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Want to Cohabitate? 3 Reasons to Find A New Place

As a child, I remember sitting in front of my TV trying to watch my Saturday morning cartoons while my mom was in the background talking loud as hell to her girlfriend on the other line. Growing up in a West Indian household, you quickly learn that when your mom is talking to certain friends, her voice is gonna carry throughout the entire voice, and there ain’t a damn thing you can say about it because, “you don’t pay no bills here.”

So as I attempted to hear the critical dialogue of one of my favorite shows, ThunderCats, I was constantly hearing my mother laugh loudly on the phone about how “So-and-so went and shacked up with some man!” Although I was young, I interpreted “shacking up” as a negative, which only continued as I grew older and began to truly understand what it meant.

But now, as a man in his mid-thirties who is currently shacking up, I thoroughly disagree with the ideology that the first time you live with someone should be as man and wife. In fact, I think it’s wise to test out your living compatibility before you choose to walk down the aisle. With that said, there is a proper—and terrible—way to do so.

One of the best ways is to move out to a new place with your significant other. One of the more potentially problematic ways is to move into your significant other’s dwelling space. This doesn’t mean that the former will ensure relationship success; it just simply alludes to the idea that the former presents benefits that the latter doesn’t.
Here are some the benefits.

1) You’ll be moving into YOUR place.

The subtle nuance of moving someone into your already lived-in, broken-in home is that the feeling of it being your home typically never dissipates. That’s your couch, your microwave, your TV, your Playstation and your plastic hangers. No matter how generous you are, it is damn near impossible to remove yourself from the mentality that you are allowing them to use your stuff. That’s not fun and depending on your disposition, it could incite some truly awkward or angry moments. The benefit of moving out into a new place is that you are both endowed with the consciousness of equal ownership.

2) New place, new memories.

If you were to move into your significant other’s place, chances are you are effectively moving into somewhere that at some point was a regular spot for an ex. If we’re keeping it real, most of us have had exes who damn near lived in our spots before, whether they officially moved in, or were just there all the damn time. Our bedrooms can wind up becoming a veritable sarcophagus of the spirit and memories of old lovers. Our homes are not only filled with memories—and even mementos—of exes, but are reminiscent of a life that no longer fits us anymore. But a new spot can remedy that by giving both of you a clean slate. Every single thing you do there will be new for you and you can create a host of new memories without infringing on the old ones.

3) Welcome to your new lifestyle.

This point can’t be stated enough: the benefit of moving out into a new place as opposed to moving into your significant other’s place is crafting the new lifestyle that works best for your relationship. Most of us tend to live in places that work for us as single folks and that place sets our routine, such as how we get to work, where we hang out on the weekends and even who we hang out with. When you find yourself in a new relationship, you’re mostly fitting that person into the everyday organized chaos that is your daily life. It’s not horrible, but it’s also not great either.

The awesome part of moving out with someone is that you’ll probably get to choose a new neighborhood—or maybe even a new city or state—to live in, maybe even find a new job (or transfer offices if that’s an option for you), which all lends itself to the majestic part of building a new life with someone you love. That feeling is a lot better than trying to take your new partner and shoving them into the life you already crafted for yourself alone.

Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.