Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Should I ask her to move in with me?

Hi Edahn,

So I've been casually seeing this girl for a few months who I REALLY like; I really really like this woman. When we first started seeing each other we lived in the same city, then she moved, but we continued to keep in touch. This girl has grown on me, I really would love to have her in my life on a regular basis, but my life is here, in this city. Since she's moved away she's driven out to see me a few times, and we always have a great time. I know she's having second thoughts about her move back home. She's not sure on what she wants in life right now, but her family is driving her nuts, and I think she wants to move back. Money is always an issue, and I want to let her know she can move back and live with me without moving too fast, or overwhelming her. Moving in together is a big step, but I think we're a good fit. What can I do to help her move in the right direction? The one that leads towards ME.

Don't hate me, but I wouldn't recommend it. It sounds to me like you're still in the courtship phase of dating where you're getting to know another and still trying to impress one another. I wouldn't recommend moving in together at this point because if you do, I worry that you'll be forced into constant flirting and courtship.

In normal dating, you meet, you flirt/court for a while, and then you retreat back to your own space. Over time, the flirting tapers off and you just communicate naturally about boring, routine, but natural stuff. Basically, the pressure to be immediately close by being cutesy, funny, and interesting wears off as you naturally start to feel close (and safe) and those qualities come out on their own. I'm not sure how your relationship is going to shape up and whether that feeling of safety (what I've been calling Trust) is going to emerge. But accelerating your relationship by moving in together can threaten to disrupt and complicate that process. You'll be spending a lot of time together, practically be committed to each other, and you'll be compromising your privacy, which, if you're the least bit introverted, is sacred time.

So, I'd suggest you keep seeing each other normally even if it's long distance. You can offer her your place for a day or two so she can look for a job and a place, but I wouldn't do much more than that. Alas, this is your decision, and if you're still determined to move in together, I'd suggest offering her your place for a 3 week trial. Tell her that you've enjoyed her company and would like to see more of her, that you'd like her to move back, and that you wanted to offer your place up for a few weeks if it would help her get situated and find a job. Tell her that she can pitch in for groceries if she ends up eating everything in site (as you would do). Hear out what she says and try to be objective about things while making a decision. If, after a few weeks, she finds a job and you really seem to be getting along, you can talk about having her stay another month and helping out on the rent. If that goes well, you can just keep living together. G'luck to both of you! I really hope it works out, in whatever form.

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