Shacking Up

Iron Rule of Tomassi #4
NEVER under any circumstance live with a woman you aren’t married to or are not planning to marry in within 6 months.

You are utterly powerless in this situation. NEVER buy a home with a girlfriend, NEVER sign a rental lease with a girlfriend. NEVER agree to move into her home and absolutely NEVER move a woman into your own established living arrangement. I’m adamantly opposed to the “shacking up” dynamic, it is a trap that far too many men allow themselves to fall into. My fervor against this isn’t based on some moral issue, it it simple pragmatism. If you live with a woman you may as well be married because upon doing so every liability and accountability of marriage is then in effect. You not only lose any freedom of anonymity, you commit to, legally, being responsible for the continuation of your living arrangements regardless of how your relationship decays.

I should also emphasize the point that when you commit (and it is a financial commitment) to cohabiting with a GF you will notice a marked decrease in her sexual availability and desire. The single most common complaint related to me in regards to how to reignite a woman’s desire comes as the result of the guy having moved into a living arrangement with his LTR. All of that competitive anxiety and it’s resulting sexual tension that made your single sex life so great is removed from her shoulders and she can comfortably relax in the knowledge that she is your ONLY source of sexual intimacy. Putting your name on that lease with her (even if it’s just your name) is akin to signing an insurance policy for her -

“I the undersigned promise not to fuck any woman but this girl for a one year term.”

She thinks, “if he wasn’t serious about me, he wouldn’t have signed the lease.” Now all of that impetus and energy that made having marathon sex with you an outright necessity is relaxed. She controls the frame and she’s got it in writing that it is for at least a year.

Just don’t do it. Relationships last best when you spin more plates or at the very least keep each other at arm’s distance.

There was a time when the hip, counter-culture thing to do was flip the establishment the bird and cohabit with a girlfriend, sans the marriage contract. In the swinging post-sexual-revolution 70’s, feminism was more than happy to encourage the idea until it ran into the problem of making men financially accountable for all the “free milk” the cows were giving away. However, that not withstanding, there’s still a kind of a lingering after effect feeling about “living together” that seems like a good idea to guys to this day.

Of all the reasonable excuses I’ve heard for men wanting to cohabit with their girlfriends, the most common is that they did so for financial reasons. He (or she) needed a roommate and why not one that they enjoy fucking? That’s the cover story, but underneath it there’s the semiconscious understanding that it would be far more convenient to have a continuous flow of pussy as part of the utilities, uninterrupted by the formalities of having to go on dates or drive somewhere to get it. I can’t say that, on the surface, this doesn’t make perfect sense. Leave it a man to find the most pragmatic solution to his problem. However, as with most things woman, what seems like the most deductive solution is often a cleverly disguised trap.

Shacking up, just as in marriage, affords a woman a reasonable sense of comfort. It becomes at least a marginal shelter from the competition anxiety that she had to endure while living on her own and dating a guy who still had at least the perceived option to be unpredictable. Not so in the quasi-marriage that living together dictates. And it’s just this sense of predictability that allows her to relax into familiarity, and later, into dictating the terms of her own intimacy. In other words, she’s in the perfect position to ration her sexuality; to negotiate the terms of her desire in exchange for a living arrangement.

By the same reasoning, most AFCs view cohabiting as an ideal arrangement. Few of them really have the real options, much less the will to experiment exercising them, to see shacking up as anything but a great way of exiting the SMP, limiting potential rejection, and locking down a consistent supply of pussy. Men who are spinning plates, men with options, men with ambition, rarely see cohabiting as anything but a limiting hinderance on their lives. On some level of consciousness women understand this dynamic; guys with options (the Alphas they’d prefer) wouldn’t consider cohabitation. So when a man agrees to, or suggests living together it impresses her with two things – either he’s an Alpha who she’s won over so completely that he’s ready to commit to exclusivity with her, or he’s a beta with no better propositions than to settle into living with what he believes is his ‘sure thing’. What’s jarring for a woman is that she may start her living arrangement thinking she’s found the elusive Alpha ready to commit, only to later find he was just a clever beta who reverts back into his former, comfortable, AFC self after they sign the lease agreement.

Now all that said, what makes more sense? To live independently and enjoy the options to live unhindered with a live-in girlfriend, or move her in and have to deal with her every waking moment? Moving in with a woman implies commitment, and whenever you commit to anything you lose your two most valuable resources, options and the ability to maneuver.


32 responses to “Shacking Up

  • YOHAMI

    I shacked up a couple of times, the personality of the girls did a 180 degrees turn and he relationships died painfully and slowly.

    If I moved with my current girlfriend Im sure the relationship would end within a week. She keeps hinting how good it would be to rent a shared house and buy a common car though. L-O-L.

  • dc1000

    Since i’m living with my girlfriend, I’m probably just talking my book, but here goes anyway.

    I think that it is possible to have a live in that you game correctly. The corollary to your proposition is that it is impossible to ever live with or commit to a woman and keep her in her place…which I don’t think is true.

    Roissy had several good posts on this matter a while back and I took those to heart.

    I continue to game her. I continue to let her know that I have options, because I do. I continue to keep myself in shape, attractive, stylish, fit and out in target rich environments.

    I keep a clear frame that this is my place, she is living in my apartment and if/when things every end, she is moving out – and quickly.

    I have threatened to send her away to her friend’s or sister’s apartment for the night when she was acting up. She knows that I consider tossing her into the street as an option.

    My discussions with her much of the manosphere material also keeps her in line. she understands the nature of the SMP. she also understands that she is in her prime and only going to go down hill, whereas I continue to age well. (she 25 me 35).

    Whether warranted or not, I indirectly shame her with respect to her sexual past. she knows that adding me to the list and this living together experience only makes her lower value should she have another stint on the market.

    She knows very well my position on marriage and how fucked up it is.

    And for my particular situation, I already have kids from a prior marriage so I have no real need/urgency to ‘move things along.’

    Either she keeps with the program or she gets tossed.

    We’ve been together over a year now, living together for four months officially and many more unofficially before that. And in the last 48 hours we’ve had sex 7 times including a lunch time nooner where I picked her up from work, took her to an isolated parking lot, pulled her skirt up, undies down and fucked her on the trunk of my car.

    And with that respectful submission, I posit that it is absolutely possible to shack up and keep banging happily.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    The question still remains, why move in with her in the first place? I’m not suggesting that Game isn’t effective within the parameters of an LTR or marriage, but how are you benefiting by living together in ways you couldn’t living apart?

  • dc1000

    well, I do enjoy her company and I like having her here all the time. I like her not having to leave every morning to go home and I like her being here whenever I get back. I’m also happy to deepen the connection and the time.

    And ultimately, she’s paying for half the shit. So I saw it as: I can either go on this way with her basically living here all the time or:

    Someone (her) is going to pay me $18,000 per year to see if I like living with her. If it doesn’t work out, I boot her. If it does, then sweet!

  • (r)Ev

    In most states, legally sharing an address with a person of the opposite sex for more than 30 days causes you to be commonlaw married in the eyes of the law. In some states, Utah comes to mind–if you spend the night with someone, it’s considered a commonlaw marriage! So if you’re swooping in Salt Lake, gotta duck out before dawn.

    Also, if you DO insist on putting that gun to your head by getting married, a Dartmouth university study a few years back actually shows a HIGHER rate of divorce in those who lived together before marriage.

    Personal experience: in graduate school, I was living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, and despite working as many hours as I could, I couldn’t make ends meet. I was getting evicted, and my fiance at the time offered for me to move in. I did so hesitatingly, and of course it blew up. At least I got to finish school, and the added bonus of dodging that marriage bullet. Come to think of it, not getting married was probably the biggest benefit.

  • unbowed

    I lived with a girlfriend for a couple of years, and it was as Rollo describes: a gradual turn-off of sex, a gradual turn-on of complaints. What’s worse, I knew it was a bad idea before I did it. In a weak moment, I promised to move in with her if her roommate ever moved out–assuming that event was safely in the far-away future. Lo and behold, a month later the roommate moved out and the girlfriend asked ‘what was I going to do?’. So, I made what I thought was the principled decision, sticking to my promise and not listening to my gut. Now, I’m sure she had more than an inkling that the roommate would move out, but at the time I was oblivious, and anyway I thought being a man of my word was more important than my happiness.

    There was also the temptation of having sex without so much drama, just having a comfortable life as my ancestors did. Now my eyes are open and I know that in this day and age and country, a sexual life will have drama and if I don’t provide it on my own terms, the woman will force it on me on her terms. But there’s a happy ending: Desperation drove me first to cheating on her, then to leaving her and finally to my waking up.

  • itsme

    no, only 11 states still contract common law marriage (although all states do recognize common law marriages contracted in those 11 states).

    and even in those 11 states, the couple still needs to present themselves as husband and wife. this is one of the requirements necessary to establish a common law marriage contract.

    so merely shacking up with somebody isn’t enough.

    obviously, don’t do stupid shit like cosign a loan, but that’s just common sense.

  • jt

    “If you live with a woman you may as well be married because upon doing so every liability and accountability of marriage is then in effect.”

    Absolutely wrong. You still own 100% of your stuff (i.e. if you own a house it remains yours) and you keep 100% of your salary if you split up.

    Divorce is a hell of a lot worse than breaking up with a girlfriend.

  • Good Luck Chuck

    This is the first post of yours that I disagree with Rollo.

    If you are to make the case that cohabitation is “dangerous” to a man’s sex life, where does that leave marriage? If a 1 year lease is a serious commitment, what is a marriage contract?

    The principles of masculinity apply to ANY relationship. You must maintain a dominant frame or you will get your balls handed to you. The more leverage she has (living together, marriage, comfort in your words and actions) the more important it is to maintain hand. Marriage doesn’t isolate you from this, and I would argue that cohabitation is a MUCH MUCH MUCH better option than marriage.

    I have lived with three different women. With two of these women the sex was hot and heavy throughout the entire relationship. The third one I was growing less and less attracted to as time went on, and this was the only girl I have ever been happy about breaking up with so even though the sex declined, it was mutual.

    Now, if we were to compare the positive influences on a relationship of living with a woman versus living separately, the choice is clear- from a desire standpoint it is much better to have some distance. The best relationship I ever had was with a girl who lived about 30 minutes away. She would stay with me on the weekends and go home to her parents house weekdays. (I didn’t consider this to be cohabitation) Anyway, this was perfect because we were always glad to see each other. The sex was phenomenal. I had my space and she had hers.

    I’ll take one of these kinds of arrangements over marriage ANY day of the week.

  • johnnymilfquest

    “I shacked up a couple of times, the personality of the girls did a 180 degrees turn and he relationships died painfully and slowly.”

    Ditto.

    “If I moved with my current girlfriend Im sure the relationship would end within a week. She keeps hinting how good it would be to rent a shared house and buy a common car though.”

    I’ve only slept with my new notch once and she has already asked if I have any plans to move to London. Ha ha!

    No, I’ve learned my lesson there. If I don’t get to relax around the woman I live with then I won’t be living with her.

    @Rollo: I’m not sure why marriage + moving in is better than just moving in. Could you elaborate on that?

  • theprivateman

    Now that I’m living alone again, I am absolutely loving it. I have my motorcycle, my dog, and my Internet connection.

    Women visit and sleep over, of course. But they are gone by the next day leaving me to enjoy my motorcycle, my dog, and my Internet connection.

    The “stay over relationship” would seem to be the best for men of any age.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    I’m not sure why marriage + moving in is better than just moving in. Could you elaborate on that?

    I suppose I should qualify this a little more. Obviously in terms of long term risk, marriage holds a lot more for a man to lose both materially and in a life opportunities respect. However, try not to think of this essays as a promotion of marriage in favor of cohabiting, so much as it is a comparison to a married lifestyle.

    From the guys I’ve counseled who were trying to make the ‘living together’ work, everyone of them complained that they bought into a bait & switch deal with a woman who’d gone from being an enthusiastic lay while single, to a comfortable asexual rationing out sex commensurate with his complaining about her lack of libido.

    The comparison I’m drawing is that the liabilities in terms of a man’s actionable options are not much different than being married. Yes, there’s a better way of making a split, but the responsibilities a guy assumes while in a cohabiting are virtually the same – he’s accountable to a woman he’s confirmed as his only source of sex. Your Game may vary, but I doubt a guy would be willing to assume a living arrangement where these accountabilities were a given with the foreknowledge that the reward (him getting regular sex) would gradually diminish from levels that were more sustainable while he was single and unencumbered by a solitary woman.

    Caveat emptor, buyer beware. I’m amazed at how readily guys who eschew marriage will still bear similar personal limitations in a cohabiting arrangement.

  • Traveller

    So, there are two types of sites, Game and MRA sites.

    Game sites are more about the individual relating with women, while MRA sites face the problem from a social and legal perspective.

    This post shows how they intersect, in the case this was necessary. The topic of marriage is analyzed and eviscerated by any MRA site like The Spearhead, being a social contract.

    The classic verdict is negative, today men have only to lose in Western countries from marriage, women lose their physical beauty and good behavior, men lose freedom and gain a much more demanding financial burden, men lose the few human rights they had in regard to childs, property, domestic violence accusation and cheating from the bored wife, now a fat whale who dreams eat pray and love and shining vampyres. Etc.

    As someone has already commented, it is not clear to me too why this post should apply to LTR more than marriage. From an individual perspective they are very similar.

    Notice the comments steer towards legal considerations: men have understood the damages of marriage, feminists with their collectivist governments reacted considering marriage anything involving a man and a woman, like one nights, in the clear purpose of continuing milking the cow of the male productivity.

  • Deep Dish

    According to the official word of Utah, “Utah does not have common law marriage; instead, you may petition the court to recognize your relationship as a marriage even though you never had a marriage ceremony.” Consent is required from both parties, so it’s not like a girlfriend or one night stand could marry you against your will.

    http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/marriage/commonlaw/

  • MacAgent

    I enjoy posts like this, for the simple reason that they invigorate the discussion. Great comments too.

  • pimpinella anisum

    So interesting Rollo! and as I think about it, probably great advice for women, too, in many of the same ways, but some different ones, too.

    For one, living apart but being in a relationship for an extended time seems like a very effective way to weed out men who have no housekeeping skills llz if only I had known #sillywoman

  • Wesley Dabney

    feh.. i’m living with my girlfriend.. however i’m making sure i follow the roissy maxim of “instilling dread”. i make sure she sees the hot friend girls i have on my friends list. i have them call me occasionally to check on me etc. chicks may try to rule the roost.. but the rooster with options always wins.

  • Good Luck Chuck

    Maybe this is one thing that I have always done right in my relationships, but not one time have I been in an LTR (live-in or otherwise) where I wasn’t satisfied with the quantity and quality of the sex all the way through the relationship.

    I just can’t wrap my head around the idea of being with with a chick who is stingy with the sex. If some chick tried to use sex as a bargaining chip or even slowed down the pace to an unacceptable level she’d be gone in a minute. Maybe my attitude toward this was apparent to all of the women I have been with and it created enough anxiety to keep them in check, but I just can’t fathom something like this happening to me.

    If she isn’t WILLINGLY fucking your brains out you’re doing it wrong.

  • xsplat

    I’ve been seeing my girl for over a year, and living with her for the last 5 months. She seems to be getting hornier every week.

    Mind you, she started out an asexual virgin, but still.

    She was one of two main girls in the early days of seeing her, and when one girl moved out of my apartment she performed a stealth move in – “visiting” every night.

    We are quite happy together now, fuck often, and she is my personal slave. I had her quit her job just to do everything I say when I say it.

    Mind you I consider myself a very experienced male, and have had many live in girlfriends. I’m not clumsy about what to do, and know what I want and how to get it.

    It’s working. So that must mean that it can work.

  • xsplat

    Yes, it’s possible to instill dread while living with a girl. A little relationship brinksmanship here, a little letting her see girls sending you flirtations text messages there, and a general unrepentent bad boy attitude can keep her on just the precise amount of edge that you want her to be on.

  • xsplat

    I’ve never had sex diminish after moving a girl in. It’s an arrangement that I’m so comfortable and confident in that setup that that I’ve OFTEN moved girls in on the first date. Passion and sex life was always strong, with a few girls regularly giving blow jobs in taxi cabs, and most girls being in a near constant froth. Of the last 5 girls that I seriously dated 5 lived with me. The current has been with me for 5 months and we are passionate and in love and every day is better than the last. The previous was with me for five months before she freaked that I was not monogamous. Before that 1 year before the girl died – and we were very close, extremely sexual, and very happy. Before that 2.5 years before I got bored and left. The sex and blowjobs were always frequent and on demand. Before that 6 months with some girl who wasn’t of importance, but we got along fine. Before that it was an average of 4 hours a day of sex with a hottie I lived with for a year.

    So you can maintain sexual passion with a live in. It can be a fine arrangement, if you know what you’re doing.

  • Cat Patrol

    I only lived with 3 women in my life. All ended badly.

    The first 2 lasted no longer than 3 months, and the third, who I ended up marrying, recently ended in divorce.

    I can somewhat understand moving in with a woman if its very convenient and its not too serious. If thats the case, then no great loss when it ends. But believe me, familiarity breeds contempt, and her listening to your snoring and you smelling her shit after she goes poo will quickly overcome the sweet novelty of you waking up in each others arms.

    Off topic, but why do so many guys write complaining about cupcake not giving up the goods when it gets into a committed relationship ? Hell, I get tired of fucking the same ol same ol after 6 months max. It’s hard for me to comprehend these guys in long term relationships who write complaining about not getting any from a woman they been married to for years and years. Its like reading last weeks newspaper.

  • Emma the Emo

    Can being on the pill contribute to lack of libido? When you trust each other so much you ditch the condoms and she gets on the pill instead, you might also move in together. One of the side effects CAN BE loss of sex drive.

  • loveiseasy

    I’m a little confused..
    “I doubt a guy would be willing to assume a living arrangement where these accountabilities were a given with the foreknowledge that the reward (him getting regular sex) would gradually diminish from levels that were more sustainable while he was single and unencumbered by a solitary woman.”

    Do people go from single to living together immediately? Wouldn’t they be in a LTR prior to cohabitation? Doesn’t a LTR imply exclusivity and some extent of commitment? I understand options don’t diminish upon entering a relationship, but are you encouraging that a guy dates multiple women, cheats, while he is in a committed relationship? Or are you simply saying that he should maintain some elusiveness that suggests the possibility he may have women elsewhere? Just so we’re clear, I don’t want to assume really. But I do agree that the mystique in a relationship will be completely ruined shorty after moving in with a significant other whom you’re not planning to marry soon after or are currently married to. Also, it certainly does provide the woman in the relationship way too much room to become complacent.

  • kronos1978

    Dear Rollo,

    first of all, a big thanks for the time and effort you put into your blog. Of all PU/Game blogs, it’s the most informative, since you offer a lot of bio-psychological explanations for all the things we experience everyday in interpersonal relations. For me as a molecular biologist with high interest in evolutionary roots of human behaviour, your blog “goes deep under the surface”…

    In your entry “Shacking up”, you strongly discourage men from living together with a women – and I fully agree to that. As a 33y.o. guy in a happy relationship with separate flats, I would like you to elaborate a bit more on that topic. Getting kids is definitely not something I am afraid of, but living together with a women definitely is. Just thinking about it already feels wrong since -similar to you- I see it as a huge loss of male power as well as attractivity in the relationship. You wrote in another post, that you have a daughter, which would make your perspective on “how to do” even more interesting.

    Moreover, I wonder how to deal with the genuine frustration a women gets, if you are not willing to move together. Do you see a way of convincing a women that you genuinely love her (which is true in my case), but nevertheless don’t want to live together ?
    Women understandably see a lack of commitment here and in my case, despite her loving me insanely, she doubts my family potential, if I am not willing to live together.

    I’d highly appreciate you posting some more thoughts on this topic.

  • Mike C

    but how are you benefiting by living together in ways you couldn’t living apart?

    I live with my GF, and first thing that pops to mind is economies of scale. Rent, cable, electric, any other joint expenses are being spread over two incomes instead of one. If I were living alone, I’d still have those same fixed expenses. That leaves me extra discretionary income for fun, and more to trade with.

  • Mike C

    I’ll add a few more benefits of living together versus living apart. Having my breakfast and dinner prepared just about every night. Having my lunch packed for me every day, and having all my grocery shopping done. Lots of little things, but over the course of a week it adds up and frees up time for me to do other things that are a better use of my time.

  • Amor Amore

    Getting into a relationship should be considered seriously not just by one but both partners. Always discuss your expectations and meet halfway on things that you disagree with because there will always be disagreements.

    Cloud-9 relationships don’t last long. It all starts well until someone figures out the great differences between the two of them. Thus starts the epic battle of the “sexes in the same roof”. A battle that can last for ages or just a short time depending on how both prepared for it.

    Long blog post but I love it.

  • Jason

    Rollo,

    I could use your take on this hypothetical situation. Say you are in an exclusive relationship for 1yr+, living seperately, and you are going to move for a job. The relationship is great and you want it to continue this way. The options on the table are she either moves with you or you two end things. If she moves with you, you will be living together for 1yr and you will be the breadwinner while she takes over domestic duties and continues some education. After the 1yr together you two would move back to your original location and would have to decide to either continue living together or going back to seperate places.

    Would this work? Disaster waiting to happen? Avoid totally and just end things?

  • Flushing the Nest «

    [...] a frame grab. The obvious tell was how she was semi-permanently establishing a nest at his place. Never a good idea, but entirely expected of a woman who feels the urgency of sex decline with her competition [...]

  • QWERTY

    There is huge potential of -hello- getting the GF PREGNANT when living together, which really is worse than a marriage you can end easily (kidless). This happened to us 30 odd years ago, we did the “right thing” and are the last couple married in our families. I told our kids DO NOT SHACK UP, they did, and my daughter got pregnant practically overnight – no marriage for her, he was a bum. My wife and I have a precious 9 year old now we co-raise and the daughter is finally about to move out. Sheesh! Nobody listens, they all have to make their own stupid mistakes.

  • QWERTY

    Which reminds me, if your primary directive is banging a new chickita every night, and I would too mind you, get it snipped so there will be no oops, no debit on your paycheck every month to the state of “I F’d up,” and not another child wondering why his daddy doesn’t visit on the holidays. That or use a fake name and a burner phone – works for me.

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