Moving in Together? Keep These 4 Things in Mind First
Deciding to move in with your partner can be a big step in any relationship. Transitioning from seeing each other on occasion to seeing each other every day can be difficult for some couples who are not prepared for the process, especially couples who have never even had a roommate before.
Living with your partner is meant to be a rewarding experience. Bearing a few things in mind as you make this transition can help make the process smoother for both of you. From understanding how to consolidate finances to adjusting to changes in your individual lifestyle, there is a lot to prepare for before you move in with your partner.
There are a few key steps for you and your partner to follow to ensure you are both learning from this experience and making it a productive time for your relationship. Communicating effectively with one another can help you avoid disputes over space, scheduling and any other issues when you share a living space.
Tip 1: Discuss Finances with Your Partner in Advance
Before you move in with your significant other, take time to discuss your individual and collective finances to determine how the rent and bills are going to be split between the two of you. You may opt for dividing everything evenly or you may choose to have one partner pay the rent and the other person pay for the utilities.
Regardless of how you want to arrange your finances, gaining an understanding of what each of you can afford before cohabitating can prevent a litany of issues further down the line. For example, if your significant other has limited income and can only afford to pay a small portion of the bills, you must discuss this in advance to ensure you are working enough to compensate for their lack of income.
You may additionally wish to discuss the prospect of having a joint bank account, as this can alleviate some of the pressure and planning associated with paying the bills each month. By having a joint account where both you and your partner contribute money each month, you have a source to draw from when it comes time to write the rent check.
Agree upon an amount you can both afford to deposit into the account each month and pay for all collective bills from this account. Payment for utilities and grocery shopping, as well as money for events such as concerts can all be included in the amount you deposit into your joint account.
By choosing this option you are equally dividing the finances while retaining independent accounts for anything you may want to buy separately.
Tip 2: Be Prepared for Lifestyle Changes
One of the biggest things to keep in mind when you are contemplating the idea of moving in together is the lifestyle adjustment for both you and your partner. You may enjoy watching television before bed whereas your partner may prefer to read instead. All this means is you may have to sit in separate rooms to conduct your bedtime routines, which is perfectly normal and promotes independence within your relationship.
Serious lifestyle changes, such as adjusting when you wake up and go to sleep every morning to compensate for your partner’s schedule may be more difficult to adjust to during your first stretch in the cohabitation process.
You may consider yourself to be a neat freak and your partner may err on the side of being messy, meaning one of you needs to make a slight lifestyle adjustment to ensure arguments do not develop over this discrepancy.
If your partner wants to make a conscious effort to adjust his or her lifestyle to meet your own, perhaps draft up a chore list to help you stay on track and to help keep your apartment clean. Maybe one night you can do the dishes and the next night your partner can do them. Find a balance between both lifestyles to ensure neither of you is moving outside of a comfort zone solely to appease the other.
Tip 3: Remember That Moving in Together is a Learning Experience
When you are moving in with someone for the first time it is important to remember this is a learning process for both of you. Understanding one another’s habits can help you cohabitate more easily and with less disruption.
To avoid arguments, allow yourselves the time necessary to adjust to living with one another before you begin to discuss any changes you want the other person to make. There are certain things you are going to be able to live with, such as your partner forgetting to shut the light off when they use the bathroom. There are things you may not be able to live with, such as your partner leaving dirty dishes in the sink for days at a time.
Once you learn about the other person’s tendencies, you can begin to find common ground to avoid arguments and ensure your shared space truly feels shared. If one person takes over the space it may be harder for the other person to feel at home. Before moving onto big decisions, start with something small, like learning how to accommodate both of your furniture pieces or movie collections.
Tip 4: Open Communication is an Essential Part of the Process
When you are moving in with your significant other it is important to remain patient and communicative with one another throughout the process. Whether you want to discuss something upsetting he or she is doing, or you simply want to remind your partner of how happy you are to live with him or her, open communication is essential if you want the process to be a success.
If you want to divide laundry duties so you are not stuck hauling dirty clothes to the laundromat by yourself every week, you need to speak with your partner about the issue. Holding things inside is not is not helpful as it doesn’t allow the issue to be resolved. Remaining open with one another can improve your relationship, both inside your home and on a general scale.
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