My girlfriend wants to move in, but I'm not ready. Help! - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

My girlfriend wants to move in, but I'm not ready. Help!

Updated: April 1, 2011 03:55 PM EDT
I really like her, but I'm not ready to cohabitate. Help! (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock) I really like her, but I'm not ready to cohabitate. Help! (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

By Liz H. Kelly
From Men's Life Today

Q: My girlfriend just lost her job, and now she wants to move in with me to save rent. I really like her, but I'm not ready to cohabitate. How do I keep her in my life, but not in my house? 

A: My best advice is to gently communicate your feelings to her. Because she will already be feeling down about losing her job, it's important to acknowledge her request and discuss a plan for the future. The absolute worst option is to ignore it.

If you value the relationship, reduce her disappointment by taking these three steps. First, compliment her sincerely. Tell her how she makes you feel and why she is wonderful. If you're not genuine in your delivery, this can backfire, so focus on your tone and body language. (Hold her hands, look into her eyes, kiss and hug her.)

Second, tell her why you're not ready to move in together. Make it about you rather than her. For example, you might say, "My life is not together enough," or "I need more time."

The last step is to share what you see in the future as a couple. If you can't imagine moving in together eventually, then you probably shouldn't be dating. Be honest, and you'll save each other a lot of time and heartache. If you can both picture yourselves living together one day, then the two of you should set future goals (get jobs, save money) and a check-in time (a year, for example). You want to both walk away feeling good about the outcome.

This conversation will also help you decide if you've found someone with great love potential. If the discussion is genuine, honest and balanced, you're in the zone. Address the issue using these three steps, and then you'll be able to move forward closer as a couple (or more honest apart).

Liz H. Kelly has worked as a relationship expert for eight years (though she got the nickname "Dr. Liz" as early as high school for giving advice). She puts a new spin on relationships with love lessons from Hollywood movies on greatlifegreatlove.com

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