Even though moving in together with the person you love can seem like it would be all unicorns and rainbows, it can be a little more complicated. Or a lot more complicated. And it’s one decision you don’t want to take lightly. This major step will change your relationship forever…are you ready?
Be honest about why you’re moving in together. If it’s just for convenience you’ll want to think twice. Moving in just to save money might seem like a no-brainer in the beginning, but like we said, things get a little more complicated once you’re both living under the same roof. One partner may have expectations now that “living together” has been checked off the list while the other isn’t looking for the next level of commitment. It’s best to have that hard discussion about where you see your life in five years before you even think about moving in with your girlfriend or boyfriend. If you both want the same things, that’s a plus. If you don’t, it’s probably not a good idea to take the next step of moving in together.
It’s time to talk money. Okay, so you’ve both decided you’re ready to move in together because you love each other and have similar goals for the not too distant and distant future. The second not so fun topic to talk about is money. It’s unavoidable! Once you move in money will be the topic of conversation much more than you may think. Not only will you be sharing the rent, but what about groceries and nights out and new furniture? And there are so many other money conversations that will pop up, guaranteed. This can get even more complicated if one person makes much more than the other. So to avoid resentment about money once you move in, have an honest conversation about what you can afford and what your plans are financially. If one person loves to live on a strict budget while the other is a free spender, hate to break it to you, but this is a recipe for disaster. However, even if you come from opposite ends of the spectrum and decide you definitely want to make a commitment with your partner, develop a plan on how to handle things financially and most importantly, stick with it.
Talkin’ fur babies. You may think this is an obscure topic to talk about prior to moving in together, but if you’re an animal lover and your partner is not, it’s important to address. More times than not, moving in with your loved one will lead to a conversation down the line about getting a dog or a cat. After all, it seems like the logical step between moving in and getting married with children. But this usually delightful topic can turn into an area of resentment if you’re not on the same page. Did you always imagine yourself having a cat? But then it turns out that your partner doesn’t like cats and can’t stand having a kitty litter in the apartment. Or maybe you both want a dog, but then one partner ends up doing most of the caretaking. If having pets or not having pets is extremely important to you, this is a discussion that needs to be clarified before moving in. Pets are great, but they are a lot of responsibility and can sometimes take a toll on the relationship if both parties aren’t fully committed.
Get rid of the junk. Wow…so you’re on the same plan for the future, you love each other, you understand where each other are coming from financially, you’re on the same page about pets and you still want to move in together? Well, you’re off to a good start so far. Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. Since you won’t have own space anymore (just being honest!) it’s time to take a real look at what you’ll be bringing to the new apartment…meaning all of the stuff you’ve been lugging around on your own. Make no mistake about it, there will be wide-eyed looks from your partner after all the boxes you have been piled in the living room waiting to be unpacked. There might even be a remark, “I didn’t know you had that much stuff” or “what do you need this for?” To avoid any unnecessary drama, first and foremost, just get rid of the junk that you don’t use. And we all have junk. If there’s something that you absolutely cannot live without, don’t toss it, but also have compassion when you realize that your partner is probably bringing their own must-have items that you just don’t get. It happens every time!
Expect some weirdness in the beginning. Yup, there’s no way to get around it. Moving in together will require an understanding that you’ll be getting to know each in a whole new way…again. In fact, we’d go as far to say that you don’t really know someone until you’ve moved in with them. Now, you may feel a bit of shock in the beginning…this is completely normal. The best thing to do is have compassion while still having some boundaries. How do you do that? Communicate, communicate, communicate. It all comes down to that!
No matter how perfect you may feel for one another, there are still two different people sharing not only their love but their personal space. The more honest you are with your partner in a kind way, things will run a lot smoother. And don’t forget to laugh, smile and love each other while dealing with the sometimes not so fun reality of living together. All in all, living with your partner can be an amazing time and hopefully the start of a long journey together.