By Robert Manni for GalTime.com
Guys are creatures of habit. You can bet that if you stop over his place and more than once you find him lying across the couch watching sports, this is a reflection of how he lives. And small tells like this can be critical guideposts when deciding to take the plunge and share living quarters with your guy.
This is not to say that all guys are like jungle animals who hunt, eat and then lay around until they get hungry again, but men have their own rhythms when it comes to their man caves and their idea of cohabitating with a woman. As always, your Guy's Guy is in your service, so without further adieu, here are my five suggested considerations for women before shacking up.
1. The Big Picture
While channel surfing recently, I stumbled upon a reality show about professional wrestling divas. The stars were two lovely twin female wrestlers who were dating two big time male wrestlers. While commiserating about their relationships, one twin stated that her boyfriend was fine with her moving in to his palatial home but told her in no uncertain terms that he would never marry her. He said her loved her and that he'd be faithful, but his stipulation was that marriage was 100 percent off the table. She decided to move in anyway.
Ladies, if a guy ever positions the relationship to you this way, run. If you agree, he's going to have his way with you sexually until he gets bored. Then he will replace you. Please don't shoot the messenger. Being your Guy's Guy means sometimes sharing the occasional ugly truth and it's not always an easy task.
The point is, find out the parameters of what the relationship is and can be before agreeing to live with your boyfriend. Of course, with all things equal, you can always play the role of the male wrestler.
2. It's the Money, Honey
We all know how important finances are to a successful relationship and how many breakups happen due to the issue of cash or the lack of it. Talk things out in advance and make clear who will be responsible for what. My experience is that once you're living together patterns form fairly quickly. The rent, mortgage or monthly maintenance fall into place relatively easily, but what about who pays at the grocery store, or for the utilities and cable, or dinner, the movie theater or the dry cleaner? The list of transaction possibilities is endless and I've found that once someone pays for something a few times, they own it until further notice. Have that talk before you sign the lease or you may be in for a few surprises.
3. Clean Machine
When it comes to a tidy living space, many guys fall short. Of course this is a generalization. There are a lot of women who let the dishes pile up and leave the laundry in a big ball on the floor. That said, I suggest taking a good long look at your guy's bathroom, sheets and floors before sharing a space. I read somewhere that on average men only change their sheets about five times a year, so that's what you are up against. And unless they have a cleaning service the same can be true of how often they get those scrubby bubbles going in the sink, shower and toilet.
4. Friends and Family
Have you noticed how often there are a bunch of dudes hanging out at your boyfriend's crib? Or if his brothers, sisters and other relatives seem to always be around? This is worth keeping in mind. He may not be a happy camper if his buds or brothers are not as welcomed as often as they were in the past. Again, this is about men being creatures of habit. Be gentle, but be firm when dealing with friends and family. It's always a delicate topic and many guys take it personally when they see their life evolving.
5. Party Time
A man cave is also where dudes enjoy throwing back a few cold ones. So if your guy's lifestyle is different from yours, be aware. Maybe you're a night owl and he's an early riser. Maybe you're a social butterfly and he's a lone wolf. Whatever the case, we're all individuals and we have our own lifestyles and behaviors.
The bottom line is that moving in with someone is a big decision and we've all seen friends that rushed into what was from the outside an obviously bad fit. It's because everyone wants love and there is nothing wrong with that. But let's look before we leap so we make our relationships the best they can be. Asking a few important questions can go a long way to building a successful live-in arrangement.
Are you asking the right questions before moving in?