Jump to content

Articles

  • entries
    4
  • comment
    1
  • views
    15,435

Contributors to this blog

The Smart Girl's Guide to Living in Sin Without Getting Burned


kamurj

43 views

 Share

Excerpted from
Shacking Up: The Smart Girl's Guide to Living in Sin Without Getting Burned
By Stacy Whitman, Wynne Whitman

Moving In Too Fast

Let's begin with the fact that some people shack up without giving it a whole lot of thought. Not you, of course. We're talking about all those other twenty- and thirtysomethings who jump into their live-in relationships within a few months or even weeks of dating. What the heck are they thinking? In many cases, they're not. Some are blinded by love, so they dive in without the blink of an eye. Others figure that shacking up isn't a big deal and can be easily undone (a.k.a. "you can always move out"). Still others rush the decision because of extenuating circumstances-perhaps one or both is relocating and it doesn't make sense to get two apartments. In any event, when they set up house, they don't always know their new roomies well enough or have a deep level of trust.

Uncommitted Attitudes

Certainly, you don't need a ring on your finger to be 100 percent devoted to your partner. However, it's fairly safe to say that a large number of shacking-up couples aren't fully committed to their relationships. Think about it: The reason many of us live together is because we're not prepared to make the type of commitment that we traditionally associate with marriage. Some of us aren't ready for or interested in that kind of legally binding relationship. We're not completely sure about what we want, so we choose to take a wait-and-see approach and keep the legal system out of it.

Needless to say, all of this uncertainty about "tomorrow" can really work against us. First of all, it can make us feel flustered and insecure and totally neurotic. We may question our mate's feelings about us or worry that they'll walk out if things don't go perfectly. Thus, we may not make our relationships a top priority or have the gumption to work through our problems. "Couples without a strong commitment tend to be less tolerant of their differences," says David Steele, a relationship coach in San Jose, California. "They often don't realize how much work a relationship takes. They think. 'It should just work, right?' If they're not getting along, they're apt to think something's wrong with their partner or their relationship. If your attitude is one of commitment, there are no exits. You're going to work things out no matter what. It's a very different attitude than 'If it doesn't feel good, I'm gone.'"

Family Disapproval

These question marks about the future can also weigh heavily on our loved ones. Take your mom and dad, for example. They may be concerned about the "impermanence" of your shacking-up relationship. (This is the main argument we got from our own folks.) They're apt to wonder where your "friendship" is going and whether it will end in matrimony. Even if you and your mate are very committed to each other, your family members and others may not see your relationship as a long-term thing. As a result, they may treat your partner more like a flash in the pan than a future family member.

Of course, some of you may have hip, open-minded parents who would be fully supportive of your move-in decision. Lucky girls! Hut for those of you whose near and dear ones are decidedly unenthused about it, even if you think their disapproval doesn't matter, you may find that it takes a psychological toll. "It's hard enough to build a relationship without having family members nay-saying or causing problems," says our friend Tricia, who shacked up a few weeks ago, to her mother s dismay. First, you may have to deal with constant negativity or pangs of guilt. Second, you could lose a valuable source of support. This may not be a problem when you and your beau are happy and hitting it off. Hut when you're annoying each other or duking it out, you may find yourself questioning your relationship or feeling isolated and lonely.

Just ask Nadine, thirty-three, of Miami. Her parents are very traditional and. as she puts it, the shacking-up concept didn't register on their mental radars. When she told them she was moving in with her boyfriend, Ed. they were very upset and tried to talk her out of it. "I felt terrible, but I knew living with Ed was the right move for me," Nadine says. "So I went for it." A year later, Nadine says her live-in relationship is going strong but her folks are still acting distant. "They barely ever ask about Ed, almost like they're trying to pretend he doesn't exist. There's always an undertone of 'You're doing something wrong.' It makes me feel like I can't be myself around them. I don't feel like I can talk about Ed or tell them what's really going on in my life. It makes me sad."

Uncharted Territory

Married or unmarried, none of us know exactly what to expect when we cross the threshold for the first time. But unlike matrimony, there are no unspoken rules or codes of behavior for living together. "While we may not have the same view about marriage, we often have assumptions about what the commitment means and what our rights and responsibilities are," says Nock, author of the book Marriage in Men's Lives. "But with cohabitation, there aren't any norms, laws, traditions, or conventional assumptions that can ho made." Generations of women haven't shacked up before us, so we can't look to our elders for reassurance or guidance. When it comes to figuring out the dynamics of this living together stuff, we're more or less on our own.

For some of us, shacking up can be a gray area that's vague and undefined. With so much ambiguity, we're not always sure how to behave. At times, you may feel like a wife, but you're still wearing the "girlfriend" title. Like our friend Liz, some of you may find yourselves walking on eggshells or wondering how many liberties to take. "When Kevin and I moved in together, he said that he thought our relationship was moving toward marriage," Liz explains. "I knew I wanted to marry him. But I couldn't quite assume that's what would end up happening. So I didn't feel like I could say everything that was on my mind. I couldn't say, 'Should we spend Christmas with your family or miner' or 'Honey, what room will we put the kids in?' As much as I wanted to be confident about the future, I didn't want to assume something and then be proven wrong."

 Share

0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Advice Requests

  • Our picks

    • How To Make A Woman Want You Sexually (Guide To Building Her Interest And Sexual Attraction)
      Learn how to make a woman want you sexually! In today's video we're talking about sexual attraction and how you make a woman want you! We're going to be discussing some useful tips you can put to work to get a woman interested in you and building that sexual desire. Often men think they know exactly what women want, men in sports cars with big houses a big wallet and a bad boy attitude. This might be what the ladies want in movies but not in real life it's very different. To know what a lady wants you need to understand what you need to do to make her want you sexually. Imagine if you knew the secret formula to do this, the one that tells you exactly what women want sexually. The formula would let you know exactly what you need to do to get a woman to fall into your arms, sounds too good to be true right? Well it's not! It's as easy as being mindful of your own behaviour and adopting steel-proof boundaries. Want to know some more? Well don't move an inch.

       
      • 0 replies
    • How to know when he's really fallen in LOVE
      You’re falling in love with your man deeper every day, but you don’t know if he feels the same way for you. It’s natural to want to know his feelings for you. What happens when he doesn’t say it or he’s not the type to say that? His actions tell you he loves you, but you could be wrong, right? So how do you know when he’s really in love with you? It’s not always so easy, but it’s not impossible either!

       
      • 0 replies
    • 6 Psychological Secrets of Attraction
      Knowing whether or not someone is “into you” can be incredibly difficult if they don’t explicitly say it. In this video, we will be looking at some psychological secrets of attraction.

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...