Cohab Outlines (What to Know about Summer Living)

Summer is a time that’s supposed to be relaxed and easy; when we enjoy the sun, the warmth, and the company of those we love. But if you’re just beginning to live with your one and only, it’s important to set some ground rules before things get too heated to handle. Check out these cohabitation tips to make summer living (together) even better.

Cohabitation is More and More Common

‘Living together’ doesn’t carry the same stigma as it once did and many would argue there’s simply no better way to see how compatible you and your significant other are together. In fact, today, 59 percent of adults ages 18 to 44 have cohabitated at some point, which surpasses the share who has ever been married (53 percent) according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). The top reasons to cohabitate are:

  • As a precursor to marriage
  • As an alternative to marriage
  • To save money

Cohab Outlines for Couples

Regardless of how naturally compatible you may be, living with your significant other is bound to have ups and downs. But there are ways to navigate them successfully, or avoid some of them altogether:

  • Communicate openly – Start early on and continue the practice throughout your relationship. But specifically, it’s important to be upfront about your preferences and non-negotiables BEFORE you move in together. So, for example, you’re not blindsided by the fact that your significant other actually expects to talk to you before your morning coffee – gasp!
  • Be flexible – You’ve likely learned from other living arrangements – with siblings growing up, with college roommates – that flexibility is key. You’ll both have your own routines, habits, and styles which realistically may vastly differ. In living together you’ll need to pick your battles. Your modern aesthetic with his giant TV may not be ideal, but it’s worth it, right?
  • Talk through finances – Financial disagreements are one of the top reasons for divorce and are a surefire way to cause cohabitation problems right off the bat. How will you split the bills? Is the house in both your names? Are you a saver and your significant other a spender? Setting expectations up front will not only save you headaches; it could save your relationship.
  • Keep the romance alive – Like in marriage, couples who cohabitate can get too comfortable. You’d be surprised how quickly distance can grow if you’re not actively prioritizing your relationship; even when you’re living in closer proximity than ever. Make sure to keep flirting with each other, dating each other, and simply just reconnecting on a regular basis.
  • Get it in writing – Talking through your plans for living together is great, but putting your expectations in writing by way of a cohab outline can really crystalize it for both of you. Many couples even take it a step further and create legally binding cohabitation agreements which cover how they’ll handle property, debt, estate planning, health care decisions, and children (from previous relationships and together).

Mediating Cohabitation

Whether it’s a cohab outline or something more official like a cohabitation agreement, mediation can be a great tool in helping you come together to discuss expectations, issues of concern, and/or various contingencies that may arise in a safe, confidential space with a trained and neutral third party.

Contact us today to learn more about our coaching and mediation services, or for a free consultation.

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WhitsonLaw, PLLC

WhitsonLaw can assist you with divorce, mediation, custody, child support, protective orders, adoption and more.

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