Moving in together isn’t always as easy as we think it will be. Not only is the dynamic of the relationship going to change, but so will all other aspects of your life.
Relationships often end after moving in together because of how much change occurs and how much compromise needs to take place.
Every single person wants to know how married life differs from single life and moving in together is the closest step to understanding what it feels like to be married without the ring.
Think about it: money, status, time and space are constantly shared, and when you move in together, they must be organized in a way to accommodate both of you!
If you want to make it work, make sure to follow these rules!
1. Make the space together. Just as couples may move into a space that is new for both of them, sometimes one partner will have to or choose to move into the other partners pre-existing space. In this case, it can make the partner who is new to the environment feel as though it is not fully theirs. In an effort to make this more comfortable for each other, consider making changes to the pre-existing space together. Whether it’s re-painting the bedroom, getting new bedding, adding artwork, photos or memorabilia from the other partners old place, make sure it becomes a new place for the both of you to share. Your home should be a place of comfort and it should feel like “home” to both partners.
2. Discuss house chores. Whether it’s taking out the garbage, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, making the bed (and how you both like it made) loading or unloading the dishwasher, or any of the other ones, all regular house chores must be split evenly and actually fulfilled the way you both expect them to be done. If you’re incapable of discussing these things, it probably isn’t a good idea to live together.
3. Schedule ME time. It’s very common for couples to feel overwhelmed when they first move in together because of the lack of space. It’s also very easy to feel overwhelmed from spending every waking moment together. Sure, you probably have jobs (hopefully) but you may still have the same hours off, and spend all of those together. When you’re living in the same house, especially if your space is small, it’s important to schedule time for you. Whether you go to the gym, for a run/walk outside, walk the dog, or even just make plans to be by yourself when your partner makes plans with family or friends, never lose sight of your personal needs.
4. Make time for friends. It’s very easy to want to spend every waking moment of your time with one another because you live in the same house and it’s almost impossible not to. Make sure that you both still schedule time with your respective friends both alone and together. It’s nice to be so in love that you only want to be with each other, but it is NOT healthy to do that.
5. Schedule intimacy. Lives have a funny way of getting in the middle of everything, especially our sex lives. When you and your partner lived apart, there was the constant desire to make the most of the times you had together and sex happens more often. When you go to sleep next to each other every night that changes. And there is definite scientific truth behind the statement, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” The best way to prevent this from happening is making a designated “date night” and let this night consist of just you two, no phones, a fun activity or meal and some intimacy. It keeps the physical part of your relationship from dwindling.
6. Discuss future timeline. Too many couples move in together and end years later after one person is expecting a ring, and the other person doesn’t provide one. Moving in together does NOT mean that you’re guaranteed to get engaged. When you move in with someone, make sure to have some sort of timeline set so you know that years are not going to pass without your expectations met. Although each couple differs, some suggest making it clear that if you’re not engaged within two years of living together you will move out. I can tell you one thing, if you don’t set a timeline, your relationship may end and it isn’t going to end with wedding bells.
7. Money. We were all raised differently, and different families have different ways of managing money. Stereotypically men handle the finances, but in today’s world this is no longer the case. There are too many different ways that couples/families manage money, so it’s important to make this a discussion before moving in. Who is paying what bills? How are they being paid for? What is each of your credit like? Whose name is going on the lease? Will you have a shared bank account for bills? All of these questions should be discussed before moving in together, if you can’t talk money, how can you afford a future together?