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I want to move in with DP, but are these good reasons? (long)

(16 Posts)
BertieBotts Sat 02-Jul-11 17:09:09

We've been together for 8.5 months. I have DS from a previous relationship who is 2.9. He's been involved all the way through just because DP was a good friend before we got together and I hadn't thought to keep them apart - then it seemed silly to just because we had got together. DS has implied (since he can't say outright, he's 2) through things that he says and the way he acts around DP that he sees him as a father figure, which wasn't intentional on my part (I thought that would develop much later), it just sort of happened. DS' own dad hasn't been in contact or seen him at all for 3 months now. I would never stop him from seeing him if he did want to, though.

The relationship with DP is very solid, we love each other, I trust him, we can and do talk about anything and everything, including issues like housework, discipline, work, money, he makes me feel safe. (blush I've studied all the red flag lists and pretty much been looking out for them with a microscope - but seriously, he's never done anything which has worried me, made me feel uncomfortable or that we've been unable to talk about) I know if we did break up even now, he would carry on seeing DS, as he loves him and considers him a very important person in his life. This sounds mad, but I can see us getting married, though I'd say no if he asked me now on the grounds of it being too soon, but the thought that if things carry on as good as they have been, we could spend the rest of our lives together and he would be DS' stepdad, maybe even have more children together, that makes me feel safe and secure and very, very happy.

He came to stay for a few days the week before last, and that is what has kicked this discussion off really. The plan was that he was intending to move out of his parents' house this summer, live alone or with a friend for a year or so, and we'd stay at each others' houses for a week or a weekend or a few days at a time, and at the end of that year then we'd look at getting a place together, rather than one of us moving into the other's house. But the week that he was here, things just worked really well. He was involved with DS, he let me have extra rest etc so I was better able to deal with DS, the house was tidier in general as we both pitched in (and since I usually do the absolute barest minimum possible blush I found it helpful to have him there to remind me to do stuff as well), we ate proper food instead of just making fish fingers every night. We didn't end up in each other's pockets either as we both just went about our normal activities which didn't necessarily involve the other, and it just felt like I wasn't struggling for the first time since I have been on my own with DS. DS loved having him here as well and I felt his bedtimes, food times, and general him getting positive interaction was generally improved.

So since then, it seems almost ludicrous to spend out all this money (which neither of us really have - he is working but only just over minimum wage) both renting our separate places, or him driving over to see me all the time (I can't stay over at his parents' house because they smoke in the house and don't have smoke alarms, and I don't want DS sleeping there) when he could just move in here since it worked so well. It's not feasible for us to get a place together at the moment since my rent is currently cheaper than market rate, though it is privately rented (not council) and also saving up a deposit etc. The only places we could move to which seem to be available and in budget are in the countryside which is going to completely isolate me, and DS would probably have to change childcare which I wouldn't want to do unless necessary. So we're thinking he might as well move in now, and honestly, the only thing which is making me hesitate is that I've adopted this mantra of "What would MN say?"and looking through old threads the general "rule" seems to be not before 12 months. But logically I can't see what will change in the next 3 or 4 months, and TBH, if he was going to move in in October, I'd rather he did so before September, because I had an issue a couple of months back where my landlord turned up unexpectedly and was shocked by how messy the house was, and has given me until September to sort it out, so if he was moving in in October it makes sense to bring it forward a month to show my landlord I have extra support and hopefully reassure him.

(It doesn't bother me massively by the way that he'd be moving straight from his parents' house to mine, because he's lived alone before when he was at uni, he only moved back to help them out financially, and he's much more domesticated than me, so I don't think he's looking for a substitute mother. Just because I know that will get picked up on.)

So anyway. If you've got this far I'm impressed! I'm not really looking to be told what to do, I think it's an important enough decision to make myself, but what I would be interested in is perspectives in general, anything else to think about which I haven't already, that sort of thing.

BooBooGlass Sat 02-Jul-11 17:17:49

I've been with my dp for the same amount of time. I think you're mad to even consider it tbh. It is far too soon and there's a child involved. For you to say if you split up he'd keep seeing your ds is irrelevant. You don't know each other well enough after 8 months to set up a family unit.

LucretiaInShadows Sat 02-Jul-11 17:24:30

I also think it's too soon. You've said that it's too soon to get married, but by moving in together you'd be creating a family unit in much the same way. Now you've got a child, you don't have the luxury of a test-run. Either you're sure, in which case you wouldn't be asking for advice, you'd just do it, or you're not, in which case it's better for you all, especially your little boy, to wait until you are sure.

It sounds like you're alert to potential problems, and you're happy that it's a good, healthy, positive relationship so far, but my advice would be to wait until you're entirely at ease with the decision in your own mind before you make that sort of commitment.

It's fab that staying with you went so well, and you can tell more by that than by odd nights here and there, but a few days is like being on holiday, not like living together full-time.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Kayzr Sat 02-Jul-11 17:30:12

I moved in with my DP when we'd been together for about 8 months too and it's been amazing. My boys love being here with him. I enjoy being able to share everything with him like cooking, getting up early(DS2 is up before 6 every morning). My DP does work away for 5 weeks at a time and I know if we still had seperate houses we'd either be at his house every night or at my old house. We didn't see the point in paying for 2 houses when we could just live together.

Smum99 Sat 02-Jul-11 18:19:36

It could work but I would have concerns at the speed. You got together when your DS was 2 so you've not been out of a relationship for that long with Ds's fathers. The trouble with moving in together is that it does signal a permanency, and that does feel to quick - 8.5m is still the honeymoon period and it really, really does take about 2 years to know someone. Fast forward a year and you and him have problems - how would you deal with it? It would be his home at that stage.
What are the issues with the landlord? I hope this isn't a motivation, your LL shouldn't just turn up without notice and if the house was messy that shouldn't be an issue. Your ds is still so young and it is hard work but in a year or so the workload does reduce and you do feel as if you get more time to yourself.

When I net DH it did feel right however I waited 2 years as I just didn't want the risk of having to end a live in relationship - it's much harder if you are living together for all the practical reasons. I think it's also more likely that you tolerate more as you start to rely on the other person for all the practical and financial help. How often do we see threads where women want to separate from an abusive partner but the practicalities stops them?

If your life with DS was easier would you be considering this? To me the risk of making such a commitment early on just isn't worth it.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Jul-11 00:00:56

Thanks for taking the time to reply smile Lots to think about. I actually found it helped clarify my thoughts a lot by typing them out here, even before I read any replies.

BooBoo - I've actually known him for about 9 years, so it's not like he was a stranger 8 months ago. It is a different kind of thing when you are in a relationship, though, I realise. I wasn't meaning to say it's okay if we move in and then split up because he'd still see DS - just to kind of outline the kind of commitment and relationship they have already.

Lucretia - I agree about not having the luxury of a test run and this is the only thing holding me back. I'm just not sure what's supposed to change in the next 3 months or so to get to the "magic 12 months" which overrides the practical benefits of moving in together now. TBH, I have pretty much made up my mind already, so it wasn't that I was looking for advice as such, it's just we're both only 23 and most of the ladies here are older and wiser and I wanted to make sure we weren't doing something completely stupid but being naive enough to think it was okay.

Kayzr - I'm glad to hear things are working out well for you! smile

Smum - You raise a really interesting point, and thank you. I know my mum has said the 2 year thing as well, although she seemed to imply that those 2 years includes some time living together. Would you say 2 years is the honeymoon period then? Everyone seems to have a different idea of what it is. I know in past relationships I have known by about 6 months that something is wrong or had niggles or there were signs I was aware of at the time, though the mistake I made with most of them was trying to fix things where the guy wasn't trying, IYSWIM. This just feels completely different, hence wanting to jump in with both feet, but then maybe just because it's different, it doesn't mean that I should? I don't know.

I see what you mean about moving in for practical reasons making it harder to leave if I needed to at some point, but I think it's always going to be impractical to split up with someone. The landlord thing is a long story, he had sent me a letter advising me of his visit, but I hadn't read it, and if I'm being totally honest, the house wasn't just messy, it was extremely messy. I don't know. I was thinking about bringing up the issue of moving in in October anyway if he hadn't moved out of home by then, so it would only be bringing it forward a couple of months for practical and financial reasons anyway.

EttiKetti Sun 03-Jul-11 07:39:56

I dunno, I moved in with my now DH after about 7 mths, it felt very right from day one, we were in a long distance relationship and it clearly worked as we're still very happily married ten years on. Dd1 was 6 at the time, no problems there either.

Can he move in to yours, see how it works, then look for somewhere new together in X months? That way, you still gave your home and if the first happens he could always go back to.his parents?

EttiKetti Sun 03-Jul-11 07:40:16

Sorry worst not first!! On phone!!

Kayzr Sun 03-Jul-11 08:51:08

Bertie, I don't know if age makes a difference but we're both only 25.

BooBooGlass Sun 03-Jul-11 09:32:27

I'm 27 if it matters. What I would worry about here is the setting of a precedent. If it doesn't work out, your dc will potentially have many partners living with them in the future if you think it's a good idea to move them in so quickly. The sensible thing to do would be to give it more time. Even a year fom now. Then see if you're still wanting to live together. A lot can change in a year. And yes, I know it makes me sound cynical. But I have seen this situation time and again in my friendship circle and it is NOT good for the children.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Jul-11 12:03:49

Booboo I see what you are saying, but that doesn't sound like me at all. I'm aware that the relationship has moved quickly, but the only reason I've felt comfortable with that so far is the underlying friendship and trust which existed before we got together. I was happy single and wasn't looking for a relationship at the time our friendship developed into something more. If this didn't work out I think I'd be single for a long time.

Etti, the original plan was to find somewhere to live together, but if he moves in now it would be into my house as all my friends are here, it's on the bus route for uni for me, and I have my heart set on the local nursery/school for DS (and I don't want to change his childminder either if possible) so ideally we'd need to stay here or nearby for the next 3 years or so anyway.

Anyway, we're going to talk it through again later today, so thanks for giving me some more things to think about smile

JambalayaCodfishPie Sun 03-Jul-11 13:10:33

Me and OH moved in together after 9 months, and have had no problems. Ex-H is still on the scene, so he's never had to be 'dad' to my daughter, which I think helped.

MrsPlesWearsAFez Sun 03-Jul-11 13:45:10

Given that a large part of thisdecision seems to be based on convenience, have you checked how this will change your finances?

Student finance, council tax, lha, and tax credits will be affected.

eslteacher Sun 03-Jul-11 19:42:32

I was in a similar situation myself, but from the point of view of your DP. I came to Paris a couple of years ago (when I was 26) to live and work. I almost immediately met my DP. He owned his own house in the suburbs and had a four year old son from his previous long term relationship (he has his kid every other weekend and in the holidays.)

Anyway, Paris is hideously expensive in terms of rent. I had a tiny room in a shared apartment that cost me over half my meagre monthly pay packet, and within a few weeks of being with DP I was staying at his place most weekends anyway. I didn't stay the same weekends as his kid for a few months, but after that I met his son and started to spend weekends there with him and it was all fine. Like your DP, I was aware that it was a big help in many ways to my DP to have me there, in terms of being able to give my DP some time to himself during the weekends by occupying his (easy-going but attention-loving) son.

I ended up moving in with my DP after about six months (we started talking about it at four months). We had worries it was too soon, but financially it just made a hell of a lot of sense given that I was eating up my savings living in my old place, and also like you we couldn't see any serious potential problems or issues. We talked a lot beforehand about the finance side (ie what I would contribute) whether we viewed it as a long-term commitment, what effect it would have on our lives and the life of his DS etc. After working through all this stuff there didn't seem any real reasons not to just do it, so we did.

A year later things are still going great, I don't have any regrets about moving in so soon, and haven't seen any negative impact from this. My only issue has been that, despite having spent a lot of time with DS and DP together with no issues before I moved in, I hadn't fully taken on board what it means to be sharing a house with a child that isn't yours, albeit on a part time basis. I've had, and am still having, some trouble adjusting to the sacrifices I've had to make in terms of sharing space, planning holidays that have to include the child, dealing with the typical annoying kid behaviour that I imagine is just so much easier to accept if it's your biological child. You might want to take a look at a few threads on the step-parenting board to get an idea of some issues that your DP might end up having if/when he finds himself in a full-time step-parenting role. Even if he gets on great with your kid now, it really might not be the same when he's living with your child on a permanent 24 hour basis.

Otherwise, my advice would be: as long as you and your DP talk through all the potential issues and pitfalls beforehand, and as long as you are both on the same page in terms of what it means for your joint finances, your future together and the implications for your DS, then I don't think you should feel obliged to wait for an arbitary amount of time before moving in together. Good luck!

ByTheSea Sun 03-Jul-11 19:52:43

DH and I were living together and married well within a year of being together. He had been a single father to toddlers when we met. We've now been married 13 years.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Jul-11 20:43:14

Thanks all. Yes have looked at finances, including estimated increase in bills, food, cost of his car etc. It's going to be tight but no tighter than it is on my own anyway, doesn't affect student finance as his wage isn't high enough right now.

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