There is nothing on earth as frustrating as being at the whim of someone else. Especially when its someone that you have grown to know, fell head over heals in love with and without warning they radically changed. Damn, it makes me want to pull my hair out just thinking about it.
Many of you will suffer through this in your lifetime, a few of you will suffer through it more than once (because some learn lessons at a different pace). Hell, I went through this phenomenon myself. However, when I came out the other side I made an important decision about dating. Especially when the relationship moved to a point and you have that very important talk.
You ladies know the talk I am referring to. The one where the guy says, "Look, we spend all of our time together anyway. You have an apartment, and I have one. We spend all of this time sleeping at each others place, but we're paying two separate rents." Then he goes on a says, "Wouldn't it be better if we just moved in together?" "Think of all of the money we could save?"
Wow! You start to think maybe there is a future in this relationship and you as all women do, ask, "Are you sure?" However, inside you're bursting at the seams with excitement. You cannot wait to tell your girlfriends that he asked you to move in with him. You were so excited, you failed to carefully think this plan through and you really overlooked exactly whose apartment should you two move into. But, that's OK, because you're so happy whatever he wants to do is fine by you.
You can't wait to move in with him and make all of the modifications that will turn his place into a happy home, right? You should have read the fine print in the offer because this is a recipe for disaster filled with a hidden minefield.
When he brings saving money into the equation you need to know that's a red flag. "Think of all of the money we can save?" In real love money is not an issue. However, let me clarify that statement for you. If I really love you, then I want you to move in with me, not because it allows me to save more cash to buy more toys. I want you there because I want to wake up next to you every single morning. I want you to be the first person i see when I get up to start my day, and the last person I see and hold before I fall asleep. These feeling you make me have are priceless and money pales in comparison.
So, anyway you're thinking about how great it is to be able to live with him and he's thinking about the money he'll be able to save by sharing the rent, bills and expenses. Get the picture now? Yeah, you're really just a beautiful, sexy roommate that he has bedroom privileges with.
You on the other hand think that this is a prelude to marriage and you quickly begin to treat it just like that. You rush home to make him dinner everyday, you rearrange his apartment to make it more of a home instead of a bachelor pad and within weeks you convince him that you two need a joint account. Why? Because its what married couples do.
Now, currently he's still on board but what happens when he starts to feel crowded? You start to see a side of him you haven't seen before. He become irritable, starts coming home later from work and everything becomes an argument. The next thing you know, he's sleeping on the couch and you're crying yourself to sleep on a weekly basis.
Do you understand why this occurs? Believe me when I say that this happens everyday worldwide, so if its happened to you then rest assured you are not alone. It happens because you and he were never on the same page to begin with. The expectations of both parties were totally different and neither took the time to set up rules and expectations before the move actually occurred.
To make matters worse, when people live separately while they are dating there are loads of things they learn about one another over time. When you chose to move in together you learn a lot about one another very quickly and some of the things you learn you may not like. Living together you don't have that safe place to go to while you attempt to come to grips with his short comings as you would if you lived apart.
If you lived separately and a girl called him on the phone, you'd be a little upset, go home and think about it. He'd call and explain the situation and everything would be forgiven in most cases. If a girl calls him while you're living together, its a whole different emotion. You have no where to think this thing through except maybe another bedroom. Also, the thought that a girl called him infuriates you even more because now you're wondering if he's even informed her that he's in this makeshift marriage, uh, living with you.
When things get really bad and you simply cannot take it anymore (as he may be feeling as well), what are you going to do? It was really easy to get into this situation but getting out of it can be difficult. Where are you going to go? You gave up your apartment, remember?
This is the point where you should have had a "Single Women Survival Kit." Because when things get really bad, you'll be able to take complete control of your life and situation again. Trust me when I tell you that there is no worse feeling than the feeling of being trapped.
You've given up your apartment, your life, your freedom to make someone else happy and it just didn't work out. Now, you're sitting in the bedroom that you two once shared and he's drinking a beer on the couch watching sports after another silly argument. You feel trapped and confined and all you really want is to get out!
If you had planned ahead and had a "Survival Kit", you'd be able to do just that because you'd be prepared. Now, some will say, " If you're preparing for failure then it will do that, fail." However, we don't plan on having a auto accident, but we get insurance, just in case.
This survival kit, consists of some material items and a good deal of common sense. I'll give you a list I made up for you, it differed from the one I once had, but then again I am a man.
Item #1: A secret bank account:
I know, you shouldn't keep secrets in your relationship but this is basically insurance and believe me you may need it. You should place approximately $50.00 into this account every payday. The one thing that will be a hurdle for you is in the event that you feel as though you need to move out, is having enough cash on hand to get another place.
It sucks when you know that you once had a nice quiet place that you called home. It was your sanctuary, a place you could close out the world if need be. If you placed money into that account, you could find one quickly and move on. If not, it may take you a while to save up enough to move out. This means that you're subjected to many more months of frustration while trying to save something you could have already had.
Now, in the event that the relationship blossoms into something more as in marriage. Guess what? You can roll that money into an investment account, or utilize it to offset some of your wedding expenses. You can't lose by being prepared!
Item #2: Stockpile birth control:
Hey, until you are on your honeymoon it might be wise to protect yourself from an unplanned pregnancy. If your live in arrangement falls apart the very last thing that you need to discover is that you're expecting. Children are the greatest thing on this planet, however, caring for one as a single mom is a challenge.
A Professor once gave me this advice about sex. "Never sleep with a woman that you could not see as being the mother of your children." We all know that was not the case in some of the relationships I had over the years, however to eliminate the chance of an unplanned event I stockpiled condoms. Hell, when I was in my early 20's I think I purchased enough to give everyone at the Magnum plant a raise in pay. Lol!
There is nothing wrong with protecting yourself and making sure he's the right one. Then planning on having the child as a family, yep, you and he. Families can be only two people you know.
Item #3: Locate a neutral place to reside together:
If a man requests that you and he move in together, don't move into his apartment or allow him to move into yours. If you're serious about it and he is as well, the two of you together go and locate a suitable neutral abode to begin your trial live-in.
However, and this is extremely important, discuss with him his expectations and explain yours to him. If you two accommodate one another, this thing could really work to both of your advantages and grow into the ultimate goal. If you fail to examine what you both expect your chances of success are quite slim. This is just a thought, but you may want to explain to him at this time that you have no plans of being a lifelong girlfriend and live-in lover. Just putting that out there, OK? Remember what your mom used to say, "Why buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?"
Item #4) Keep your Finances separate:
In the beginning do not under any circumstances intertwine your bills or credit. You should agree to pay your half and he his. The only thing that both of your names should appear on is the rental agreement.
You want to do this to give you an opportunity to see how he handles his finances. If you intertwine your finances and share an account, it may affect your credit score. If his score is low, you may get dinged or worse credit agencies may start calling you about his debts. This is a horrible thing to discover after you're living together, but it happens.
Each of you should select a utility and place it in your own names, making sure that they pretty much are equal in the amounts you pay monthly. To clarify this, you shouldn't be paying $200 in cable bills and he's only paying $70.00 for water and the electric bill. Understand?
Item #5) An Emergency Credit Card:
You should if possible obtain a credit card with a credit line of at least $500. This card is for emergencies only and you should only utilize it once a month. During this monthly usage, go out to dinner or purchase a pair of stockings or anything that you can pay the bill in full on its due date.
This practice keeps the card active and paying it off monthly helps your credit score. As i said above though, this card is for emergencies only! What I mean by this is that in the event you need to stay at a hotel after a severe argument, this is when you utilize it. Need to rent a truck to move out because the relationship is sour, use this card. In a sense, its a safety net.
If you've been setting aside money as in item number one and you have this emergency card you have your freedom intact. Regardless of the situation you can move on and any frustrations will be minimal at worst.
Relationships are a risks, however that's what makes them so much fun. We also all know that without risk there is no possibility of reward. There is nothing wrong with hedging your bets by protecting yourself in the event that things don't work as planned. By covering your bases, its a win-win scenario for you. As I wrote above, if it works out then you have this small nest egg that you can utilize for something else. That something else could be whatever you want it to be, to include a nice Rolex for your new husband. I'm just saying. Men like nice gifts too.