To Move In Or Not Move In?

Dear Auntie GG,

My girlfriend and I are starting to talk about moving in together, but they are hard talks. I had hoped it would be a nice thing to discuss, but, because we both own our own flats and live in different neighbourhoods, it’s been rather a frustration and is now a dubious topic to talk about. Plus, because we’ve both lived with previous girlfriends I know we’re reasonably aware of the risks involved with moving in together

However, if I’m really honest, the main problem is that my girlfriend mostly wants me to live in her flat and in her neighbourhood and won’t really consider moving to me or getting a new home together. I’m not decided, but I feel worried that she only wants to be with me in her home, even if there are good reasons that I do understand.

I want to move forward with my girlfriend, but I want to feel assured that she wants to move forward with me too, into a real life that is for both our lives together.

What do you think?
Am I worrying over nothing or is it a sign of troubles to come?

Somewhat Stuck

Auntie GG replies:

Dearest Somewhat Stuck,

When considering major decisions (or positions) in any relationship, there are all of the little things to consider, and then there is, at some point, the bottom line.

Shall we start with the little things and build to the big, throbbing crescendo, then?

First, there is the issue of compromise in any relationship…

So instead of focusing on this U-Haul issue, right now, I want to ask you to examine the other areas of conflict in your relationship and consider how those issues are (or are not) resolved.

  • Do you and your girlfriend try on one another’s ideas with equal care and consideration, or is one of you always the Boss Lady?
  • Are you each committed to making sure the other feels that their needs are getting met, or is there struggle about whose needs are more important?

These are useful questions to consider before the shacking up dilemma; for instance, if all other conflicts go your way, this move-in issue may be your girlfriend’s moment of glory!

Alternatively, if your girlfriend is used to calling all the shots, you might want to be sure you’re ready to sign up for a life on all fours.

Either way, dear, check the power dynamics before you tackle the next round of big move-in chats; these power dynamics will let you know whether you need to be concerned about a pattern or a one-time dalliance with domination.

When two people are truly ready to move in together, one person cannot insist that the move must be entirely on their terms, because that is not actually a merging of two different lives – it is one person’s move into the other person’s life.

And if your girlfriend isn’t ready to consider other options – be it the consideration of or moving to your flat, or the consideration of selling both flats and buying one together in between your locations, or even in her location – then she’s not really ready to merge lives.

Mostly, as you say, she wants you to live in her flat, and in her neighbourhood – in her life.
And you, Somewhat Stuck, need to be met in the middle!

The good news, love, is that this frustrating situation may not be a permanent condition but rather a sign of premature expectation; I recommend easing up on the intervals of pressure, and giving it a little more time to grow big and strong.

Know what I mean?

Love always,

Your Auntie GG

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