Elvis Presley famously sang ‘Wise men say only fools rush in”, but according to the latest research so do nearly three million couples. But it’s not a case of rushing into love, but moving in with each other. The creators of Disney movies may have a heart attack to learn that nearly half of couples quizzed by price comparison website Confused.com admitted to moving in together sooner than planned. And that’s not because they were head over heels in love but instead because finances forced about one in five to shack up together.
Although it typically takes lovebirds more than three years to squirrel away enough dosh to buy a home, one in 10 said they wanted to save money to purchase their own property. Gone are the days that men would wine and dine their beloved, getting to know their partner slowly but surely before moving into their first home together. No siree, now nearly a quarter of the couples confessed they felt forced to live with their other half.
Rushing in too soon can have a detrimental impact on a relationship. Receptionist Amanda Lillywhite, 26, of London, moved in with her former boyfriend six weeks after first dating but called time on their relationship eight months later.
“I think living together too soon was a big reason our relationship ended,” she said. “Our honeymoon period was cut short and I had to deal with all his bad habits such as leaving wet towels on the floor and not sharing the housework. The romance died very quickly.”
Tales of doom have not stopped one in 20 couples moving in together within the first month of dating.
It appears that young people are rushing in feet first as Brits aged 25 to 34 are the most eager to buy a home with their other half, with nearly one in 10 waiting less than six months before moving into their love nest.
It is easy to get caught up in the fantasy of spending evenings together snuggled up on the sofa. But in reality everyday living also involves juggling annoying friends, intrusive family members or even pets that think your carpet is the toilet.
Relationship expert Tracy Cox insists couples must understand their partner’s differences in order to have a happy home life. In a recent blog she said: “To live happily together, without resentment, you need to be good at respecting differences, able to stomach each other’s idiosyncrasies and put up with the weird habits all of us have and think we don’t. You have to be able to allow each other ‘me time’ without interpreting it as a passive-aggressive sign they’re angry with you.”
It’s important to consider the pros and cons of living together because the wrong outcome can result in heartbreak and the additional cost of finding another home. Here are the top five things all couples should consider before house hunting:
1. You’ve argued and worked it out. It’s important to realise that all couples have differences but it’s the way you solve any issues that will define if you make it or break up.
2. Talk about your finances. Although many find this is tricky issue to bring up, it’s best to get it out in the open as it can cause major conflict. Things to consider are how will you split expenses? Whose name is on the lease? Will you have a joint account?
3. Split household chores. If one person is untidy while the other has borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder then you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Avoid arguments by splitting chores for cooking and cleaning. And if you don’t have a dishwasher then invest in one as it’ll reduce arguments over whose turn it is to do the washing up.
4. How compatible are your lifestyles? You may get on like a house on fire during your dates, but if one of you needs a good night’s sleep, while the other enjoys being a party host then you could be heading for a major downfall.
5. Go on holiday together. Test the waters by taking a week long trip together. If you’re still loved up in a unfamiliar place, hangover with a mountain of dirty laundry still to do then chances are you maybe on to a winner.