Often in a long-term relationship, gay couples ultimately face the question of whether or not to shack up. The prospect of living together offers the advantages of spending more free time together, building the level of intimacy and the sharing of financial resources. For gay couples, living together is no longer a big issue since same sex marriage is now legal across the United States. However, there are several key factors to consider before taking the plunge.

The ‘Dust-Bunny’ Factor

Are you and your mate as careful about where you throw your clothes at the end of the day?….How many dishes stay in the sink and for how long?….How about that shower curtain? It may seem trivial, but these little things can eventually drive you out of your love nest or even out of the relationship altogether. If you occasionally get the hebee-jeebees in his bathroom or kitchen, then you can’t expect to feel comfortable when living together. If you consider your man more of a neat-nick than you could stand living with, then you either would have to adjust your habits or accept that living together could hurt your relationship. Consider carefully whether you and your boyfriend can handle each others personal habits before you agree to live together. Remember, you can have a successful long-term relationship without necessarily sharing your living space.

Can You Balance Your Collective Budgets?

This is not as much of a question of salary as it is a question of spending habits. If your financial priorities are on different wavelengths this can cause serious disagreements when living together. If your mate would blow his money on his social-scene to keep up appearances before paying the rent, he is obviously not a good candidate to split your valuable resources with. Also, if one partner in the relationship carries the brunt of the financial burden, this can ultimately cause resentment. It is inherent that when you share a living space, you are sharing your wealth, so think with your head, as well as your heart before making this decision. If you have similar long-term financial goals, this can be a promising sign. Decide whether you and your significant other are in agreement with your financial priorities before taking the financial risk of living together.

Test The Waters With a Romantic Get-Away

Another key factor is how much time you currently spend together. If you already spend the majority of your free time together, you may find it overwhelming to spend every night together, as well. If you both have individually busy social lives, it may help to live together so that you can spend time together while still making time for other friends and activities. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to take a trip together to test the emotional waters. Spending an extended period of time together can test your patience with each other. If by then of the end of the trip, you don’t throw your lover overboard, you’re on the right path.

There’s no quick and easy way to know if moving in together is right for your relationship. Take your time in making this decision and don’t ever let yourself feel pressured. Many financially strained people find themselves rushing into living with their partner to cut down on living expenses. In these difficult times, it can be tempting to fall into this trap. If you’re in a financial rut, remember it is ultimately up to you to clean up your own financial house. Think carefully about the progression of the relationship, as well as your personal growth before taking the plunge.

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