ERP 149: 4 Things To Consider When You Are Uncertain About A Decision
LISTENER’S QUESTION: Sharon writes:“I have discovered your podcast recently, and it has helped me so much in my own self-reflection and relationships. My boyfriend and I are considering moving in together, but I am a little worried. We have been together for 9 months. We sleepover with each other a few times a week, so in some ways we are kind of living together already without the financial responsibilities. Regarding habits and lifestyle, I don’t think we will have any problems. He is very excited about living together because he thinks that we will be moving in together anyway. But to me living together is a step closer to marriage and I’m not sure if I’m mentally ready. We are both just starting our careers, and it also seems more practical to live together so we can save up some money. We are still young and definitely not thinking of marriage yet. I’m not sure if I’m just overthinking and worrying too much, which I tend to do. I would love to hear what you have to say on this.” 4 TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN FEELING UNCERTAIN Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear stories, explanations, and examples. 1. WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY? WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION? What is most important for you right now? Is it to explore the development of your relationship? Is it to have fun? Is it to focus on your career? Is this a step in the direction of partnership and marriage? 2. WHAT IS YOUR INTRINSIC DESIRE? What do you really want? If you were able to construct the situation exactly the way that you wanted it, what would you do? Are you being influenced by culture, family, friend, your significant other, by research? 3. WHAT IS THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE THING YOU ARE CONSIDERING? Is this the 1st time living together with someone? If so, does this have meaning and significance to you? Scott Stanley, a research professor identifies a distinction with couples, which is “sliding vs. deciding.” “Two-thirds of cohabiters are in fact sliders, who didn’t much discuss the decision to move into together. It just kind of happened. Moving from dating to sleeping over to sleeping over a lot to cohabitation can be a gradual slopeOnce a couple is set up with a shared apartment, routine, dog, and group of friends, summoning the will to break up becomes more and more difficult. When two lives become so thoroughly intermingled, separating them out, starting all over again, will take a lot of effort; the prospect becomes a little daunting. It seems easier to just keep going with things as they are, even if they’re not ideal. Inertia sets in. More sobering still, is research which suggests that “couples who otherwise would not have married end up married because of the inertia of cohabitation.” They slide their way right down the aisle: “We might as well share an apartment since we’re already spending so much time together” becomes “we might as well stay together since I might not be able to find someone else,” and finally “we might as well get married since we’ve already been living together for so long.”” by Brett and Kate McKay inShould You Live Together Before Marriage? 4. WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHEST VALUES? Consider doing a values exercise to get clear on what are your top values in life. “Studies have shown that one of the keys to healthy, happy relationships is moving through important transitions deliberately. Whether it’s deciding to have sex, move in together, get married, or have a baby, couples who make these transitions with intentionality — with mutual discussion of meaning, expectations, plans, and purpose — are more likely to flourish.” by Brett and Kate McKay in Should You Live Together Before Marriage? MENTIONED: ERP 110: How To Manage Two Majorly Conflicting Needs In Relationship(podcast) Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner (book) Photo by Shea Rouda on Unsplash TRANSCRIPT: Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: If you have a topic you would like me to discuss, please reach out to me. Here is my contact information. I would really appreciate your honest rating and review. Please leave a review by clicking here. Thank you! If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Connected Couple Program or engaging in relationship coaching work with me.