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The Bull-Free Truth About Shacking Up

I lived with a man from the fall of 2004 to 2007. When we moved in together it seemed right, we were both working full time jobs, I had graduated from college and I was the sole caregiver of my youngest sister, shacking up worked from a financial and logical point of view. He was also over all the time anyways, so I figure let’s get an apartment together and make it even more official.

It worked for the most part; we were both folks who valued privacy and cleanliness. We both took turns cooking and bills were 50/50 split. It also helped to have someone else there to help with my sister.

There were many things that transpired between 2004 and 2007 that eventually led to me kicking him out, including hiding money from me, but the one thing I’ll never forget is how dead my passion for life became. I moved in with him expecting security and growth, he moved in expecting a sexually attractive and morally upright version of his neglectful mother. Some days I felt like an emotional zombie caught in a dizzy rotation of monotony. The relationship was heading to towards marriage and I knew in the pit of my soul that I could not see myself with this man forever.

Co-habiting or shacking up is not one of those black and white issues where there is only one working answer. For some couples shacking up has worked and continues to work, for others it has only left them with a wounded wallet and credit score. For more goal oriented couples they used the period as a warm up to the race and have gone on to marriage.

If you’re considering moving in together have a conversation about expectations, have a conversation about finances and have a conversation about values. You are now running a household together it’s not cool to have one person bear all financial burdens while the other cartwheels for hours on end. It’s not cool to constantly be borrowing from parents all so you can have a place to have sex in. And it’s definitely not cool to live with someone who is a slob or domestically defunct. When you sign a lease, that’s when shit gets real.

From a big sister point of view, I say hold off until you are both clear about what you want to happen with cohabiting. As cool as shacking up sounds, it does tend to mimic marriage to the point where it’s no longer a priority. So if that’s your goal, make sure it’s put on the table and included in the conversation.

I will add that cohabiting is so much more meaningful when you have lived on your own. It is assumed that you are both aware of household responsibilities and how to budget. Remember, we date to learn more about ourselves, sometimes this enhances our life sometimes it does not. Where’s your head at? Do you think that both names on a lease will make the relationship more official or are you ready to experience life together as a unit?

Enough about me: What are your thoughts on shacking up/co-habiting? When is the best time to move in together? What are a few requirements your partner would need to meet before moving in together?

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Goddess Intellect

Relationship Coach at Goddess Intellect
Telisha Ng is the Creator of Battle of the Sexes Show, and Goddess Intellect. You can always find Telisha offering fun wisdom and sound advice on relationships. It’s her mission to bring men and women together for love, respect and flirtatious freedom to make the world a better place.
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  1. Nightfall (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

    As you said, there’s different ways this can work out for people. I’ll give my general view on it overall and my view as applied to me.

    1) I view many shack situations as folk very just enjoying the convenience of sex because on demand. Also financial issues definitely look much matter w/ an extra bread winner in the house. But, the issue that I have seen is so many do this without much of a end game or plan and it just becomes a situation of playing house before you get sick of each other. I wont even get into the issue of those that just don’t like to be by themselves so its a race to have a partner in the house all the time.

    2) For me personally I view living together as part and parcel of the Engage>Marriage>Family Building package. Ideally moving in would/could happen maybe a yr to 18 months prior to a wedding to solidify the fact we can live together. But I couldn’t go into a live in situation without the knowledge that I plan on marrying this person.

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  2. Frankie (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

    “When you sign a lease, that’s when shit gets real.”

    That is so very true! When it came time to sign a lease with my s/o, I was a little worried for him because of my dominant personality. I think two people should live together on a trial basis if they’re serious about marriage. For us, it’s husband/wife practice. We even got a dog together for parenting practice. It’s not perfect, but the minute there’s an indiscretion, we correct it. You have to make it a learning process. Our co-habitation is based on learning each other, saving money, and awesome in-house sex…IN THAT ORDER.

    1- Don’t lose focus of your goals for living together.

    2- COMMUNICATE. It might sound cheesy, but taking an hour once a week to talk has worked wonders for us…especially since we work opposite hours. Turn off the tv, phone, computer, or whatever to just sit and talk about goals, indiscretions, putting the toilet seat down, discussing the grocery list, pets, the work week, etc.

    3- Go on dates.

    4- Be spontaneous. Just because you live together doesn’t mean you get to stop surprising your girl with flowers or cooking your guy his favorite meal in lingerie and heels every now and then.

    5- PAY THE DAMN BILLS ON TIME! You should know how much of a priority a person’s bills are before you even move with them. Set up automatic bill pay if it might be an issue.

    6- Save money for emergencies. You might need to bow out of your lease early cuz you found him in bed with your sister-in-law’s baby cousin Tracy. Ending a lease early, U-haul, public storage, new apartment + security deposit, and bail money (for getting arrested after you beat his ass) cost money. Don’t be broke and looking stupid.

    7- Live on your own. EVERYONE needs to experience living on his/her own…even if it’s just for 6 months. When I moved on my own, I realized that floors don’t mop themselves and toilet paper does not regenerate when you use it all. Now imagine living with someone who never lived alone and learned these things. You’d be taking the place of their mom. Don’t end up mothering anyone you can’t claim on your taxes.

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    • keisha brown (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

      LMFAO @ your emergency.

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    • Nightfall (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

      lol told you you were married….

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    • Rae (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

      Yes!!! All of this is true. And well, the emergency part – been there done that. This was a fab list!!

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  3. Sunny (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

    I’ve lived with someone before. Looking at it now, I learned a lot. He paid more than half the rent and I paid some and did everything else. He pretty much kept his money to himself, which wasn’t good. But that didn’t do us in, his cheating did.

    Be smart, think before you jump into it. Talk about everything like you said and see if its good for you.

    I’m more cautious about moving in with someone else, but I had to learn to live by myself.

    Great post!

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  4. Melzie (Reply) on Monday 30, 2012

    I agree. It’s all fun and games until….well, you know :-)

    Wise advice —>” From a big sister point of view, I say hold off until you are both clear about what you want to happen with cohabiting.”

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