and money to undo it

When you choose a life partner, you need to be able to ask the tough questions. What are you willing to put up with? What are you unwilling to put up with? Do you build each other up and motivate each other to be the best version of yourselves? And when you aren’t the best version of yourself, do they support you? Of course, there is not secret list of questions that guarantee you will make it. But, the fact that you are willing to talk about, and plan, how you might handle a future situation means that you are taking the first step in being proactive. For a more in depth analysis, check out this article

The best thing you can do is be authentic and honest about who you are, ask that they do the same, and have the talks you and your partner have been avoiding. There is power in clarity. 

3. Family Planning 

If you or your partner have been having the baby itch, first of all, share that thought with them. I have heard numerous family and friends tell me that having a child has not only changed their life, but has been the greatest blessing in it. I believe them, and (I think) someday my husband and I will make that choice together. 

One dear friend just said “Don’t wait until you are 100% ready, because you never will be! Wait for 70%…or 80%…then get to it!” 

I am not the person to give advice on this topic further than exploring it. I think that the best thing to discuss with your partner is the kind of parenting style you imagine having. My first indication that my husband and I weren’t ready sprouted from a conversation about our differing beliefs on letting babies coddle themselves or not. 

But, I digress…

This is a beautiful decision, and it is true, it takes a village to raise a child. Talk to your village: those who you love and trust. And I do mean talk about it with them, not necessarily take their advice. Ultimately, you and your partner will know when the time is right. The most important thing is to have the conversation with your partner. 

Family planning also includ
es how you and your partner want to handle the holidays, if you are wanting to upgrade to a nicer home, job transitions, and more. 

We are pleased to announce a 3-session package designed to assist you or you and your partner in how to have those difficult conversations that don’t come up well on their own.  Are you and your partner ready for cohabitation? A life commitment to one another? To start a family?  Contact us to schedule your consultation. 


Ariel is a freelance blogger, web designer, and SEO consultant. She is 23 years young, married to her soulmate, and a proud “mother” to boxer Bruce and yorkie Dexter. She focuses on writing content that is raw and relatable. If you would like to contact her for either design or writing, you may email her at [email protected]

PremiersCBB. “Sneak Moving In” Online video clip from Scrubs.
YouTube. Web. 4. December. 2014.