Living together with a girlfriend.
Be very careful when you move together with your girlfriend. In some geographic locations living together for a certain amount of time becomes a common-law marriage (which means that you and your girlfriend are basically married). I am against living with women because it is simply not worth it. The benefits do not outweigh the loss of freedom in my opinion. But if you decide to move in with your girlfriend, then at least learn about common-law marriage laws in your area and make sure you do not get stuck in one.
Some things to do to avoid being stuck in common-law marriage:
Do not live with the same woman for over a year or two (in some areas even less). Find out exactly how many years or months you have to live with the same woman to be in a common law marriage in your area.
Keep all your money separate. Do not share bank accounts or credit cards.
Do not buy a house together. Buy your own house and have her pay you rent as a roommate.
Do not buy/lease a car together.
Do not add each other to insurance policies (car, health, etc).
Have a roommate rental agreement. See an attorney if you own a house and your girlfriend wants to move in. You will be VERY pissed if in a few years she will be in a legal position to kick you out of your own house.
Be very careful with single mothers. You might get stuck paying child support for the next 15 years if you are proven to have formed a "bond" with her children. Taking children once a week to a ballpark
for a couple of months will probably constitute forming a bond. Do not pay for children. Financially supporting children will certainly constitute forming a bond. If you do pay, just give your girlfriend
cash and let her pay. That way there will at least be no record of you paying for children.
Things to do before you get married.
Before you get married you absolutely HAVE TO sit down with your girlfriend and have a long and non-romantic conversation (or several long and non-romantic conversations). The purpose of this conversation is to determine two things:
1. Agree on children
2. Agree on money
Your answers and your girlfriend’s answers should be specific, not vague. And if your answers don't match, then you're not ready for marriage.