8 things to consider before moving in with your partner
Congrats, you have decided to move in together. It’s a big move, so it’s normal to feel excited, nervous, and anxious – all at once! Sharing a living space with your partner can be overwhelming, so we have put together eight great pieces of advice to help you both ease in to your new living arrangement.
1. Start with an honest heart-to-heart
Before moving in, have a truthful conversation on why you would like to cohabit. Is it to explore the next level of your relationship? Does it make financial sense to do so? Could it be peer/societal pressure? Your reason for sharing a living space will set the tone for your cohabitation experience so it’s important that you are both on the same page.
2. Let your lifestyle call the shots on location
Should you move to a new space together or should one of you move in with the other? To help you decide, ask yourselves: Can we afford to live here? Will this mean more travel time or more costs? Will we be close to the restaurants, bars, gym, and clubs we like going to? Is there a pet-friendly park nearby? Spend time teasing out lifestyle factors important to you.
3. Breaking a décor deadlock
Giving life to your shared living space can be exciting and exhausting! What if you love a homely, country feel while he’s a steel-and-chrome kind of guy? Or she loves shades of neutral while you’re all about bold splashes of colour? Something’s got to give if your décor styles aren’t in sync. Find common ground and give each space for creative expression.
4. Out with the old, in with the new?
Can’t part with your trusted, tattered blue couch? Well, you may have to. Moving in together means scaling down. You both need to decide what stays and what goes. Compromise and practicalities are key. Decide what you’re keeping, what you need to sell/donate/recycle/put into storage, and what you need buy for your new place.
5. Budget and bills
Love doesn’t pay the bills. How will expenses be shared? How often will you shop for groceries? Will you work off a budget? If so, will you both contribute equally? Do you know your partner’s spending habits and does he/she understand yours? Finances can be a relationship dealbreaker. Be honest and encourage your partner to give open feedback too.
6. Plan on paper
Consider signing a cohabitation agreement. It offers each of you some protection should you decide to part ways. Listing who gets what, which household items should be jointly sold, and what should be jointly shared (pets, for instance) can help take the sting out of a breakup.
7. Have realistic expectations
Living together is beautiful, special and exciting but it can also be tedious (dishes don’t wash themselves) and tiring (neither will your laundry; and the bed won’t make itself either. Also, who’s doing lunch and dinner?). Talking about roles and shared responsibilities can help prevent misunderstandings and even arguments.
8. Brush up on your communication skills
There will be good days, awesome days and some downright ugly days. Things can’t be rosy all the time. There will often be disagreements over decorating style, food choices, roles and responsibilities. Knowing how your partner deals with conflict and how best to resolve tetchy situations will go a long way in smoothing over the bumps.
Moving in with your significant other is an enormous, life-changing step. While it is impossible to identify and figure out solutions for all the challenges that lie ahead, making the time to sit with your partner before living together to have an honest, no-holds barred conversation about the factors listed above, can help make the transition smooth and enjoyable.