Moving in together can be exhilarating but can also become overwhelming. Here are 10 rules to consider when the time is right.
From the get go, don’t hold anything back. If one party is more ready than the other, be open about it and communicate your fears and worries. Without communication, the plan might fall into shambles and cause more problems. Be open to change, be open to new annoyances, be open to listening and sharing with one another.
Remember, you’re a team. Designate responsibilities before you move in. How often will you do laundry, vacuum, cook, etc.? Share in the responsibility of living in one home, and if something isn’t working out, switch it up!
Make a Plan for Guests
You might not be thinking about sharing your home with friends and family right away, but it is always a good idea to consider when looking for homes together and before moving in. Should you have a spare room for guests?
Pets & Kids
One of the biggest conversations to be had besides the budget—we’ll get to that—is pets and kids. If you already have pets, does your significant other plan on including them in your lives together? Discuss if either of you does or doesn’t want to have pets down the road. Are you more of a cat person while your significant other prefers dogs or hamsters? And then, there’s kids. How many (if any) will you want? How soon will you want to start a family together? These are all good questions to ask in a serious conversation before making the decision to move in together.
Most couples dread talking about finances, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. From who pays the bills to combining or not combining all the income, make a list of questions to consider when it comes to the budget. Will the budget include a date night? How will you split the bills? Be honest about debts you owe, subscriptions you pay for, etc. Who knows, maybe you’re both paying for certain subscriptions that can be cut down to one between the both of you!
What To Do With Maybes
When it comes to decor, you may not share the same tastes. If you’re both coming from separate living situations and combining your items, separate them into must-haves and maybes. Be ready to compromise; you both want to love the place. If you don’t have enough room afterward for all of your “maybe” items, stick them in a box in your attic or basement for a while and wait to see how much you really miss them. As time goes on, you may realize they don’t have any significance and you haven’t touched them in ages; at that point it’s a good idea to take them to a donation center near you.
Claim Your Spot and Schedule “Me Time”
You’ve heard of man caves and she sheds, and maybe you’ve laughed at the idea…but you may want to consider it! Having time to yourself is healthy in relationships, and making sure you have a go-to spot where you can have that time is equally important.
Set Boundaries on Screen Time
It may seem trivial, but talk about how much TV and screen time you’ll be getting. When you live with a partner, it’s normal to set expectations so that electronics don’t become an annoyance or distraction in your relationship. Setting boundaries such as prohibiting phones at the supper table or not having a TV in the bedroom can lead to a longer healthy relationship.
Compromise comes in big here. A true test of love, who controls the thermostat can cause some arguments. In the summer the air might be cranked to high and in winters the heat is blasting. Try to find a happy medium throughout the year, and make exceptions on some days if one or the other is feeling especially hot or cold.
Okay, you are probably wondering why this made the list. But honestly, it’s important. If the man of the house is used to living the bachelor life, he may always leave the toilet seat up, cap off the toothpaste, etc. In the same regard, the woman of the house might have gotten used to her Scentsy perfumes, leaving hair in the drain, or having tampons and feminine products out next to the commode. Talk to each other about routine cleaning and how to respect one another in the shared space.
Keep in mind you can always try it out before making a big decision. Make the commitment for a week with ground rules, and together talk it out. What worked, what needed adjusting? Are you both ready to make it a long-term commitment?
Want more? Check out: His, Hers, and Ours