When a minimalist and a borderline pack rat discuss living together

Remember when I wrote about my reflections on romantic relationships? In that post, I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I could or would want to live with a partner again. I had also said that there was no need to make up my mind at the time because it wasn't a decision I was faced with. Well, I'm now faced with that decision.

Mr. Romantic and I have been together for over 6 months now and we've come to a point in our relationship where we're considering moving in together. It's a decision not to be taken lightly, especially because kids are involved. I have a 16-year-old who's not living with me currently, but may come back. He has a 10 and 6-year-old that live with him every other week. If it was just the two of us, it would be an easier decision with less possible complications.

Also, as you know, I consider myself a minimalist. Mr. Romantic considers himself a borderline pack rat. So this should be interesting...

We've recently had several little discussions here and there about the possibility of us living together. Since, he's been making room for me in his home. He's gotten rid of some of his things to make room for me and my stuff — not that I have much. He's slowly going through his home to make it more inviting for me. For us.

It's still been a hard decision to make. So what did I do? I tried to remove emotion from the decision making process and just consider facts. However, let's face it, how can you really remove all emotion from a decision concerning your romantic relationship... But I was going to give it my best shot.

I researched online: "how long should you wait before moving in together". From all of the information I've found, it seems that the norm is anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Alright, so we're on track with the norm, according to the internet. But I wouldn't base my decisions solely on the internet without giving it significant thought.

Because online searches bring you from one thing to another, I then read articles on "signs you're ready to move in together". I found value in many of these articles, though they were mostly intended for 20-somethings starting out in life. We're a slightly older couple (late 30s early 40s) who've had kids from previous relationships, have more life experience, and have owned real-estate before. Mr. Romantic is currently a homeowner.

So, being the over-thinker I am, I took some of that information, mixed it in with some of my (our) own concerns and decided to come up with what I call The ultimate "should we live together" questionnaire (which I'll share with you in a separate post).

I suggested we take a week to answer, and made a date for us to discuss it tomorrow. In the questionnaire I included some of the things we'd already discussed so that we could take our time to (re)consider our answers.

Of course, I wouldn't say that answering these questions one way or another means the decision will be an easy one. However, I think it will help us determine if we have the same (or similar) life values.

Coming up with a questionnaire to make a decision about taking the next step in our relationship may not sound like the most romantic thing to do, but I would argue that it is. We're possibly preventing potential conflicts. Not all, but some. I think caring enough for us to take the next step in the best possible way is actually quite romantic.

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