Moving in together is a big step in a romantic relationship. Typically, couples who decide to share a space have been together for a while, so you might think you already know everything there is to know about your partner. Living together will be a breeze … right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go as planned, especially when you don’t put a little prep work in. Again, moving in together is a big step. You’ll both want to make sure you’re on the same page before you make that decision. That includes talking about everything from your finances to habits or quirks you have that the other person might have to get used to.
When you do a bit of extra planning to make sure moving in together is the right choice, you can have more peace of mind. This should be an exciting step in your relationship — not one you end up regretting later on.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few helpful tips you and your partner should use before you take the plunge and move into a shared space.
Knowing Your Partner Fully
The old saying is that you never really know someone until you live with them. There’s some truth to that. Even if you’ve been dating your partner for a long time, you don’t see their habits when they wake up in the morning. You don’t have to deal with their dirty laundry on the floor or the way they leave the toilet seat up.
These might seem like minor things, but over time they can create issues in a relationship when you’re living together. Cohabitating couples are at a higher risk of separation, and it’s often little problems or annoyances like these that contribute to that. So, make sure you really know your partner before you decide to move in together.
One of the most important conversations to have is about your finances. If you’re going to be sharing a space, you’ll probably also be sharing living expenses. Don’t be afraid to talk about money and set a budget together. If you’re both willing to stick to that budget, you can avoid arguments about money later on, and you know you’ll be able to live comfortably from month to month.
You should also discuss how you live on your own with your partner. Maybe you know you have some “bad” or unique habits that they may not fully understand right away. Be open and honest about your living styles with one another. Be willing to make subtle changes if one of those habits is troublesome to your partner. Living together requires certain compromises in order to work.
In addition, it’s important to talk about your sexual relationship. It will undoubtedly change when you move in together, allowing you more time to be intimate with one another. Make sure you’re both comfortable with that. You can even commit to getting tested for STDs and making sure you both have a clean bill of health before you start to share a space.
How You’ll Share Your Space
People have different ways of living and different ideas about how things should be done. You may not think about it often — after all, the little things you do each day will eventually become a part of your routine. But when you start to live with someone else, your routine might not always line up with theirs.
Talk about exactly how you’ll share your space. You’ll have to decorate and furnish it somehow, so make those decisions together. Choose color themes and patterns for different rooms, and design your space together. It can be an exciting and fun way to really make a new place feel like yours.
You can also decide who will do certain things to keep your home running smoothly. Will one person do the cooking each day or will you plan meals and cook together as a couple? Who will run certain errands? How will the chores around your home be split up? These might seem like minor things now, but deciding them ahead of time can help you to avoid a lot of headaches and potential arguments later.
You might even decide to try new things together that you haven’t been able to before living together. You’ll have more time to learn new things together. That includes creating unique meals together using new ingredients or new cooking methods, like cooking with CBD or hemp oil.
Keeping the Relationship Alive
Before you move in together, think about how it will affect your relationship. There will undoubtedly be some ups and downs as you get used to how the other person lives, and vice versa.
If you both are truly committed to each other and willing to put in the effort to make your relationship work, moving in together can be a great way to strengthen that commitment and take the next step. Be aware of how things might change, and don’t let the relationship take a back seat when you start to get comfortable in your new living arrangements. One of the best things you can do is to continue to make your relationship a priority. Go out on dates, do special things for each other, and don’t lose that spark.
Additionally, take time for yourself when you need it. Taking care of your mental and emotional health will make living with your partner 24/7 easier and help you to be an active participant in your relationship.
Again, moving in together is a big step in a relationship. It shows you’re ready to commit and take things to the next level. It can be a lot of fun and a new, exciting adventure for you and your partner. But, it also takes some preparation in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Keep these steps in mind as you prepare to move to enjoy more of your shared time together.
Noah Rue is a journalist and a digital nomad, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn't frantically updating his news feeds, Noah likes to shut off his devices, head to the beach and read detective novels from the 1930s.