Love Nest 101: Tips for Moving in with Your Significant Other
Perhaps the idea of moving in with your significant other has been brewing for a while. Or maybe you’re caught in a romantic whirlwind that you can’t wait to watch unfold. Whether you’ve been together for a month or a decade, taking this next step is a big deal!
Here are some things to consider, conversations to have, and steps to take to ensure moving in with your partner for the first time goes as smoothly as possible.
Consider the Big Picture of the Relationship
Before clearing out a dresser for your partner or cleaning out your current home and loading things into cardboard boxes, evaluate your partnership. It may not be time to move in with your significant other if certain feelings aren’t mutual or significant conflicts have not been resolved. Here’s what to do before moving in with your partner.
Make sure both partners have an equal desire to take this step.
Two people may not show or express their needs and desires in the same way, but you should both want to take this step. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be nervous about cohabitating (it’s a big move, after all!), but it should be a leap you both truly want to take.
Prioritize honest and open communication.
It’s possible to desire living with your partner while not being quite ready. Perhaps you’re still in the “honeymoon phase,” and you’ve never had a big fight – or, more importantly, resolved a big fight. Maybe you’ve never discussed finances, and the thought of doing so makes you break out in a cold sweat.
The most essential household item you’ll need to bring when cohabitating with a partner is the ability to communicate! Sharing a living space with someone also means losing the luxury of avoiding conversations or talking only when you’re in the mood. Your communication doesn’t need to be flawless, but it’s important that you’re both actively working toward this goal. Consider these three things before taking the plunge:
- Do you know how to fight and make up in a healthy way?
- Are you able to communicate openly and honestly?
- Are you able to have candid and difficult conversations when necessary?
Consider your level of commitment (versus convenience).
Did you decide to move in together to build a long-term partnership, or are you moving in to save money on rent, reduce commute time, or stop dating long distance? It’s wonderful if moving in together offers these added benefits, but you may want to think twice if these are the sole motivators for making the move.
Continue to date!
Moving in together means you’ll likely spend time together daily, but it’s important to be intentional. When living separately, you likely carved out time to be together, planning romantic dates, buying each other sweet, thoughtful gifts, and organizing quality time in advance. As roommates, making time in your schedule may not feel as important or necessary, but for the sake of your relationship, make sure you do!
Practical Tips for Couples Moving in Together
You’re both eager to live together and optimistic about the future of your relationship. Now, it’s time for the logistics. To ensure you merge your lives and living space as seamlessly as possible, follow these essential moving-in-together tips.
Decide what each person will contribute to the shared space.
Combining two homes into one means there will likely be twice as many items! Before moving day, consider what items each person will bring into their new home. If you’re moving into your partner’s fully furnished home, or vice versa, it’s especially important to have this conversation. Doing so can help ensure the space truly feels comfortable for everyone involved. And note that you may need to make sacrifices based on available space and storage in your new place.
Discuss your typical daily routine (and make changes accordingly).
If one partner falls asleep watching TV but the other needs utter silence, you’ll need to compromise. If you both work from home but have limited desk space, you’ll need to get resourceful. Consider your schedules, preferences, and routines, and discuss how to blend them harmoniously. Knowing what to expect when moving in with your partner can help you avoid a big clash.
Divide your household chores.
When you live alone, there’s no guesswork – you’re responsible for every household chore. When you live with a partner, it may be less clear who is responsible for what, and there is bound to be resentment if one person takes the lion’s share.
Before merging households, create a tentative game plan about who will handle what. Even if things change over time, you’ll already be in habit of discussing the division of labor.
Map out your monthly budget.
A shared home comes with shared expenses. If you aren’t merging bank accounts, do you split the rent or mortgage payment 50/50? Who pays for new furniture, toilet paper, or food in the fridge? Finances can become a huge stressor in relationships, so discussing these things candidly and transparently can help you avoid unpleasant surprises and conflicts down the line.
Keep both of your design choices and style preferences in mind!
As you design, furnish, and decorate your home together, it’s crucial to consider both your tastes and preferences. If you gravitate toward a colorful boho aesthetic while your partner prefers a neutral modern style, you’ll need to work together to create a space that feels like home for everyone involved. While buying furniture, selecting wallpapers, and shopping for decor, ensure that you’re both offering equal input.
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